Derelict Air: From Collected Out

Derelict Air: From Collected Out

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781907587788
Publisher: Enitharmon Press
Publication date: 02/01/2015
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author


Edward Dorn was a poet whose collections include Chemo Sábe, Gunslinger, and Way More West, among many others. He was a professor at Essex University, the University of Colorado–Boulder, and the University of Idaho. He is the author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation. Justin Katko is a poet who runs the press Critical Documents. Kyle Waugh is the coeditor of The Intent On: The Collected Poems of Kenneth Irby, 1962–2006. He lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

Derelict Air

From Collected Out


By Edward Dorn, Justin Katko, Kyle Waugh

Enitharmon Press

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer Dunbar Dorn
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-910392-34-8



CHAPTER 1

    UNTITLED

    The bleat of time
    enters slowly
    this room wet
    with the enchantment
    of decayed passion

    A fragmentary note
    upon that white table
    chants all our concurrent
    mistakes.

      If you come again,
      it won't be the same,
      somehow.


    5.

    When you return to me down those
    wooden steps I lately sit under
    what dimension can you have of
    human selection can you manage
    the severe course an iron railing
    and vanishing steps demand viewed
    from this spice shop with
    its coriander spreading, faintly,
    an account of obvious differences?


    THIRD FLOOR

    the bathroom in
    our apt.
    on the third floor
    has a window the shape of
    a parallelogram, two
    sides vertical.
    And across the window,
      diagonally,
    a partition.
    the lower half section
      was painted
    evidently,
    before we came so
    that light comes in, unobstructedly,
    from the upper half, only,
    even though the window stands
    3 floors up and
    opens on a steep roof.


    NIGHT SCENE

    Pieces of junk
    hanging (at)
    3508
    dirty windows

    Pieces of Junk
    in the
    banging air,
    late.


    [GIVE THEM THE STATISTICS OF DEATH]

    Give them the statistics of death
    so that the remembrance may
    always stick in the charred throat
    and lie there throbbing the disaster of a
    too barren beginning.
    But do not cast me into the dark
    closet again or
    beat me for running nude down
    the black oil road that first time
    of passion.


    THE SURREALIST

    rode roaring
    clutched the handles
      spread wide
      from the shoulders,

    his black motorcycle flinching.
    And behind him bounced
    doggedly the trailer bearing
    higher, a like cycle,
    Black.


    ROTUND

    He sits in his swively
    chair,
    The ever-ready smile smiling
      molten regularity.
    For Mr. Bruce's a
    Personnel Dir.


    SAN F.

    Bridged city under fog-white hills
    The weeks were love and ended our eyes turning
    Away past silence, endurable, the way damp soil tills.
    In front of October, already, love was slower burning.
    Wakeless suspension, her absence the agent of fever,
    You gave the meaning of newspapers, and cleared       the mist,
    Silently plaguing like a dress I can't remember
    As i held back love with gripped fist.
    Sirocco, and even the week-ends spent
    The mental move must precede suitcases packed
    Standing eternally within this dolmen we bent
    Two memories and me gazing into plaster cracked.
        Give time the time to rewind cells
        Another meeting will arrange new hells.


    DECORUM ON A GREY DAY

    In weightless light grey enough & sourceless
    Only for luminous holes on the horizon,
    Gulls make languid circles
    Black as condors with the perfect sham,
    An audience of winter stranded
    Land birds filagreed in roosts.

    While the gulls reel toward the bay & sound
    Their audience has come & gone
    Seeking various perches for no reason,
    But outlasting the gulls with silence.
    Just past the shifting noon light coming
    Still from the bay a tranced steamer
    Arrives from the pacific east so gulls
    Again have left
      the whole air
    To a stiff airplane in intent line
    Caged in glass determination.


    [SEVERAL GULLS]

    Several gulls
    dupe gravity with no force:
    a length rumbled midair
      to certain restless changes
    within locusless winds
    slowly arrived from the tight
      sea surface a static
    gloss to thwart extenuating wings
    making the deception not flight
      but dance of another sort
    abrupt as dawn on the moon.


    A DERELICT AIR

    A sharp green counter
    was where she sat
    & her color was
    velvet it darkened
    just right, like love

    The blues, so slowly chant
    a memorial counter-charm
    keyed with coffee odors
    yellowed during 78 whirls
    of revealed lacquer.

    Still her dark hips
    shift for cloth necessities
    with no hints of malediction
    for the blues demand space
    as temporal as a snowman,
    or marimba sounds.

