when god decided to invent
everything he took one
breath bigger than a
& everything began
when man determined to
himself he picked the was
of shall & finding only why
smashed it into because
Poet Robert Morgan, Dead at 81
Ah, finally a reason to stop carping on and on and on about the local and international politics of dissatisfaction. At last, something more significant than the looming Bush v Kerry Happy Hour War. And yes, it IS news whenever a poet dies, no matter how significant or insignificant his or her works. Certainly more important than some fucking bureaucratic mercifully leaving our wake, or a retired Naval typist living in Bethesda, or retired marketing managers and the like -- the sort of deaths you can find in the obits any old day. No sir, Desultory Turgescence does not stoop to mourning the dead unless they MEAN something.
Just to give you an impression of Mr Morgan, for those of you who don't know him, never heard of him, never read a poem of his nor the literary journal he edited, here's a snippet from Dana Gioia online extolling his virtues:
"Death Mother" explores the myths of death, not only classical myths like the Hindu death goddess, Kali, but also mythic confrontations with death on a personal level ? inexplicable experiences that linger obsessively in the memory. Biography mixes with history and dream, and the reader is not always sure whether Morgan is speaking from personal experience or in a persona. Yet the ambiguity points out the underlying theme of the poem ? man's inability to come to terms with death. The ambiguity is also part of the reason why "Death Mother" is such an effective poem, even if the reader tries to resist it (for it is an uncomfortable poem to read). Like Eliot in "The Waste Land" Morgan creates a chorus of voices that switch back and forth, and no sooner does the reader hear and understand one voice than another comes into play surprising us with something new. For example, one sections begins:
Death is the least of things to be feared
because while we are it is not
and when it comes we are not
and so we never meet it at all.
These lines register immediately as familiar, comfortable philosophy or as poetry of a very minor sort. Then suddenly Morgan catches us off guard in the next stanza:
That was a Greek way of avoiding the issue -
which is, that ever since the blood-drenched moment
of primal recognition,
death has lived all times in us
and we in her, commingled . . .
and of course, the all-important NYT Obit.
How many of you will make it to the NYT Obits?
Over 2,000 dissatisfied customers served
Retro Spam: Tired of Searching for your next Client?
Army Kills Comanche Helicopter ...No wonder they're not winning the war on terrorism. If this isn't a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face, I dunno what is.
If it interests anyone out there, and it certainly doesn't interest me, I'm a completely disinterested bystander to this kind of hyperboleLondon Cabs Invade NYC! especially when 'Ik weet dat ik niets weet', I know that I know nothing, wonderfully circular logic, can be readily found in Filosofie Magazine -- it's this kind of information that makes wondering where my next beer is coming from, somewhat more distracting than usual. So, until the next untimely death, time to get back to the pursuit of X-Treme Latin.