Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Clawfoot Bathes the Baby: Installment the Third: Can You See the Pictures?


Tricia said...

I went ahead and reposted--it should work now. Let me know if it doesn't. Anonymous, I'll repost your comments below.

Anonymous said...


Annie Proulx, expert at depicting
Obtuse obnoxiousness in the male,
(She went to high school here in Portland),
Had an old man answer his daughter-in-law’s
Eventual call to supper: “Ready
As a dog with two dicks!” But I cribbed
The saga of the Innocent Bride, Tricia,
From a Turkish novel by O.Z. Livaneli
(Equal if not superior, in my view
To Orhan Pomuk, but who cares?
Who reads?) called BLISS, in which

A cousin sets forth to assassinate the niece
Raped (defiled, they'd say) by her uncle,
His father, the narrative a level-headed
And relentless scrutiny of fanatic
Fundamentalist stupidity saddled
With the burdens of mere humanity,
Girlhood (she was fourteen)
And intuitive masculinist cruelty.
Is anonymous smut a remedy, promoting
Immersion in the kindly wilds
In the human comedy? It sure beats

Murderous puritanic hypocrisy.
Pan, that filthy can-chewing goat, chased
Nymphs into trees, but never raped them.
That was accomplished by Apollo.
Be sure to vote in today’s election
And give the Passamaquoddies
The right to play the stock market
And calculate their actuarial advantages
Over muddling American pocketbooks
And wallets. Quit regulating vagaries of vice
Out of fear and cosseted sentimentality.

[With regards to installment three,
I don't see nothing, Tricia.
You better muzzle that clawfoot
Tub! She's licking that little
Dino baby too clean!]

Anonymous said...


Weary to the bone is a metonymy,
A hyperbole for bored uncertainty,
Itself a dither, a psychological mask
That probably hides a faint,
Inchoate, but constant and infantile
Craving for pleasure and its less
Material corollary, maternal approval:
In plain words, mother me,
Play with me, and adore me!
I promise I won’t indulge anymore
In anonymous smut and the ribaldry

I love, the roar which emerges
From earth and the heart’s core
(A triumph of truth, a tautology!),
My face suddenly un-convulsed
In a cunt’s fat smile and laughter,
A gladness that wipes away
Villages of tenderness and grace,
Centuries of delicate elegance
And enlightened politeness
And humility, truth a pandemonium
Contemptuous of triumph and stability.

Anonymous said...

Tricia! That's perfect. But I knew
Your Grandpa was a cannibal!
All Grandpas are cannibals,
Which is why in every photograph from Atlanta,
Elyse is wiggling like mad to get away!
Oh my, so proud of being awful!
My Grandpa loved to rub his freezing,
Unshaven toothbrush of a cheek
Against my soft warm one, smelling
Generally of whiskey, coffee, coal ashes
And his freshly starched shirt,
Home from making sure his furnaces

Were lit so the "neighbors" (socialist parlance
For tenants)had hot water, and so the phone
Didn't start ringing off the hook
And my grandmother, in her tiny galley
Of kitchen--in his cut-out cast-off shoes
Due to gout and bunions--didn't start clucking
In Russian (her children, my father and uncles,
Knew Yiddish) as if an aggravated hen.
I say Grandpa and grandmother,
But this was Bobie and Zadie Rosen,
And I, sadly enough, am simply
Grandpa, not one of them.

Tricia said...

Bobie and Zadie--how extremely alluring!

Anonymous said...


Alluring?! Me? Them? Terrible Max,
And poor little Sarah? That’s not the point
Of being a smut-juggler, Tricia, nor a cannibal,
But I was wondering, do the Irish,
With the passage of generations and the famine
Behind them, use Worcestershire Sauce
On their bathwater marinated clumps of hair,
Or just in the case of the English? Or was that,
Tricia, another coy and inverted Delilah-like ploy?
Barkus is willing, but Samson is vulnerable,
And a fool for women, un-alluring ugliness of mouth
And demeanor notwithstanding. Should have seen me
At the pool arranging for stroke-coaching
With Jasmina, “Jazzy” as she'd prefer we say,
With a butt on her that would have made both Rand

And McNally equally dizzy. My goals
Were strength and speed, I told her, being weak,
Slow and in need. Jazzy, blonde as a sunrise
On the north pole, was undaunted, and didn’t disclose
Her last name, but her blue eyes twinkled
And she waved farewell as I departed the pool,
And chirped at me sweetly, “Don't forget
To sign up for your stroke instruction!”
Always helpful, and never a case
Of carrying coal to Newcastle. King Solomon,
Thought Yeats, grew wise from talking
To his wives. Everything Anonymous does is an appeal
For female education. Thanks, anyhow,
For commenting on my comment.
It’s getting dark out here, and cold.

Tricia said...

Education, you say! But where, precisely, is your education deficient?

Anonymous said...

Ah, Tricia--
Look in your mirror!
Tell me you never
Consider yourself
An infinite

Learning curve
With soft shoulders,
Porcelain at higher
And in winter.

Anonymous said...

An addendum: remember Stevens’
Cheeky concern for the ocean’s
Verbosity, the indifference
To us of infinity, of which there’s none,
It being the domain of Satan, all
Flight interim, even
For an albatross, but it’s flight,
So I ask you again, what
Is the modernist idiom
And a Tricia’s alternative
(Atrocious, by the way,
Is my favorite word
In the mouth of a woman,

Better than prisms and prunes),
But according to your stars
And residual innermost sextant,
What is the compass of truth and desire’s
Magnetic north, the empirical
VQR (reinvigorated, I hear, by cash
And the senescence of Gregory Orr),
Or the glittering abyss
Behind the ice cream cakes
Of Hostess Trish and the emperor
Of pleasure’s ignis fatuus,
Which inspires and lubricates
So much invention? Last I saw

Glenoway was extolling
Paul Muldoon, that jolly ass,
Along with that alp of towering
Tedium, Tom Sleigh. But suddenly,
In the gap between Gog and Magog,
The opening of the lips to all
And actual granite rocks on the plains
Of Galilee, close enough
To glare at each other, I see
That there’s no answer to a question
Created from words and reality,
No answer to a reality
Created by a question.

