Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Pretext" by Stephen Rodefer


Then I stand up on my hassock and say sing that.
It is not the business of POETRY to be anything.
When one day at last they come to storm your deluxe cubicle,
Only your pumice stone will remain.  The left trapezius for now
Is a little out of joint.  Little did they know you came with it.
When nature has entirely disappeared, we will find ourselves in Stuttgart.
Till then we're on the way.  The only way not to leave is to go.
The gods and scientists heap their shit on Buffalo and we're out there,
Scavenging plastic trees.  When nature has entirely disappeared,
We'll find ourselves in the steam garden.  Evening's metonym for another
Beady-eyed engineer with sexual ideas, who grew up eating animals.
Do you like the twelve tones of the western scale?  I prefer ninety.
I may work in a factory but I slide to the music of the spheres.
My job is quality control in the language lab, explaining what went
Wrong in Northampton after the Great Awakening.  So much was history.

My father is a sphinx and my mother's a nut.  I reject the glass.
But I've been shown the sheets of sentences and what he was
Really like remains more of a riddle than in the case of most humans.
So again I say rejoice, the man we're looking for
Is gone.  The past will continue, the surest way to advance,
But you still have to run to keep fear in the other side.
There is a little door at the back of the mouth fond of long names
Called the juvjula.  And pidgeon means business.  It carries
Messages.  The faces on the character parts are excellent.
In fact I'm having lunch with her next week.  Felix nupsit.
Why should it be so difficult to see the end if when it comes
It should be irrefutable.  Cabin life is incomplete.
But the waterbugs' mittens SHADOW the bright rocks below.
He has a resemblance in the upper face to the man who robbed you.
I am pleased to be here.  To my left is Philippa, who will be singing for me.

Source of the text - Rodefer, Stephen.  Call it thought: selected poems.  Manchester, England: Carcanet Press, 2008.

TJB: Disjunct footsie. Although each sentence could be the first line of a different text, the many modifiers imply something precedes each one.

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