Online Poetry Feature #2

[Editor's note: For National Poetry Month Lana Turner Online is presenting a series of poetry. Jackqueline Frost and Evan Kennedy's work here was first published together as a pamphlet last summer. DL.]

 

 

S t u d i e s  f o r  a  G e n e r a l  E c l i p s e

 

Jackqueline Frost 

 

Little Book (On the Eumenides)

 

 

 

De natura rationis est res sub quadam aeternitatis specie percipere.

[It is the essence of reason to perceive things under a certain form of eternity.]

Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

 

 

“Every culture is the terrible gush of its splendid outward forms.”

Lisa Robertson, Office for Soft Architecture

 

 

 

 

I   have   tended   in   no   quiet   way   the   prospect  of  fires. They  would

unburden  propriety    of  passage  from   all  fugitive territories. The portal

glitches  on  the  ground    here.   A  result  of  practice.   We  said   that  we

might  find  a  name  to  share  that  does not splinter within the cathexis of

the voice.

 

 

 

 

 

When we  say  labor.    When  we say  love.   When we say  liquidity.   This

opera  was  like  a  denial of all  things  in  heaven and  on earth, which one

could  disenchantedly  name.   Is  a  moan   meant  to   transfer   innocence.

We  may  cause  duress  in the attempt  to show,  may  ‘soften  statements’

concerning  atrocity—the  possibility of migrating   toward adoration’s tiny

freedom—that   is,   complicity  with    wonder-killing.    In   this,  we    are

penetrated    by   what  is  politically dead;  such  is  the scandal of content.

As spectacles do have a kind of  grace.  As  the  last  color to be named has

grace  on  the  floor of  a  cell.  As  all the  names  for  women suffer a grace

that is not like the sound of glass.

 

 

 

 

 

‘That a great distance separates us from our  goal  we  know;  that  we  are

in  danger  of  destruction  at  any  hour  of  the  day  and  night  we  know;

what  we  do  not  know  is  how  near  madness  we  are;  how  defenseless:

how  beset  we  are  with  what  we have heard,  what we had been taught—

this, especially, we  do  not  know.’ So  run  like  fire  from  terrible outward

forms, which  these  territories  hold   indistinguishable—where  emotion  is

economy  and  conduits  seduce,  and  the market makes all shadows bleed

charisma.  As  forms  experience  an  impasse that codes desire as impasse.

By impasse,  I  mean  symmetry.  And  by  symmetry,  I mean property. By

property,  I  mean  only  as  open  as  an  unlocked  house.   In  drugs    and

longing,    the body    gives under sublunary weight.  There are tiny bulbs to

give a room light,   like the first   word  of a  confession,   but they  never get

warm enough.

 

 

 

 

 

In this city only some have  places to  live through  everything  that comes

like night.  What  revelation  is  intended by words  themselves, when  one

holds up  their eviction  on fire  in the assembly   It's very hard to describe

but  I  want  to   tell  you   this  now.  I  am  braced  for   repression called

transparency  of  rhetoric.   Because  the  palpable  gulf   between  consent

and history is bridged  by  expectation—by  pleasure  as  deliverance.  We

forget that grammar  forges  agreements,  so  the underbelly is poisonous,

as when this field is folded back, obsolescing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In  this  chim-era,  there  is  miraculous  blood,  rivers  unclaimed  beneath

us,  and  shielded  women  running  like fire. The social  unsealed,  as  in a

line.  Leaky,  how could  it  not  be.   When  time  is weather,   the image  a

bureaucracy.  Terror  mounting   from  exposure  to   the  vogue  taste  for

scaffolding  and  static.  The  veneer  we’ve  called  it.  How  all  this begins

to melt  at  the  fraying of  verisimilitude alone.  We know  that Fate  is not

in excess, despite our patience, and our  nearness  to  plots  and  resources.

The  risks  our  bodies  take  to  be  in  proximity  elude  us. For this reason

we say the joy of crisis is pellucid, as all the eyes of martyrs are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So  persist  in  always  being  filled  with duende, its baptizing dark water,

‘since with  duende  it is  easier  to  love,  to understand,  and be certain of

being    loved,   and   being   understood,   and    this    struggle    for    the

communication   of    that    expression    sometimes    acquires    a    fatal

character.’ As all  their  headhunters  are among us, to make us museums

of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  The  language  of the  fortunate  describes  access to potencies

like  heaven.  As if one day a bond  wa s forged in the  lens.  It waxes into

us,  presenting  fortune  at  once   as  excess  and  as  clarity.  LUXE    ET

LUX.  To question   this  species    of   heliocentrism,   and   light’s   mass,

that is,  to doubt  the  world  and   how it’s understood, as some lion less

fierce  than  solitary,  consider the  Commune   as   eclipse,  suggesting  a

momentary  but  total  compromise  of  the ordinarily   irrevocable  space

of night. It’s   that   we’re   sick of  clarity,  and all  the  rotten manna that

have take to  this desert.  Because  the walls of  their  future cannot stand

forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To  eclipse  the   narrative of   eviction,   by   which   I mean the future—

that    is,   to   call    all    this   is    into   the    present,   as   phenomena

unfolding.  A practice.   There   will   be   no   women as women,        or

men as  men.  There  will   be   no   quiet  as  quiet,    or    fire    as    fire.

  No fear as fear, and no more days on earth.

 

 

 

 

 

Nocturne

 

 

 

        “undercover   agitators   persist  / alongside the wild /

I mean the tender wild   that /  consign death / and  other

things / of tha t ilk to  the past; /   doubtful   cerebrally -- /

that’s fine; but I’ve    found / it    crucial  to  stay /  hopeful

through my / remaining nerves / since I’ve been known /

to bloom / from the   peril /   I’ve taken / since   I’ve been

known / to thus create worth.”

 

                                                                            Evan Kennedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             I said  that  when  we  sleep  we are a little

pile of bones,   linked  in  the  continuum;  I  asked

how to  arrange  this  nocturne  in   pursuit  of  the

abolition of darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One   could   fabulate,  desperately,  a   sequence    for   crisis,   but     never

without  nostalgia’s  deceit. We   do   not   know   how  many people  built

barricades  to   defend   the  Commune or    marched   on the port, or how.

How   somewhere,   someone   has   explained   that   suddenly     you   are

draining   the   tanks   of  motorcycles  for molotovs, as   if the   present  in

someone’s past was  perceptibly   arriving. To  whom does one even say I

feel more alive than ever.

              ‘If we  had  a   keen  vision and  feeling   of   all   ordinary    human

life, it   would be   like   hearing the   grass grow and   the  squirrel’s   heart

beat,  and we should  die of  that   roar   which  lies   on  the other    side  of

silence.’    Attempting to  transfigure,    we   are   caught   in   the   folds   of

literature’s conspiracy. Feel it. How much it’s told you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May I not resemble the sybarite that  contains  my history.   History  is not

sucker   free.  So  speak  the  squatted  ensemble,   the  collection    running

from this bright and  vulgar   flood.  This  task ends  in a  mirror.   It is not

to amend, to pass, or polish, to bend or squander. It is communion.

 

     I demand  only  that  we  raise  the blameless dead—but  our   contracts

with the  axis of  the world  and all its  psychopomps   have been cancelled.

There is  only  ‘a  brief  loan that is  our  bodies,’  seeking  some  maneuver

whereby   one   might  cease   shift / borrow   shroud / enter   undiluted /

and lucidly beg a notion.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

To essay  for a  substance  and  not its   gesture.   Do we make a gilded   list.

The   contradictions  are  enabled  too    quickly—their  internal  circulation:

Of   Bad   Apples;  Of   Libraries   Destroyed;  The  Essence  of    Vandal;   Of

Collecting    Dumpsters    From  the   Street;   The   Vocative;    Of    Broken

Hands; Of  The  Agora;  Of the   Hood of  a   Mercedes,   Of Man  Slaughter;

The  Disposable   Texture  of   Narrative;  Of  Strike;   Of  Stealing   Shoes  in

 New  York    City;  The   Essence of   Squares;   Of   Brio   &  Joie;    Of   Life

During Property; Of Parousia.

