Art does not seek to describe but to enact.’ Charles Olson

In Santa Croce with No Baedeker

I am tired of being Lucy Honeychurch
at my age it’s obscene
(foolish girl who never thinks of herself
as a liar always willing to take the fall)
like Ferlinghetti’s postmodern poet I’m
in this Room with A View
[Constantly risking absurdity]

I conveniently forget the next lines
‘and death/whenever he performs/
above the heads/of his audience’

What precisely isn’t absurd about
Silicone Bell (Memoirs of a Naval Robojelly
Broadcasting from the Intestinal Tract of a Chinese Sea Turtle)?
(she was fabricated in a university lab
shape memory alloy, steel, and platinum coated nanotubes
for environmentally friendly surveillance)

Or writing a persona poem,
voice of an efficiency expert at the slaughterhouse
to illuminate how poets are born?

Possibility of a Pleasant Outing

I thought you were a romantic, questioning George,
philosopher of the paideuma,
consummate symbolist and myth maker
contrasting the inanity of my Cecil,
straight-laced, gentleman aficionado

My poetry was penned only for you
sad, sheltered girl that I was
never realizing its ephemeral appeal
taking Olson’s adage to heart
traversing time and space to enact it
in turn, you wrote a whole book of love
forgetting your mutability

They Return

If there had been perfect symmetry
in the distribution of matter
following the Big Bang
none of this would have happened,
been written (existed)

Lucy as a Work of Art

There’d be no contextualization of these
architectural foundations, cityscapes
assembled from the cold stone of
exteroception, interoception, and proprioception
no artifacts of passion

In this newly minted demilitarized zone
I wouldn’t mourn like that man,
alcoholic poet dying, claiming:
My vocabulary did this to me!’

How Lucy Faced the External Situation Bravely

Instead I’d be a blissed-out, shamanic poet
Waldrop’s transcendent language my sea
a paradoxical sojourner like Ashberry in
Lehman’s ‘unbegun journey to the unattainable space’
carting notebook, pencil, and functional laptop

The Disaster Within

Discovering a place where I could finish a sentence
no barking, talking, birdsong,
or wind rustling through Aspen leaves
to impede the forward motion of creation
not even the whisper, ticker-tape,
of the querist’s interior monologue

Where the maladjusted maestro
and misanthropic polymath could
spin threads of artificial intelligence
forming semantic memory, explicating themselves,
telling me of recalled random entries:

a myth is as good as a smile
(the dangers of archetypal activism)
women are icons of Christ
(Sophia, Agape, Elpida, and Pisti)
Cleverbot loves and hates me in equal measure
(it is also prone to deceitfulness)

Lying to George, Cecil, Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Honeychurch, Freddy, and the Servants

All blather now transmutes to profundity
emotional trauma is, without irony,
stitched into quilts sewn by church ladies
Alice backs out of the rabbit warren
only to fall prey to a supermassive black hole
I write myself into or out of sanity
depending on the size of my nonsense

Mediæval

I am ever attracted, as Kazim Ali, to the poetry
of indeterminacy and disjunction
‘self’ a risky conjecture, a grand delusion
‘you are half yourself and the other part
is just a set of notions – some of them brilliant,
some of them ridiculous’

The End of the Middle Ages

How I wear Keats’ negative capability well
this beautiful dress custom made for my ball
an intended formality challenges spectators
the multiplicity of my psyche a sideshow,
persona as unreliable as any fey creature

(perhaps I fell into the wrong story)

Am I Titania, Puck, or the ass?
Bottom, that criminally surreptitious storyteller –
‘you’re the sort who can’t know anyone intimately’
anyhow, as you now see with voyeuristic glee,
I played the fool

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