The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

November 1, 2009

"zany whichs which"

architecture whichcond whichperforming which
there's whichtform which whichiscussion whichhoreography whichstration.
but whichu whichn whichlatform, whichenerate whichcle whichenergy.
only whicherson whichit whiche whichorm whichtime.
there's whichom whichwo whiche whicht whiche whichorm whichher.
above whichlatform which whicheveral whichng which.
these which whichnue whichtter whichelse whichppening.
but whichre whichf which whichyou're whiche whichorm.
when whiche whichg whichtion whiche whichorm.
when whiche whichg whichtion whiche whichities whiche whichorm.
you whichit whichabout whichere whichheres whichher whichts.
almost whichf whichspew whichnterfere whichvision, whichent, which.
for whichan whichmove whichsitting whichanding.
and whichyou whichitting whichre whichng whichrancing.
your whichr which whichr which.
your whichr whichided whichfrenzy which whicht.
frenzy whichpews which whichfere whichserious whichstration which.
which do which which jenniwhich swhich twhich is which porwhich command?
which do which swhich hwhich which lwhich twhich mwhich moilwhich liwhic
which do which which descrwhich my problems?
which which which promwhich newhich fulfilled?
which wowhich anywhich cwhich if anywhich ewhich beliewhich which swhich
which which twhich perwhich of disorganisatwhich which violewhich folwhi
which awhich afrwhich of dywhich wantwhich to die?
which a litwhich curtwhich of flwhich on which which of which desire?
which which which extremitwhich of which physiwhich bwhich so curtailwhi
which hawhich anywhich thouwhich of twhich before
which which which which afrwhich to lwhich iwhich twhich termiwhich wwhi
which do which which twhich I shoulwhich Iwhich afrwhich to swhich ywhic
which do which which that?
which do which thwhich which addrwhich is which perswhich twhich twhich
which awhich nwhich which which of which humwhich ratwhich twhich nwhich
which dowhich which which fiwhich thwhich twhich cowhich iwhich which he
which which fwhich of which rewhich
which flowwhich owhich in which summwhich
which havwhich which which which whwhich porcelwhich alwhich to nwhich
which dowhich shwhich wwhich which Serwhich is down?
which do which which thwhich which wowhich of mwhich descriptions?
which which we readwhich thwhich lists?
which dwhich wrwhich thwhich thinwhich
which an Ewhich a whirlpwhich fiewhich to dwhich creatiwhich in?
which a bwhich on twhich topwhich
which which shatwhich ywhich lwhich which which lwhich of ywhich friends
which do which thwhich lwhich in twhich fwhich is ewhich wowhich living?
which dowhich hwhich nightmawhich wwhich which Termiwhich refuwhich whic
which I Cwhich Wrwhich Lwhich I Uwhich To
which which Pwhich Lwhich Wwhich Lose
which which Rwhich Riwhich Wwhich Win
which I lwhich which Fisher
which which Eyelwhich stwhich wwhich arrwhich rewhich drawn,
which a Tonwhich imprewhich wwhich howhich fwhich evwhich wind?
which do which which witwhich which pwhich which monwhich or so?
which which thwhich repetitwhich rituwhich wwhich well-defiwhich sequenc
which dwhich which oh plewhich do finwhich yourself.
which hwhich we gwhich which bowhich
which morphwhich is which alwwhich a gwhich idea:
which do which trembwhich alwwhich starwhich at which fwhich of death?
which is speakwhich so importawhich powhich so assumwhich here?
which do which spwhich iwhich whiswhich to me?
which dowhich chatwhich on which on?
which dowhich inswhich on communitiwhich on which genuine?
which which I masturbwhich in frwhich ofwhich wwhich which dawhich which
which mwhich which sufwhich in which guwhich of protocol?
which dowhich tremwhich in which vicinwhich of which terminal?
which dowhich contiwhich in twhich fashion?
which which swhich which which kwhich yourself?
which wowhich I possiwhich understwhich which wwhich which canwhich unde
which do which thwhich which ofwhich understawhich wwhich which otwhich
which a Nostwhich wwhich inhalwhich terrwhich trembliwhich & affright?
which awhich liviwhich instwhich of non-living?
which iswhich thwhich instwhich of nothing?
which is twhich of interewhich
which do twhich hwhich towhich embellished?
which dwhich anywhich hwhich to beliwhich anything?
which mwhich which respwhich so briefly?
which do which hwhich to brwhich twhich stwhich up?
which dowhich contiwhich to which which which afwhich dwhich niwhich afw
which which which afrwhich to lwhich iwhich a mirrwhich closwhich ywhich
which dowhich hwhich to which which attentwhich to them?
which is which _gawhich so persistewhich in which absenwhich in twhich s
which wowhich anywhich wwhich to sacrifwhich anything?
which dowhich belwhich to which legiwhich of which false?
which nwhich Parmenidwhich swhich Socrates.
which do which which owhich drwhich which which eawhich elp?
which which fwhich of wowhich alwwhich resuwhich in which swhich which s
which ifwhich which lonewhich which we which conjoined?
which awhich twhich configuratwhich of mattwhich ratwhich twhich another
which itwhich my gwhich friend
which itwhich my gwhich friewhich which Tip!
which do which which which which frightewhich by something?
which do which which which hwhich no hobbiwhich
which do which which which miwhich wwhich to wrwhich evwhich creature?
which do which which which wwhich do twhich which me?
which awhich so roundwhich
Wwhich which whithwhich which hwhich
which which so mwhich bwhich which giwhich which erewhich
which a tenwhich cwhich uwhich which youthwhich burnwhich boy?
which do which dwwhich uwhich ywhich family.
which Nikwhich which Awhich which Owhich Neitwhich Surmouwhich which Oth
which which we brokwhich which we brokwhich wwhich desiwhich which unlea
which do almwhich which organiwhich religiwhich hwhich sacwhich places?
which is twhich Smwhich Priwhich statemwhich hewhich  which knwhich lawy
which showhich we which prodwhich somewhich which shwhich be lwhich of w
which do gwhich nwhich propitiations?
Wwhich which which twhich is downriwhich monarchicwhich iswhich not?
Wwhich my dewhich twhich is which vwhich symwhich of nobility!
which in twhich ordwhich aswhich Nikuwhich
which which we lonewhich isolatwhich marwhich by fwhich which desperatio
which _muwhich which artwhich asswhich which arrogawhich of eterniwhich
which which which demographwhich currenwhich so skewhich to males?
which We Lwhich Geowhich Bush
which dwhich no which ewhich hwhich which criwhich which pain?
which do which which my lovwhich face?


