Friday, June 22, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's, Part 24 (Cedar Sigo)

Selected Writings
Sigo, Cedar
Selected Writings

Sent as a review copy by the publisher, Ugly Duckling Press.

Cedar Sigo is an interesting name. Whenever I it, the name registers in my head as Caesar Diego. I guess that would qualify as a kind of spoonerism. It's like that old joke from Flip Wilson (remember him? well, that means you are old.)

It goes like this:

This is a story about a Roman. His name was Herman. His name was Roman Herman. The fad of the era was berries. People collected berries. They were a status symbol. One day, while Roman Herman was roaming the outskirts of Rome, he spied a berry. It was the most beautiful berry he had ever seen. He took the berry and brought it to his wife, who loved berries. She saw the berry. She praised it. She said "That's an awful nice berry you got there Herman!" Pretty soon, word got around about the berry. People came from all over Rome to see the berry, and to praise it. One night, there was a menacing knock on the door. It was late. Herman opened it. He said "Who are you?" They said "We've come for your berry." He says "It's not my berry, it's my wife's berry. Have you come to praise her berry?" They say, "No, we've come to seize her berry, not to praise it."

I can't imagine many TV watchers would actually get this joke now, as it would require both a level of common cultural knowledge and linguistic sophistication that is, ahem, less common among the TV watching audience.

Anyhow, I have never met Cedar Sigo. I have never heard him read. And yet I feel like our paths should have crossed at some point. Alas, they have not.

from Selected Writings

O Fantasma

I have to unbutton
Both sleeves then think of who
For my execution witness list

Who cares?  What is this
Pouring in?  These cakes of ice
I mind are sharp enough

So is the current so I only
Compose compose and compose
On a river less ancient than this

I own this temple
Its passages close
When I am not there

I stand outside
Of my dark past
And applaud for hours

I once rhymed “start”
To “start” and “Us” to “Us”
In the bath and everything

And I was with a razor
Fucking right back.  There is a last
Sentence coming over

The loud speaker,
“Before you leave place your
loved ones into the canon.”

I choose John Huston,
The Enchanted Flood, and Fun
In a Chinese Laundry

The closer to earth
The deeper the pink
And I am without my love

Thoughtfulness now
Behind a bruised mouth
And behind eyes, Why

Do you hold your
Lips that way?  Because
I know it looks adorable

To be sleepless and circling
A make-up counter
I recite the lines remembered

“Skeletons before a dried up spring”
“Black as the mirror is”
“Under my hand the pyramids arose”

Recite the lines
Let them die down
And into the ruins

I used to love this sweatshop...
At night I will return to be seen
The black pearl is set

Into my mouth so I die
With a jaw line like this,
Promise me.  It’s alright

To cut up the early work before.
It was politely romanticized
And never done to death.

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