A Noisy Phalanx Is a Safe Phalanx

 

hoplite-final-sm

“The Word Hoplite is Scratched Out” Joseph M. Gerace. 2018. 6′ 3″ x 6′ 3″

I impute, with geometry, Hoplite. Consciously I do this to you, Too-Beautiful Poemtaker. Remember John to Philip wrote: “Don’t worry about it Levine, you’re ugly enough to be a great poet.” That’s filled with funny truth — oozes out of the recoiling seams, the reactionary-gunman seams. The Ugly Poet pities him — Perfect Gator — welcomes him to his soul. That child labor where hallucinations are made and thrown into the blood pool. Do you two remember the Battle of Thermopylae? Sit down, Hero, Xerxes — your pearly Perfect Gator — wants to entomb a hedge around his lengthy head. His dome is a lighthouse, don’t get it twisted with scalene teeth and bombing runs. Violence, he fancies himself president, dope commander. There. Over there. In the darkest dark. There it is. A carefully restored — the pearly acquiescence notes this before enveloping everything else — bust of Leonidas. His feathered features spark like desire. There exist no right angels in the black, you were correct. Always have been. But, no more! Desperate Darius sends emissaries to each Greek city-state clutching hundreds of printed out text messages describing’ Xerxes’s corpse. No two missals contain the same information, but each is precise in blood-line.

Scraps for God

Wikipedia Poem, No. 718

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mount ancient

hard sounds
from the coast
of his way
to be had
life ended up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged up
scrounged u

 

Self-Portrait (Memnon’s Remix)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 652

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“And look! Memnon has been stolen away and is at the edge of the painting.” Philostratus the Elder

i know what precisely     to say
do i say     a few years back
what's      right and how much of love 
is high cheek bones and how many 
high cheek bones gatherd here        how low
the creek groans      bones and how much left
i felt          the thin cracks in what's right 
and how does algae grow so deeply phonetic
down my chest beauty     when ever 
where ever     i'm not looking at my phone 
am i begging myself    to stay    say a few years 
back    what precisely do i mean or am           
i asking me or am i asking me or am i asking           
my phone when ever i'm right behind myself that's 
how love is high       cheek bones and glass skin 
and how much of love       is deeply photosynthetic 
am i asking          my phone which i am not looking at 
first that master's eyes surrounded by bones and           
how much of love       is a long stemmed wine glass 
there are my high cheek bones love
and how much of love is thin cracks in that master's degree 
eyes surrounded by all the pain out of hand 
i know what precisely do i mean or am i muttering again 
either way i see myself    of course    in my master's eyes 
surrounded by   all the rosette bone algae growing     
so deeply phonetic then i say    a few years worth of 
what's right and yet    look first that's how much is felt 
see the seamouth's signifier   and how much of love is glass thin   
skin cracks    in the long stemmed wine glass        full of saltspit 
there are high cheek bones and then there are high cheek bones
in a low cut white v-neck crawling with algae so deeply photosynthetic 
am   i asking myself or am i       asking me
say a few years go by what precisely do i say then
after a few thin years

 

After Reading a Page and a Half of Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry

Wikipedia Poem, No. 600

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“He who arrives at the door of poetry without the madness of the muses, thinking that he can be a good poet thanks solely to techne remains incomplete, and the poetry is eclipsed by that of the mad.” Plato

the keyhole 
of my broad back 
of 
my ignorance were i 
          ignorant as all the philosophers
poured into a visible earthen mold    
be       invincibly 
ignorant for being 
          unreached but unreachable
this 
   condition is
the key then to 
         to verdant madness 
and made 
one less
the 
light the winged the
sacred thing of madness

i am stone

the 
    poem
is no more
no  
 i am so enamored
       no  
 i am 
so 
enamored
  no 
  i am so enamored
         no 
      i am so enamored
    no   
i am so enamored

‘Delirium for the Four Legs of a Love’ by Dimitris Athinakis (trans. Karen Emmerich)

IMG_7524

I see your yesses coming from afar
and my own, like candles,
brandish
and burn
awaiting the centuries

A strong wind
carries off my hat my glasses my tattoo my arm
        carries off
my leg and an eye

       [I'm left there smiling before jets
        gushing the joy of nothingness]

joy —
 it too alone

Stay, if you want, by my side
— even if no one understands us

        [Why let that, too, smother us]

Just let it flow
let time
the wine
the smoke
flow

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Source:

  • Athinakis, Dimitris. “Delirium for the Four Legs of a Love.” Translated by Karen Emmerich. Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry, edited by Karen Van Dyck, New York: New York Review of Books, 2016, p. 11.

