Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lorine Niedecker Cento

LORETTA HASKELL (Word Count: 335)
“Dark road home
The Congress away from home
My cement abutments
Even for death
O to be home to sail the flood.
By religion—slow in any case
So well loved
His holy
Black sand
Peaks “tossed about
Like the crust
Of a broken pie”
The will of God?
The moss green Morris Chair
Often nothing to do
Now Pa, I’ve just cleaned.
I divined this comedy, Dante, before I went in.
We sink to water Death
Where the arrows
And serious—
See it explained—
A man
Once was stone
In every part of every living thing.
Beauty: impurities in the rock
Radisson: a laborinth of pleasure
Iron the common element of earth.
Penetrating?—if you mean
The power of breathing (Epictetus)
A sense
What was her name
After Byron, Shelley
I knew a clean man.
No war
Down here along the road
Some float off on chocolate bars.
Alcoholic dream
Flavored with bacon
I plumbed for principles
I melt the houses
With his rowboat’s 10-horse
In the night.
Property is poverty—
To weep
And condense
Frog rattle—
My life is hung up
Raised up
Space shot off
Always north of him
I’m in
Its Spanish story
Education, kindness
Now chintz at the window.
‘Revolutionary palingenesis’
Trees’ bloom with snow—
Comets you say shoot from nothing?
After storm shall we speak of love?
Quivering toward light:
Ten dead ducks’ feathers
Cars out rolling thru the country
With sheets so white it hurts the eyes. Nightgown,
A weedy speech,
I rose from marsh mud,
Where my mother was
Along the river
The trees where you pass
And now I’m on second floor.
A man works in two shops—
Nearly landless and on the way to water
The efforts of a life
The elegant office girl
A smooth blonde cool
Men are tender with women
She’s felt the prongs of her own advance.
Kept hotel till it burned,
A working man appeared in the street
Just before she died.”

Works cited:
Niedecker, Lorine. Collected Works. Ed. Jenny Penberthy. Berkley: University of California Press, 2002.

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