CHAPTER 2

    THE RIGHTING OF THE CAT

    The chill and blues and those tattoos.
    The rain.
    Shadows and the leaves turned up.
    Cold prediction.
      Cold deflections.
    New socks in box, the labels blue,
    and yellow fit to embarrass.
    Leave them there forever.
    Now, Sun, and
    a magazine in which Clerk Maxwell demonstrates
    that a cat rights herself, from two inches!
    Mother, come to think of it, you could leave
    those goddamn socks & shorts home, you could
    Offer at least the advantages Clerk had.
    My Dear Sir,
    did you get in your laundry argyles
    of oval curves made with needle and thread
    from Glenblair?
    No no: you sent thread parabolas. But then
    your father was interested in mechanical contrivances.

      [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
      [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

    This greek &
    this latin
      Cannibis Sativa
    from Tournefort

    "Flowers dioecious; the sterile in axillary
    compound racemes of panicles, with 5 sepals
    & 5 drooping stamens"

    And then you know what love is
    but not quite
    the false Asphodel —
      Flowers perfect,
      Perianth more
      or less spreading, persistent
      the sepals concave, oblong,       without
       claws, 3-nerved.

    A cold reflection:
    "not begun, done in" like a cubed steak
    like me, with too much breeding and no blood
    but no frigging breeding either,
    but what I have will follow:

    Eurylochus ran back to the ship
    empty handed, flat footed, panting
    Yeats
        " ? a distinction between the perfection
        that is from a man's combat with himself
        and that which is from a combat with
        circumstance ?"

    CIRCUMSTANCE.

    Cordelia "Nothing, my lord
    Lear "Nothing!
    Cordelia "Nothing.
    Lear "Nothing

    CIRCUMSTANCE.

    Yeats
        " ? the struggle to come at Truth takes away
        our pity, and the struggle to overcome our passions
        restores it."

    This is well bred. This is polite,
    This moral I will not be run to relief by
    if I sit all day
    and frown.

    2

    A theory of the economy of sleep —

    "sleep from five in the afternoon
    to 9:30, read very hard from 10 to 1
    exercise by running along the corridors
    and up and down stairs from 2 to 2:30,
    sleep again from 2:30 to 7."

    avoid serendipity
      " condescension

    keep the window shut when it isn't in use
      " the word in your mouth until it wants out

    anticipate his leaving in order to conduct your own
      " idleness in order to turn away

    The last, a trick.

    3

    Walk walk walk
    love is not in you, not in me, the lips give
    give on tissure a print, your eyes downcast, wear
    your new
    shorts you got in the mail, your new socks
    leave the tags on, it was so sweet of you to clothe
    me to hide my unbalanced mind,
    so sweet of me to wear them to go with my beard,
    at this point I'll wear anything.
    I'll give anything
    I'll give
      Cordelia's moral tone to Edmond's
      responsibility and you'll have a respectable
      Cordelia, not a craftier Edmond

    A man / circumstance = a variety of man

    2 men / the same circumstance = tennis

    4

    Cat,
    the wheels
    cat,
    the mountains don't make of the earth
    a mace,
    cat
    but you do, the most
    you, the mouse
    right in your own house
    the mountains lunge,
    you won't come out and
    play
    tennis, you don't have a
    circumstance in the middle with backspin
    all around

    5

    I think that I shall burn the next box you send me
    just from the awful sore limp it gives me to get
    a thing from you, don't think of me damn you, I forbid
    that you think of me, don't send me a needle and
      thread —
    if my clothes drop off the sooner

    exposé d
    I played
    tennis
    with it right in us,
    the pubescent, roughish, ball
    diameter 2½ inches
    stuck near whatever ...
    in the bag.
      when you meet a man how
    the hell do you determine his rank?
      Maturation?

    Progress?
    doctrine?
    strike?
      Solemnity?
      inter?
      windjammer?

    Speak windjammer:
      "I HAVE GENTS IN THE BOTTLE
      YOU WILL NOTICE IN MY LEFT HAND
      THE DISTILLED RESIDUE OF YOUR
      BRAIN
      WHILE IN MY RIGHT I HAVE THE
      PRESENT-
      FUTURE-PAST OF YOUR MODUS
      VIVENDI
      WHICH BY FORCE OF MY CONFIDENCE
      I SHALL NOW MIX BEFORE YOUR
      EYES"

CHAPTER 3

    REPORT FROM WASHINGTON: MARCH

    Concerning biffetting
    and being pitched against
    the door jambs of life with a capital
    L.

    Gems.
    Germs traveling unheard of distances
    Spreading through Ida (ho
    Until
    One's bowels are loose
    in Washington.

    They travel by mouth.
    We've had word
    Germs are motored
    is what I heard.

    If they came over the mountains
    at this season
    they must have had ice-picks and crampons
    even the passes are clogged.