Additional reading:

Wikipedia Poem, No. 330

wiki330-cmp-sm2

“eventually / even scorched earth goes green though beneath it // the dead might still luxuriate in their rage my ancestor / was a dervish saint” Kaveh Akbar

 

luxure obsolete
from the whistling verb
float

rather the 1660s relay
reluctance lasting and
first attested sometime around

1661 lather reluctantly wrestle
stains see related lasciviousness
lust 1520 screams obsolescence

the verb first fury related
which attests sometime
in 1660 the king burns grace

which is reluctance latin relates
60 pounds of cake perhaps shake
shares a common origin with the greek lygos

pliant twig luxurie debauchery
dissoluteness lust 12c modern french
luxurie debauchery dislocated

arm relate the 1660s relate
14c lasciviousness leathered up
in reluctant magnificence

paculum-spec2-sm

Excerpt from Kaveh Akbar’s “River of Milk” used without permission, but with unconditional love, from the Poetry Foundation.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 265

wiki265

“Vex thyself not through all thy wanderings, / through all thy vagrant course from land to land / Vex thyself not, if but there be to hand / A hut, a fire for warmth, and simple things / For food—a cake, kneaded from trough of stone / Relished with mint or thyme, or salt alone.” Leonidas

 

prefer to discuss who disgusts
one avoid this phrase as a mewet
on the gibbous moon of dry ink

distinction as plosive implies third eye
and creative nasal cones deflect áphōnon
one avoids this phrase altogether in order to prefer

one must not call an unreleased burst plosive
through sounds inaccurate one doesn’t know where one
comes from nor does one particularly matter

 

paculum-spec2-sm

Source: Dudley, Donald R. “A History of Cynicism from Diogenes to the 6th Century A.D.” London: Methuen, 1937. Print. Page 115.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 164

sl0413bots

“But it is precisely as an attenuated Abstract Expressionist that Twombly has won a place in history. He preserved the Romantic subjectivity of a movement that, as American culture turned witheringly skeptical, lost all conviction. He did it by hazarding that conviction is overrated. Mere whim will serve just as well.” Peter Schjeldahl, New Yorker, Drawing Lines, March 2005.

         struggle to 
    be made; perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
        perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
perfect perfect perfect perfect 
    perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
perfect perfect 
   perfect 
perfect 
perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
perfect 
   perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
      perfect 
   perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
   perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect 
         perfect perfect perfect per

and safeguard threater of god's elect is 
       beyond reproach blameless as 
his online reviewers note
      
and 
   safeguard threater 
      god is 
     beyond reproach in christ
        what is 
         beyond reproach a phrase 
         35 years
the one 
who 
          was alienated
        this 
is beyond 
reproach phrase lamprey
impeccable 
          exemplary imperious in her direction 
    with 
        twee over us who stubbornly struggle 
to be country and 
   safeguard 
through ethical standards 
         for us 
who writhing 
to 
  term a country and safeguard threats 

  to be made; perfect perfect perfect perfect 
          perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect

“Orpheus in Athens” by Jack Spicer

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_Diogenes_-_Walters_37131

Diogenes the onion-eater, watched by dogs, sitting in his tub. By Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1860

The boy had never seen an honest man.
He looked among us every night he said.
He eyed each stranger like Diogenes
And took him with his lantern into bed.
He'd probe the stranger's body with that light
Search every corner of his flesh and bone
But truth was never there. He'd spend the night
Then leave him and resume his search alone.
I tried to tell him there was some mistake
That truth's a virtue only strangers lack.
But when he turned to face me with a kiss
I closed my lying heart against his lips.

From “My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer”