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MochaMike

MochaMike

Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Mating
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
Altazor (Wesleyan Poetry Series) - Vicente Huidobro, Eliot Weinberger

I’m way out of my league on this one—out of my element, like the narrator—Icarus/Major Tom with Ground Control unavailable—free-falling through images of space earth the sea musical instrumentarians mills of numerous –ations (pages’ worth) aaaaaeeahoh. Written and revised over a span of about 12 years, this poem embodies the voice of a post-WWI mentality taking wing on the prospect of aeronautics.

From the Introduction by the translator—the incredible Eliot Weinberger:

Alto, high, azor hawk. Or is it an anagram for Alastor Shelley’s long poem of a “youth of uncorrupted feelings and adventurous genius led forth by an imagination inflamed and purified through familiarity with all that is excellent and majestic, to the contemplation of the universe”? Shelley’s Romantic poet-hero, first at peace with the “infinite and unmeasured” grows dissatisfied with eternity, and in the end is literally consumed, killed, by desire for the Other he has invented in his total solitude. In contrast, Huidobro’s Nietzschean anti-poet/hero abandons his Other … to reach satori in the pure energy of language.
From the text of Altazor:
The four cardinal points are three: South and North.
Or if you prefer something longer:
He who weeps will be blind
Blind as the comet that travels with its staff
And its mist of souls that follow it
Instinctively obedient to its wishes
Never minding the meteoroids that pelt from afar
And live in colonies according to the seasons
The insolent meteoroid crosses the sky
The meteorjoid the meteortoid
The meteorvoids in the infinite
The meteornoid in a glance
Aviator be careful with the stars
Careful with the dawn
Lest the aeronaut become a sunicide
The sky has never had as many roads as this
Never has it been so treacherous
An errant star brings me greetings from a friend ten years dead
Hurry up hurry up
Planets are ripening in the planetary
My eyes have seen the root of all birds
Beyond the beyond of waterlilies
And before the before of butterflies
Do you hear the sound that mandolins make when dying?
I am lost
There’s nothing left but capitulation
To the war without quarter
And the nightly ambush of the stars
Then, again, maybe brief was the way to go:
Tell me—are you the son of the Fisher King?
Or the grandson of a stork with a stutter!
I was, perhaps, hasty with my recommendations on this one. I liked it. You might. But it’s not, I think, one for everyone.