C’est la banlieue, Assalti Frontali

They talk about Italy like it’s of the saints and the poets, but where’s the poetic instinct now? Upon a graffiti wall, or maybe at those secret stations where dreams get left behind. Then someone shuffled their feet over the line; I gathered up the nets of the heartless reality. My buddy Pierrot presented me with those candles of yours. I’ve got to write my own story. The night-time is black, as the dark of the road renews poetic sense, but under glaring of the moon, we fail to witness that we should have to be put to the fire, to speak on our own part. Let us take our chances; and what shall be discovered, that we’re knocking at the door and don’t know who would open it here. I’m sure we could combine our cries of woe, so as not to burn them alive like forced labor kids. I hung up the threads, with a clitoral shudder, in a world where poetry kills it off inside of the crib, in a lake of oil, & I’m readying the power and people for the treetops, furrowing my sails. . . Look at this garden, that poor sorry bench. If you look at it too well, it’s a ship on its way to sea. And down the line, I alone see the secret police, and view a company for hunting down brand new spoils. Here are the poets that form resistance for us. They write poetic forms of life, but who could make sense of it all?

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

Better to live off of piracy than go with bad company, better to be alone in this sea than to get stuck up in the mud: I’ll have one of whatever they serve here — the risk is being a friend of ours. Boarding at the Jolly Rodger, get the sail in order: here are some people who don’t know who they are any more; I’m totally slacking off in doubt, over urban piracy. These are the ones who don’t know where they’re off to, any more — this moon looks on us by the batch of hundreds, and shines upon the links down below, though its light is awful dim. I miss when we would chew on coca leaves: we’d go out every night and try a witty sortie, knocking at the door to go play at our game; we’d be here all cloak and dagger under cover. There’s no equipment in this sea, except for shouting over children. If we dance across the bridge, there’s no blame for being on a roll, since every single day is a celebration in the stars, & I forget it. I’m certain that we could finish really badly, not to suffocate in the hold of a ship, though for now, a sufficient store is acquired at the coffee bar. In the market place, my little ship was almost deterred for a second, & what a dick, not to give a shit about who is driving the Porsche? He would be the son of a notorious director from La Roche. To us, it’s much better to listen to Peter Tosh, offering you a beer out of pocket-change so posh. . . .

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.

It’s just the suburbs (just the suburbs),
and so provincial (This is the ghetto.);
it’s just the suburbs, mister…
so hand me the mic (This is the ghetto.),
just hand the mic to me.


Inferno of Dante Alighieri

new verse translation by Michael Valerie!

Canto 1
Canto 2
Canto 3
Canto 4
Canto 5
Canto 6
Canto 7
Canto 8
Canto 9
Canto 10
Canto 11
Canto 12
Canto 13
Canto 14
Canto 15
Canto 16
Canto 17
Canto 18
Canto 19
Canto 20
Canto 21
Canto 22
Canto 23
Canto 24
Canto 25
Canto 26
Canto 27
Canto 28
Canto 29
Canto 30
Canto 31
Canto 32
Canto 33
Canto 34



& at this point , too now, I’ve never had to want a
Way to go; too exhausted for beach-combed
Starlettes — not politic, too popular!, enough for my
Own home, there comes a time to leave,
Or be, alone: I’m not the type of “bright” to make
Holiness shine. At more than half
Of twice my age it aches — ever so civil (‘as if
From social’s evil’) — or very little left
To know, and even further — more to
I’d go a lone road forever painted against the aging
Stench of graft, skin too tight on — my bank
Account’s a holocaust. — and always left a
Traffic stop to go.
“His clothes don’t fit too”
Right, and tight around my chest — a little
Baggy flourish at the knees (eyes like flouride stains)
Still-born summer’s climax fading from re-
Collection, and yet to ebb again, — but acres left of
Torment before a-sleep
Chimes in, magnitude magnificently under-bred:
No punk but in details, as in punctuation, always
Short a need to…

I don’t, it can’t, and silver-seeping dark two
Decades hence — today — won’t hope to
Fill my empty need for show.

His charming delusion of paranoid schizophrenía (pronounced
in the clinical way, sic’) is evidently made manifest, clearly
according to its post-industrial turpitude of all-out hypotactical
aggression; patently. Whatever ‘subject’ finds apparent form
of recourse to such Faulknerian feats of juvenile, yet archaicizing, —
one couldn’t term ‘expression’, as much as would be evidenced
by many proofs, a debased or infantile fascination with continual
design — and re-, a sign of deeply disturbed by consciousness
common among neurotics of the century prior: “Please, all held
comment to the end.” (Plausible pausing of posse comitatus
lunch brigades, silver-state weeping for hilarity’s sting, an
agèd system crumbles like snack cakes….) Clearly, the
profligate attempts to commune if I ate with septic ambivalence.