beautiful evammusik

pump organ music which makes me smile
and takes me somewhere beyond my own troubles
into a beautiful and deep realm
  where all things are possible
  where all things are possible

A terrible poem and better meaning

written when I was maybe seventeen
when I should have known better.
you see, the core of the poem says something
trying to break out, but doomed by the misery
of bad writing, bad teaching,
living far too long in my head (my head went nowhere)
(I went nowhere)
(I was too scared to go)
(nowhere was scarier):


on returning from abroad: the omens

Two nights ago, the moon grew red,
  shimmering like the surface of dark wine; [which doesn't]
And just last night a brilliant star
  slashed the sky in quiet smoke, [meteors don't make noise]
  disappearing in the Western Sea; [Mediterranean sublimated]
Soon after that, I saw a jackel. [for real]
Tomorrow I leave this land.

There are no omens in America,
  no strange stones, nor priests
  robed deep in black, square hats. [of course not; hats aren't robes]

In these omens, I am sure, the meaning
  to be found is not a certain death, [death is always certain]
  nor that Rome shall totter beneath
  the crazed and royal actions of Caligula, [good grief!]
  he of the jeweled teeth, the gnawing

The meaning, instead, is just within the omens - [core of something here]
  the omens, the meaning

(And for this, I shall travel to many a distant land [here we go!]
  crawling to death in the pampas, [difficult to do]
  great golden spiders glittering about me - [actually the Everglades]
  crawling into stone's throw, spear's thrust
  of the mad Jiwaro, [who are as sane as any of us!]
  and walking the streets of my native city, [bad Ginsberg imitation]
  exchanging many things with total strangers, [STDs?]
  waiting for their omens, their meanings, and
  dying, god knows where, in some white bed.)

[monosyllabic Ginsberg Sunflower Sutra ending. What's good here is the
idea of a _chain of omens,_ each foretelling others - an endless chain -
in which meaning is found in permanent deferral. That incipient decon-
struction/ism appears later on the series, now lost. Even today, I
anxiously await signs and omens, knowing full well they'll only lead,
uselessly, to others: a world of deferred omens, announcing nothing but
themselves, predicting nothing but themselves. And there's comfort in
that, however cold: meaning is there - it just has nothing whatsoever to
do with us, but we sense a glimmer of unassimilable alterity in its
presence. Or its hoped-for presence: otherwise, there's nothing, nothing
at all, and we might as well die alone, as we always do, in some white

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