EXPLICATION

by Anne Boyer

I am no expert on phenomenology or anything, only there is that problem of how to turn into body that which is okay as air. To “monetize” is to make spirit material. Blogger offers this service. Fiction implies intent, narrative structure, guiding intelligence – a lie is so often an error, an accident, a leaking self-protective fantasy. Character can mean at least two things here: good character (the poet’s lack of it), and character, as in a fictional construct. “Who needs” is surrender.

What I can’t have I often pretend that I don’t want. Dante is the Italian poet, and he is the only character the work requires because he sets the literary precedent for spiteful visions of love in semi-arduous forms. Because he is a great poet he can vouch for the author of this work: she is devoted to understanding but works from a kind of green chaos of circumstance. Often the poet thinks of the phrase “beau desordre” but has a difficult time finding out much about it because her French is poor. She turns the concept of lyric disarray.

She turns the concept of lyric disarray into a former lover. Though the poet suggested she didn’t need characters, she introduces one. The lover Bo might not even be named this anymore. This lover might be based on someone real, but I am afraid there is not much esteem here for the factories that manufacture odes. There is not actually a Prime Minister of America and America is not a city. The Prime Minister is in a play called Das Kapital. Cell phones are actually radiant. People use these phones as beacons and guides.

Why telecommunications are so important is an embarrassing secret. Why milk, not manna? Because my cell phone is not like money, it is like some sort of nourishing excretion when the right voice comes out the other side. The poet considers her literary works a symptom, a perseveration, a kind of anti-social insistence in repeating, again and again, what no one wants to hear – to her, then, all the poets are perseverating animals. Then there is the story of how the poet was writing and her daughter made an obvious statement: “Everything tastes better in a spoon.”

Everything tastes better in a spoon because it is a small measure. Then there is a small measure of quotation, the first line of Bernadette Mayer’s Eruditio ex Memoria. This has so much meaning, because Antonin Artaud is actually my doctor. But so is Bernadette Mayer. And, believe it or not, this project bears a certain resemblance to that project, except the entire history of Western Civilization is not written on paper but in the poet’s head. At this point the poet actually merges her lecture notes with the poem: I am tired of telling you lies.

Egon is a character in Ghost Busters, but also one of the poet’s lovers, one who left ringlets on the poet’s linoleum. The poet is so often making up absurd names for speculative cultural artifacts: she has a taste for westerns. She can’t be trusted because she has flights, goes off into her interior in which everything is corrupted by a habit of fancy. But to see the ringlets—the labor of love left for her—is to wake her up again, bring her back to reality or what someone in her lecture notes called “the petrified life.” There is some nonsense here. There is a hatred of the thesaurus. “The duty of the poet is to cheer up content providers and bore despots” is an allusion to Walt Whitman who wrote “The duty of the poet is to cheer up slaves and horrify despots.” Content providers are no more or less like slaves than anyone else. Despots remain despots. In this cosmology the despots are near to the natural men who assert their free expression over everything though the natural men are often only despots in miniature.

She keeps repeating herself. She keeps quoting country songs no one knows. She makes these technology references like Bluetooth and reference to things like streets and boulevards and maps and city planning like she has gone into a trance and come back as a global positioning system. But the streets are sexual because they are a place for display and Bluetooth is sexual because it allows people and their machines to hook up to one another. Don’t you understand anything? This is a poem about sex / this is a poem about work / this is a poem about information and the hollowed life.

 WORDS-LINKS: The recipe tonight. A spoonful of madness

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