Friday, March 2, 2007

Free-Range Dust

In now over 50 years of university teaching I've
mainly hammered away at cultivating Negative Capability
(allow complexity, resist fanaticism).

I mention this in a poetry blog because a stance
against fascistic modes of thought leads to a desire
that poetry be allowed to free-range beyond
the terror of imprisoning categories.

My manifesto asserts that every true poem is
an experiment, and I say down with procrustean

There's a sort of poem-work I do which is more
playful, more casual than most of my productions;
at times I think of it as channeled by my
heteronym "Zayre Kaserla" (pronounced like
the country Zaire).

Here. for an example, is a recent Kaserla
which happens to center on the
anti-Procrustean theme.


"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,"
but what does this mean?

That we wall off the ashes from the dust? --
for why?

Why all this need for fierce tidiness? --
because we've reached the messy end-times?

messy, messy, and some in denial
who wish to keep brains with the brains, hair

with hair? I myself would never complain
if your ashes happened to mix with my dust

but maybe that's me, maybe millions out there
keep watch on the ashes and dust each morning,

uh-oh, somebody's mixed in some ashes
and ruined our once-pure dust, we're stuck

with all this mucked up dust, not to mention
there's also dust in the ashes now

and you can't recycle commingled stuff,
gotta drive all the way to the dump.



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