Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Clouds of Magellan

Ten excerpts from “The Clouds of Magellan (Aphorisms of Mr. Canon Aspirin)” by Norman Dubie:

The four terrific agents of movement are earth, air, metaphor, and water.

Job suffered from having two prime suspects. Nietzsche was of unsound mind and obedient to the point of rebellion. Samuel Beckett, the most elegant of them all, couldn’t phrase the indictment. The only successful prosecution of God was conducted during the war years by Emily Dickinson of Amherst, Massachusetts. She was not seeking a higher office.

Immediately after war, people have little tolerance for symbols.

Trilogy and Four Quartets are great poems. But if they were boats, they would not have carried a single living soul back from Dunkirk.

That lovely Auden wore bedroom slippers on the subway.

Auden mused that the unreal was unanswerable or just absurd. But he conceded that a poem must be more interesting than anything anyone might say about it.

When Orson Welles made his first wine commercial, I realized Falstaff would have found our country cruel and intolerable.

The last evening of the Empire is devoted to gossip, not poetry.

The Sioux buried their dead in the sky? This too was realism.

Both of these men [Proust and Joyce] are sacred and dead. They fucked with time, is their epitaph.
These are from a 35-page prose poem and I have taken them horribly out of context. Forgive me. They were delicious / so sweet / and so cold.

2 comments:

ablevins said...

Shit. There's a poem, Robert. That is good.

Adrian

Robert said...

Hey, Adrian, what are you doing here? Welcome!