               It   shapes   up  to a   palindrome,  as we course   back    again.  This

trust  in  representation,   or  its  desires,  has become  a sequencing  feature

of my  blood.  The   core-song   of  an   action   never    manifests   after    its

disturbance     into   language.     Only   its   scars   will   gossip,    wanting   a

waterbed of complete duration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We may not  be  able  to  resist  violating  each  other;  such  is  co-existence,

or   effort   and    its  logic.  Come   surveilled  by   birds   that   record    our

meetings. There   is some   drama   to be unbuttoned   between I and you. I

no   longer  believe  in   solitudes.  The one   who   taught   me as   a child to

sing of men’s  work  and  wars  endangered me.  Of getting  sleep and guns

endowed  me.  So  ‘being alive   while  you’re  alive  turns  out  to be a taller

order than  expected.’     In this way,  all things  adumbrate  what   we have

been     or could be.   With  the future  on its  paper back,    there are infinite

and instable  narrative   intentions—we   speak   falsely  if to say   that   the

scale  of  civil   war is   compromise, and   are too   filled by ‘the reactionary

darkness.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Tell  us,  what   is  the  facility   of   Judgment.     The turning    point in a

disease. Tell us if we're like   a rough   beast  slouching 'toward Bethlehem

to be born,’ Tell  us if  ‘a politician  is  the devil's  quilted anvil.’    And why

not take note of   each muffled  breach  laid  into a  covenant.    Tell   us  if

sins remain intact,  thru  the   devil’s rascality,   so labor is  its  fruit. Tell us.

The   subversion of  divine  justice  is not  simple:  it is the submission  of a

frail  theodicy,  called law,  r endered  as  an  object  of  Heaven's  superior

productivity.  ‘But  if the   existenc e of   violence   outside the law, as pure

immediate     violence,    is   assured,    this    furnishes     the    proof    that

revolutionary violence...is possible, and by what means.’

       Oh    the   decoy  wrists   of falconers.      Wounds    in   the   catch   are

prescriptive.    The  half   riot   gear   is  not   a   half   effect.  The  narrative

 establishes   its  life as  life   through  a    transposition  of  its night. All the

ancients  warn  us  thusly.   Would if we  could be, antididonia. That which

is given  against.   Under  these    auspices,   our   operation   relies   on the

reciprocity of  touch. I  want  you  close   enough  to  pick  my  pockets.  I

know it’s you, my friend, but my enemy may be listening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Scrappy in syntax,  the city has me,  where before I sought the  grace

of a  savage annotation, qua  plough,  qua sickling.   But the undersong is

discourseless—as  this knowing presupposes I’m a sucker for wonder, be

that brazen, and once    this has started,   you cannot   leave a   garden  to

welter in its physics.

 

       In   the   “mercy”   of  the   Metropolis  ‘tis  found  the   structures   of

transport—rising   out of an   unpeopled rift,   harbors  a drift that cannot

remain but to   exchange   vehicular class.   The   coincidence   of bodies is

inhibited    by the    removal   of      objects    like  love  from  the  possible

catastrophes of traffic.     Under the sign of Antigone,     we tell half-life to

go fuck   itself;    to alleviate   guilt’s split    corona  and as   such:  gentility,

quiescence or any lamb-like understanding.

 

            We will not be drowned under the color of sport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#disposition     towards    the    miraculous

#duende  #how   phenomena    appear   to

unfold  #core-strength  #occult  instability

where people dwell transfused w/ light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That which   refuses    figuration,   has the  allos—agora: the   non-site   of

assembly.  Place holding as technique. Balks at the   deliverance of   some

meaning as   it would the   any    other witch-hunt.   And in good   faith, I

cannot be clearer.  We waited for the moment in which our     conception

of time was changed.   Because the  messianic is passed us for    now,  we

are apostolic.

