Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Aimless Reading: The C's, Part 33 (Clark Coolidge)


Odes of Roba
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Coolidge, Clark
Odes of Roba


Purchased at the now defunct remaindered bookstore in Sarasota, FL, most likely in 1997, possibly 1998, but most likely 1997. I have a distinct and clear memory of having used this book to generate poems at some point. My memory is of having taken one or several of them and reverse engineered the text so that it said the opposite of the original, while retaining the rhythm. This was an exercise I used to perform quite often, and for a time it was useful for generating a text to work with in order to write. Eventually I discovered I preferred writing to generating text and stopped performing that exercise. Looking over it now, I can't remember which poems I used or which of my own might have been generated from this exercise. I am quite sure, however, that I did this. Really. Quite. Sure.

Here's one of Coolidge's:

Uccello's Battle in Aspic

An ant has landed in the distance, as I try
to realize the swords as bumbershoots fallen
tracked around under the horses placed, and beneath
there are giant cracks in lace. The hook cap of a cat
left into crystal of wool. Seeing a matter of
oranges raised, pole-braided into instrument of throng.
Nobody's flag catches into pages marbled of an end.
I throw throats, howls the one in bath cap, but the
shower is raisin and he clicks on lit glass, a shard
map of pink of blood and the berry stillness. No one
looks beyond all this, and I only get to see it
tiny from away where I am.

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