Thursday, March 22, 2007


Mr Cogito Studies His Face in the Mirror

Who wrote our faces chicken pox for sure
marking its o's with a calligraphic pen
but who bestowed on me my double chin
what glutton was it when my whole soul
yearned for austerity why are my eyes
set so closely together it was him not me
waiting in the scrub for the Vened invasion
the ears that protrude two fleshy seashells
no doubt left me by an ancestor who strained for an echo
of the thunderous march of mammoths across the steppes

the forehead not too high it doesn't think very much
—women gold land don't get knocked off your horse
a prince did their thinking for them and a wind bore them along
they tore at walls with their bare fingers and with a sudden cry
fell into the void only to return in me

but didn't I go shopping in art salons
for powders potions masks
the cosmetics of nobility
I held marble up to my eyes Veronese's greens
I rubbed my ears with Mozart
I trained my nostrils on the musk of old books

in the mirror the face I inherited
a sack of old meats fermenting
medieval cravings and sins
paleolithic hunger and terror
an apple falls not far from the tree
the body is locked into the chain of species

that's how I lost the tournament with my face

--Zbigniew Herbert
Do you like the gooey little brain-hats Mr. Cogito is wearing, accented with giant feathers? I thought they were appropriate. The boots I designed especially for him also, tailoring them for his sack-of-old-meats needs. No doubt we could have celebrated Zbigniew as long as anyone--it is obvious to me that his body of work is badly in need of my tender intellectual ministrations. However, since our TOTAL CHAOS FOREVERMONTH has begun and there is no turning back now, he must be content with intermittent attention.

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