                Struggling    against       reification,   I  was rendered   dialectically

unstable. To be observed in partial reversal / in terror, as Apollo    whose

plague “moved like night.” We are as with the Eumenides, set against the

dawn of justice.   The limit of opacity.   The limit of contraction. When the

spirit    is in   motion    it cannot  be   represented,    except by motion.  To

circumscribe incommensurability, the SANS SOLEIL of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet  better  to be a    scarlet transference—of     rage itself.    Mourning is

detailed   enough,   it’s wingless convergences.   For those of us who still

exist  walk  through  our  own  shadow.   So long as I am living, to strive

is to bring myself to you.

 

 

 

                              These   are  my prayers.   Over them I

                              pour  libations.  Yours  to   adorn  with

                              laments.   To  make  them   bloom.   So

                              custom says. As we are, at most time’s

                              carcass.  SING OUT AND PRAISE THE

                              DEAD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Cyclist

Fourteen Stops Toward a San Franciscan Terra Firmament

 

Evan Kennedy

 

for Jackqueline Frost


 

 

 

 

III. Beat Pig on Folsom

do they look dirty or is the fog bad, this is what we ask in the city,

do they look dirty or are my eyes remote.

 

there is a throbbing from areas on me I earlier considered detritus,

and it’s mighty of us to still put up with this country.

 

            I ask my piggy pal isn’t paradise vicious,

            I ask my doggy pal isn’t our sweat a bit thicker and that of other fluids too and isn’t it good

            for our native country we’re degenerate.

 

we have a rich name that marks the center of a victory, however peripheral; what I mean here is we’ve the opportunity for gentility

amidst gestures of others’ cruelty imposed onto us,           and a degree of literacy for the shorthand of sensation that is this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV.

                                                vibrations of color, citations toward joy,

                                                which bodies are chosen to paradise –

                                                                                   

                                                and from then on a suitable place beyond these bounds

                                                but still cyclable within these bounds;

 

                                                aligning myself, I mention those who precede me

                                                to inherit their troubles toward that fugitive territory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


VI.

            what is a good age to address them for forging an affection to eliminate

            the positively criminal activity suppressing our more tender valves of sensation,

            a good age to demand that there should be a city accessible only by bicycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


IX.

                                                                                    undercover agitators persist

                                                                                    alongside the wild,

                                                                                    I mean the tender wild that

                                                                                    consign death

                                                                                    and other things

                                                                                    of that ilk to the past;

 

                                                                                    doubtful cerebrally –

                                                                                    that’s fine; but I’ve found

                                                                                    it crucial to stay

                                                                                    hopeful through my

                                                                                    remaining nerves

 

                                                                                    since I’ve been known

                                                                                    to bloom

                                                                                    from the peril

                                                                                    I’ve taken;

                                                                                    since I’ve been known

                                                                                    to thus create worth.              

 

 

XIV. Cantico Del Sole

Francis called the fog God’s creature

from fear and amity. Fire could speak

to me about how your kicks tried stamping

it out but I still wouldn’t know you

from Francis or those dead to law.

I am on a bicycle lowly yet manifold

in dimness. Francis called the dirt God’s

creature from tears and fealty. Beer bust

dances, the classics widely read,

our confraternity edged by death decades

ago in this town named after Francis,

from whom I don’t know you but harbor

promise. Francis called the wind

God’s creature from slyness and solace.

He sang through the state in the ’80s,

always an active river at his back. Fish could

speak to me about how your eager bonhomie

addressed the presence of their lives, but

I still wouldn’t know you from Francis,

those dead to law, or even the black bloc.

Francis called the moon God’s creature

though in shock and hunger. Facing ridicule

and wonder, he sang through town

and was mugged when mistaken

for a troubadour. It’s true that more poets

could speak to me about how your sounded

name soothes the sensations within

my dominion, but I still wouldn’t know you

from Francis, those dead to law, the black

bloc, or any of his other resemblances.

Francis called the sun God’s creature from

love, and the promise that his likenesses

would adopt this eponymous town.

 

 


 

 

 

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