Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Four Questions of Melancholy
Given to me by the publisher in anticipation of a reading by the author in Buffalo in, I think, 2004 or 5.
I don't remember much about this visit. I remember picking Šalamun up at the airport and driving him to his hotel, but my memory of our conversations is very vague. I think he was living in Berlin at the time on some kind of residency. He read in the Hibiscus Room at Just Buffalo's old location in the Tri-Main Center. It was a pretty well-attended reading.
Beyond that, my mind is drawing a blank.
I remember Ethan Paquin being very excited that we were bringing him into read.
I remember being surprised he was friends with some of the language poets, not seeing much of an aesthetic kinship between their work.
And that's about all.
from The Four Questions of Melancholy
Lord, how I rise
how strong I am, terrible and wise
how I undress, peel and migrate
it's done by you god, I kill
there are flowers in the garden, the air walks into my mouth
there are butterflies in the desert, meat in mothers
if I put a watch around my wrist, I jubilate
drums, drums, steam flows, pours
blissful fuck sovereign, your food is ours
peach trees, bodies, mountains, smoke
the dead, their skin, necklaces
I pluck golden teeth, sell them for bread
angels stand up from the sea, cherubim flutter
my verses are like splitting rocks
crushing jaws and shouting, let me eat lord
let me be your supreme law all the way to the end.