    March!, is the cruelest month
    The spectres of children
    attaching great black bats
    to strings. Barking winds attack the hemlocks
    on the hill back of my house. Bending
    Alder saplings over the slate cliffs.
    Screaming against the red Purple yellow and orange
    crocus rows in the commercial plots.

    Influenza! Coming from Idaho.
    March! The top sergeant of the germs.
    A visitation from an employer.

    John. Brought his child Raymond.
    A bug. What they call germs.
    A horrible malady was he.
    His main action was grinning backed up
    by screaming. Father John brought him to the house
    today and for a notion hit him full
    in the smacker. Screaming like a louse.
    You could have heard him in the windy mountains.
    Blasted flat against the door-jamb a hard-shelled bug
    fell on his piercing opened mug.

    Legs would have been an accomplishment.
    The basic four. Insects are prelimited
    as to size and motility.

    Thank God there are no dangerous snakes
    In Western Washington. Altho the news
    is full of slugs and snails; makes
    contractile, motored, creatures occupy
    the public
    eye.


    TH'ABJECTIVE NONE

    Havent I
    summoned All

    the people
    of the world
    into my
    head,

    said nothing,
    included
    my toggenburg goat
    because she
    is near
    to me,
      Have I not
    gotten
    their faces, the flash

    existence,
    the whole grey row
      how?

    many times today
    like a yearly
    reunion
      28 years,
    Not precluding
    anyone
    at first,
      the thirst
    for number,

    Th'abjective none.

      The bleeting nan ?
    with torus eyes.

    Carl Gustav Jung
    my pulpiteer

    rises above
    the venetian blinded room
    of my head,

    seeks to manipulate
    the shutter cords,
    differentiate,
    The Mass.


    * * *

    The Great Ones,
       affirming

    Heart, forthwith desert
    us, arent
    in it, the head-room —

    & I,
    in my own manner
    a Great One,
    arent in it either ...

    But I hear
    unhearable
    despair, a dollars worth
    of disease,
    the sentiment,

    the heady world
    saying —
    We didnt mean it
    We poorling pseudo-
    Moderns, really didnt

    mean to be
    a horde
      (get enough of
      us together &
      we'll go off
      miserable
    misled
    confused
    cond
    with sophisticated feet
    cloven,
    torus eyes,
    no passage back
    to the hinterland
    or forward
    to the mechanick
    land, tricked
    out of a god
    of any quality —
    What we great ones
    move so much by.
    Forgive me, are moved thereby ?)

    Wreck
    Wreck
    Wreck O my filthy mind

    I scream too,
    until I differentiate
    because I too
    am great

    * * *

    They are worthless.
    The man in the pulpit
    was correct,
      & I
    end a poem like that
    deserting the horde
    of the
      flash
      of my sin


    THE POET SPENDS A DAY AT THE DUMP
    (MT. VERNON, APRIL 20


    Overhead,

    sea-gulls, glaucous wings
    slight impression of breeding
    in the advanced season, suspicious

    flounderings, where Spring
    is an obvious hungup dog.

    Lower,
      acre-wise
    Johnny & me

    ogres of a sortilege,
    keeping, as I saw with surprise
    the gulls from their browse
    of grapefruit, astir in the air ...
    their care
      their care.

    Gulls, ponderous in flight
    gawkily the bob
    the knob of the head socketed, wooden
    but for the glide
    slid, grace slipping into what
    one nearly cant look at ? (

      The rooster! Johnny says
    for your mantle?
    No No laughs I nor old beds
    old mattresses,
      nor broken chicken coops

    These hardly worn house-shoes I said
    are good yet, I'll bet you can wear them
    but he wore them not

    Walked off grinning, emptying boxes
    Ho Ho paradoxes of the daily confetti of Man

    Making
    a new
    world

      the ash can

      Well,

    here's a span of toy mules
    of tiny tools, cast away rules
    from an office, a broken dish
    something of a fish, the whole
    alliteration of creation.

    What do you find, Johnny m'boy
    what's found. A witch?
    on a green motorcycle, a black broom aflying
    a witch on an orange wheeled M'cycle

    * * *

    MacBeth hovers over the American dump

    * * * *

    The decayed grapefruit Sun

    begun
    downward, wrung

    soundward, late afternoon

    the gulls going home, wards
    of the city no more

    home to the barnacle spun shore.

      Home! for us

    Johnny boy ...

    another toy, for the kids?

    What nonsense
    lets go!

    a man could pick his life out ahere
    could shake the dear boxes of life

    What a sun, what nonsense,

    Here am I
    the only poet in a thousand miles
    Not proper I should be at the city

    dump

    with Fate hanging

    low ...

      back of my rump


    POEM

    Something lovely
    before I die:
    a cast
    at madness, world wide
    delirium, a picnic of small
    tundra floweres
    something the species'll drop dead at

    and a sack of jingling tricks
    for the melancholick, the pretty
    tinkling acquaintanceship
    of three eyed rats, something
    friends have not recommended.

