response

I, Saladin, To Nobody in Particular

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A Response to Charles Olson

by E.S. Cormac

I, Saladin, To Nobody in Particular

Wandering idle down Styx lanes

Periwinkle, Crimson, safflower

hues assault windshield unrestrain’

battlement’s arrows shower.

Shall I sit upon the shore fishing?

With the sea stretching out from my feet.

      Or speak of undone business?

Of breath

          of ears

                of syllable, syllabus, syllabic

Oh Glowster Man

   (that is how the ears hear it)

My spatial nature geometry is lost now

buried beneath billboard

advertising gleaming teeth

and all manner of elixir

                and what watches

                           and what wears

         I want to fit

I want to shine brighter than the fifty stars that glint atop Metropolis

        I want that piece

        I want that peace

I held that gun at them

     for the confusers for the Brooks Brothers cloistered minions

I held that gun

           watching as we lay siege at Ma’arra.

                          How they feasted

Across winter windshield

giants stand gleaming teeth on black ribbon roadsides

 Fear Not Citizen!

                get the yellow out 

                             drink this

                                         tune in tonight at nine)

GOOOO! SPORTSTEAM! GOOOO! COMMERCE! BUY SELL SELL BUY BUY

Go Icharus

fly  where you can never reach

             fly and I will follow

My ship’s mast melts with wings

        to cause quarrel over the loss of golden armor.

There are riches enough to be satisfied in Troy

          In Troy

where Dear Fathers, Fearless Leaders, Benevolent Uncles

Bearded Revolutionaries smile down on us all

           watching

              waiting

                  for the chance to purge

O Commerce O Commerce

I repent

My teeth dream of the day they can gleam

sublime ego sentence strands removed from shores

blown to glass

      situated in teethly tower rows

          erect Testaments to our fathers named

Sears, Comcast, Chrysler, Key and Bank of America I and II

O Commerce O Commerce

I repent I am Redeemed for five cents

Do not discard me in your Gulag Archipelago

         I am not so poor, you will make no great profit

    Do not discard me in a home of wayward Roman D.J.s

         In twelve plus twelve I would never produce a cantos

Oh Glowster Man

    Do you hear me?

       Was this percussive?

          Was it PROJECTIVE?

I want to wander through brilliant stacks of cans

I want to act after taken thought

I want to fight no more forever

Oh Glowster Man

    Do you hear me?

Your RAT-A-TAT-TAT DA-DING

has been replaced by yet another glowing blue screen that can paint the windows of Suburbia

The keys still clack

but even as we speak they are being replaced…

                                                               By what says you?

         by shiny glass and aluminumy tablets says I

                                                                Like His word says you?

    better says I

       they gleam of billboard staring toothuses

 

Charles Olson’s poetry and essay, “Projective/ Verse” are the antithesis of the New Critic School of writing. Although Olson is scholarly and fills his stanzas with learned quotes and references, he departs in every other way from the New Critics. Embracing all the features of modern printing Olson breaks his verse up according to how it should be spoken or into ‘breaths as he calls them. His open verse or Composition by Field is formed free of iambic meter. Instead Olson prefers to concentrate on the kinetic nature of the poem, Olson also carefully points out that all metaphor, objects, or anything else that would interrupt this kinetic flow must be omitted.

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