Plot: With each installment of Selected Movies, the poet pairs one film from Jean Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy with a contemporary film about poetry. He free-writes his way through both films, no interruptions. From the pages of work he amasses, he constructs a poem for each film. Along the way, he records what interrupts him. This is the first installment.
The Blood of a Poet
Each day it’s the war drums begin me.
I brush your flamingo of silence I oil my wings.
I limp to my basin and wash.
I do not want to draw out your body by banging a trashcan.
Nor the cock crow you down
from your roost.
Each day it’s your winter survives me.
I hand you the gun from nowhere I dance with my walls.
The tyrants they line up to watch.
I do not want to draw out your body by beating the war drum.
Nor congratulate you on our death.
I bring you my hand to cover the mouth of the statue.
In exchange for my axe my love will you trade me the salt.
I watch through the keyhole your hand it covers the suet.
In exchange for my feathers a bird that wants to die blue.
& if I bring you this ring to pawn off the winter?
& if I bring you this scarf to tie off the winter?
& if I bring you this smokestack to snuff out the winter?
I place the turnkey inside your insignia.
In exchange for my seedlings you bring me all turbine no thresh.
In this life I will lose you to Paris.
You will wear your hair short and stick out your tongue.
I do not want to draw out
your body by beating
the war drum I will not
watch the sheers thresh your hair in the sun.
In this life I will melt you a snowfall.
I will lose you to drink in the next.
I do not want the tyrants to play cards on my body.
I thrash back to you through the wall.
I brought you this sneer to defy you the statue.
Will the tyrants applaud when I melt.
I broke you the statue to become the statue.
Will you mount up the wall like a jackal.
It wasn’t my heart that beat through my suit it was war drums.
Will you let them fall hangdog and slack.
I brought you this smokestack to collapse you the winter.
Will you thrash back to me through the wall.
yawp for the ditch lily
Dead Poets Society
Tell us what are the four pillars.
I meet my enemy
and kick his head across the field.
I meet the sailor and kick his head across the field.
I forge my father’s signature
on the face of the ditch lily.
I meet the ruler of life I kick his head across the field.
Is this your spoils for starting a society.
Yes when I go to the beach
the dead kick handfuls of mother’s red hair in my face.
No of course my bowtie is hate.
But the dead are ongoing they dance to American Bandstand.
Did you murmur three centuries
did you hang yourself with a madwoman’s beard.
now pass me the slop.
I want to remember the love song I wrote in the ditch.
And my friends who hijacked the radio.
Who watched the finks skulk around in their saddleshoes.
And none of whom wrote a line worth its salt.
Did you stand on your straw bale roof
were you a three course meal for a dog.
I took the shanking road to the goats yes the goats rose against me.
No tell us what are the four pillars.
I will come to a woman alone at a table.
She is trying to finish a jigsaw.
To the mutts, she says, and raises her glass
and her jugs they hang below god.
Now is this a dagger or your impression of yourself.
And tell us when will she come with her mouth full of cotton
and drool in the pews for the dead.
Tell us when will her phalanx descend to your life
and suck the cloak off your back.
I can’t make it the ghosts of my captain need dinner.
They worry the geese from the fields.
Chaos they say and puff in their reeds.
Chaos they say and play like a king.
Does god drip from their mouths tell us what are the pillars.
The house where I die is aedificium.
I’ll try anything once except sex.
It’s fog plus sylphs plus owls plus nausea.
And O fortuna the women serve slop.
Do you wish she would answer the door in her fugitive’s sweater.
I wish I’d answered you younger so I could still be in jail.
Will you find the guilty party.
I’ve come for my personals I’ll tell her.
Not on your life she’ll say.
And the names that scroll down the black at the end of your life.
I want to be those names I’ll tell her.
This drink on my nightstand is a dream I won’t have of you.
Including myself, I’ll tell her.
Duration: 128 minutes
Interruptions during film: Slaps self in face to stave off fatigue, argues with poet on telephone, urinates, valerian tea, slaps self in face, power loss, stomach pain, slaps self in face to stave off fatigue.