    Unabashed, for once, in the face
    of hardship,
    and of failing to succeed,
    maintain my roving household.

    Kaadrror! Welcome in Abyssinia without
    credentials, my merits uncovered slowly,
    and after many surprises and set-backs.

    Then, my slightly antique desires
    resolved, as in obscure lands,
    on spits, of lonely sand,
    I shed a famously recorded tear
    for World Wide Delirium.
    Finally, something quite sentimental
    so the species'll chatter until dawn
    on the day I was quartered and drawn.


    AN IDEA OF PERFECTION

    Why, in the world
    could I want loneliness revealed?
    What,
      could I want
    apple trees
      in my ear
      the colour
      yellow
      the wind hollow!

    The Sun, God's Palm?
    Apple tree leaves in the wind
    my psalm ...


    THE FAIR RELIEF

    Today,
    I met
    the first misanthropic.

    His inslung shoulders,
    his stringhair, and
    oh, the hell with it.

    His very sharp nose.
    His eyes.
    Yah, his eyes.
    They put every
    thing under
    God's sun

    Down.
    Told me he
    tried last year
    in the blue season
    to get stove oil
    from a merchant
    on credit,
    refused,
    mere refuse

    the scar.
    Apropos of nothing
    a good clean thief.
    A nice blend of grief

    a fair relief
    to me
    this snarling

    frank man
    in a streetfull
    of wellbelievers
    and faintsmilers.


    THE GIRLS IN THE BANK

    Are so lovely
    framed in the white door.
    The All O'clock sun.
    Curb, parking meters, bums.
    Venetian blinds.

    There's Cleaning Power
    here, their skins reflect it.
    After a breath of air
    they walk away. In
    their hands
    they've green & gray money.
    One feels perverse.
      One
    can't get the numbers
    on the bills, out of one's
      head.


    VILE, THOT TIMOTHY, LIKE I

    On the steps of the Labor Temple
    Sin —

    greater than those old
    Corinthian rapers knew

    tho Vast
    their antechristian labor

    tho Vile
    thot Timothy
    on the steps of that city.

    Vile, thot Timothy, and I
    with our yearning eyes
    Vile, vile blunt Corinth
    and vast at that, your sin

    tho apparently anyone
    could, who wanted it.
    Ah, to be there now, getting laid
    anywhere but the Labor Temple
    getting Texicoed

    like a coed,
    eager for a summer job.


    ANACORTES REVISITED
    (For Helene)

    How we sat
    in the middle
    of off-beach weeds
    How we sat

    off-shore at landward
    exchanged six years
    without turning our heads.

    Kelp is for children.
    Has a head, is a whip.
    Marriage is a mirage
    is a ship.

    Old wheels, Old boat sheds
    Old locks, Old cables

    and sea-tackle,
    still set, where we laughed
    without turning our heads,

    watching the docking ferry.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Derelict Air by Edward Dorn, Justin Katko, Kyle Waugh. Copyright © 2015 Jennifer Dunbar Dorn. Excerpted by permission of Enitharmon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Picture Credits,
Preface,
A Note on the Text,
Acknowledgements,
POEMS SENT TO CORPORAL GORDON TAYLOR (1953–1954),
THE RIGHTING OF THE CAT (1954),
LOOKING, FOR A THING (1957–1959),
POEMS OF WASHINGTON, IDAHO, & MEXICO (1959),
LATE IN THE REVOLUTION (1960 –1962),
SILENT GUNS (1961–1963),
A CIRCLE OF SONGS (1964),
IN THE FACE OF THE LIBERAL (1964–1968),
A CONVENTION IS IN A WALLPAPER STORE (1968),
THE GRAVE OF DIANA (1968–1970),
GUNSLINGER: FRAGMENTS & SATELLITES (1970 –1974),
THE DAY & NIGHT REPORT (1971),
THE THEATER OF MONEY (1971),
TRANSLATIONS WITH GORDON BROTHERSTON (1971–1975),
A MEXICO SCRAPBOOK (1972),
MELLOW W/ TEETH (1972–1976),
HOMAGE TO GRAN APACHERíA (1973),
OFFICE EQUIPMENT (1976–1983),
FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE PARTITION AT THE HOUSTON MLA 1980–1981),
MORE ABHORRENCES (1983–1989),
ABOMINATIÓNes (1991),
THE CONNECTION TO NOWHERE (1992–1999),
DENVER SKYLINE (1993–1999),
PLUS DE LANGUEDOC VARIORUM: A DEFENSE OF HERESY & HERETICS 1992–1999),
Notes,

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