Tricia said...

You shouldn't trouble yourself about my definition of anything, probably, being as how I am an uneducated eccentric. Or are you perhaps wondering about the particulars of my own highly-hidden poetic idiom? HINT: Tons of exclamation points, sometimes as many as two in a single poem.

P.S. Genoways, not Glenoway!

Anonymous said...

Listen here, Miss Sharp As A Needle
And evasive as Marianne Moore--
An orange, according to Francis Ponge,
Resembles a sponge, in that both
Get aggressively squeezed,
Yet where one effortlessly yields its juice
And recovers, the other never does--
Was fascinated by the fact
That her name meant black (I'm talking
About Irish politics), hence
Her fascination with the name Melancthon,
Which means melancholy person. Philip

Melancthon was an associate of Martin Luther,
And thought to be the last person known
To the suffer the actual acquaintance
Of Dr. Johannes Faustus before consumed
By the smoke of myth and ideological
Convenience, he whose science enabled him
To trade his soul, above all, for one
Of Helen of Troy's boiled kisses. Helen
Means fire and Greek, of course--and I
Who know all this, barely graduated college,
Would have been swallowed by Viet Nam if not
For four desultory professors--none of them friends--

Late at turning in their grades, failures
In my case, and an irate lady registrar
Who blindly gave me four B's. For most of my life
I couldn't read most things, nor understand,
And suddenly my panicked ego relaxed
Into a colander happily draining the pasta
That passes for poetry and an educated intelligence
And my brain filled with starlight, lovely
Though worth nothing on Ebay. Meanwhile
What enormous fun, to write you poem after poem
(Spaghetti, macaroni) on the nonce, and I
Have learned so much, because you are imaginary.

[The other colander head I know was Don Quixote,
And I love the fact that after losing an arm
At Lepanto and languishing in an Austrian pokey,
Cervantes made a come-back by forcing himself
To write bleakly and politely. Anyhow
I have to briefly contribute to a reading tomorrow
At the Maine Historical Society for Longfellow's
200th Birthday--and so, notable but anonymous,
I wrote a poem for the occasion, The Lonesome Albatross,
I'll share if you'd like, a riff on the soul
Being lonely flies, so germane to that extent,
And after 35 years, I've rediscovered
Bob Dylan, whose my age, and other germane things,
Though he's more dignified. "Lay Lady Lay"
Always embarrassed me because it came from him.]

Okay, Hostess T.,
C'est mois, i.e., me.

Tricia said...

I agree with you, I am imaginary, and it is enormous fun. I wrote an albatross poem when I was nine, but I don't remember much of it, so I would be pleased to hear yours.

Anonymous said...


Go to the crossroads, Ferocity, and you too,
Luck, Cunning and Greed–-or is it Need?–-
For the nexus of poetry and celebrity,
And for Hiawatha’s tomb. Behold a juke joint,
A public arena, and a little, overgrown
Cemetery-–not so little, really.
Remember the billions of ambitions
Stillborn or thwarted from lack of your help,
Or too much sincerity and humility,
Our myriad mute and naive Miltons,
Our hungry sheep who look up, up,
But are not fed! Well, the grass

Is under your chins, muttons.
Nibble what you can before it grows
Out of an eyeball and over your nose.
Fame and its graveyard lie at the intersection
Of Violent Hope and Imperfection,
Right behind the old Cultural Mulch
And Recycling Station, new ones
Cropping up all over, places shunned,
Of course, by monastic academic
Idealists and historical associations,
But Longfellow’s popular Indian poem,
Written to delight the Indian’s conquerors

Soon as the Indians were hamstrung
Or extirpated, is right there, where Lycidas
Picked up an electric guitar and imagined
Himself Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Mick Jagger
Or some other chameleon of our immortal
Protean angst and the soul’s pandemonium,
Incessantly sad, glad or neutral, circling
Each of our lives like an albatross
That alights on an atoll and calls it love,
But finding itself growing lonely again,
Marks it in memory with a whitish, in-flight plop,
Plans to return sometime for dinner, maybe

A goodnight kiss, or more, but to locate
Those impediments to breath, that darkness
Which imitates light, freaks of noise
Called words, nuances of grief and grandeur
Called song, Lycidas’s albatross must rise above
The moribund comforts and tasks
Of domesticity. It must flap its filthy,
Lice-infested wings–-the idiot wind
Will blow-dry clean or paralyze like dope
Those poison bugs awhile–-and off it flies!
Blood on its beak and talons, nothing in its head
But hunger, nothing in its heart but desire.

So there. Go ahead and boo. Go ahead
And prefer the tenderer ratio of a flight
From polite endeavor to delicate expectation
As if blowing spiritual promises at each other,
Marking their passage back and forth
In air by an elegant, gently descending feather.
Maybe you’re right. Maybe that’s poetry.
I don’t think so, and don’t like it. I think it lies.
Luck, Cunning, Ferocity and Greed, they are
Our horsemen of the apocalypse, the violence
Which takes what it thinks we need, trampling
Everything else underfoot forever.

[Tricia, I got one night's sleep and one more day
To pluck some hope out of this misery! Let us pray!]


Tricia said...

Good luck! Mow them down with your erudition.