I never had much luck with trying fails,
Not quite like Yoda said, but something close:
An escalating series of one’s own too
Dire cost — no right way but to make it go
Along; for too long I have no one
But patient dreams — a sylvan scene and much
Too occupied by shaded arms of darkly
Pseudo-military goons. As if,
With no sad music to atone, then one
Could never hope to make a self renew
Th’ aborted fetus of a season spent
In spying out the ambiguity: I
Sit day by day, ignore the sun go by.

We dream of jailers’ thought, frantic subtitles
Of depth — freedom’s death and nothing more to say.

But happiness ensues not from your own
Perception’s time: It stands aloof and yet
Renews its due. So here sit I having
Had twenty years, many of them wasted
(both years and lucky lives within them), gone —
Just years between more foreigners, their wars
And ‘shock’ of news seems not to grant one awe:
A special form of access to what you knew.

(The truth being, in my lonely and somewhat
impoverished hours I can write like this for
royalty, heads of state or even spies, which
might impress if you knew how easy ’tis)
& so I go with not a thing to do.

Outside in chains is nothing best
Taken as if hyperbole;
But without trying is no rest
Attained: An end is just a seam.

There’s little point in making less
Trying sorrow seem to win,
I never tried t’ accept one guess
For truth and nothing left to give

Grants privileges to ideal form,
Mere respite from the gravesite’s words:
In time even poetic war
Means ‘progress’ goes to feeding birds.

Hell and the Apocalypse are a picnic-parade
next to the neo-50’s Plathlike holocaust
I daily inhabit; Cobain’s “hate myself and want to
die” has become ‘I hate you all & want to
try’, which is perhaps how it started: Tupac,
not technically like those, — though
he was always already practicing for death.
To(o) many lines of paltry winding
depth seem but a caveat on which way it goes:

Shakespeare’s few peers were as prolific, in their day, or popular,
not both, and Webster’s devil or duchess, well…
No comment on such similarities: Can you
imagine how many people ever asked the author of
Paradise Lost, “Milton: What. The fuck. Are you
talking about?” You want me to fuck and talk
like Jeanie McHays? — too late!, should I
tell you, all, what? — about how old Mr.
Eliot made me before Ted Hughes undid me?
What Crow means on the Satellite of Love? I’ve got
none, an atheistic virgin whiteness (‘cept: One,
a very military stain), born again agnostic; hates
and making up his mind — too fond of poetic figures
as though mere rhetorical tropes, not enough
hair gel to make my photos shine: I’m over-
actively anti-lazy — so can’t hold a job, —
blow-dry too infrequently; hate not doctors
but their tone — thereof, a lack and have forgotten the
careful art of flirting on the phone.
nothing left to last beyond fetish, stamps and
scars — I still can’t let frigid passion ‘justice’ win.

The longer I remain in here is better, you spend too
much time in that head — well I’ve got twins; and
can’t hear any voices so much as “feel” one’s own.

Now, that it’s time to take no doubt I feel like
one should notice grammatical punctuation — closing
and dozing off, — punk rock to a White House
official; plenty of time to deal with mouthing
Off, and none to do “it” in.

TS Eliot, from Little Gidding

Cinere manicis senis omnem ut
cinerem rosaria reliquerunt cremata ;
pulvis cum pendatus in aere
loco designavit narrando finem
fabularum : tum respirata,
domus — muri cum tabulis, mure ;
obitus spei et desperationis,
aeris mors haec.

Fuit eluvio et sitis oculis trans-
itis et in ore ; aquae harenaque
mortuae certabant comminus
capitis causa. siccitate,
eviscerata humus hians
vanum laboris intuebitur —
risus cum gaudiis nihil,
terrae mors haec.

Aqua flammaque sequitur
oppidum, pascuum et stirpem.
aqua flammaque inrisit
sacrificia quae nobis negata.
aqua flammaque tabe faciet
fundamenta obliti sumus corrupta
sanctuarii et chori.
mors aquae et ignis haec.

Vowels, Arthur Rimbaud

A black, white E, red I, green U, O blue: Vowels,
one day I will tell you of secret birthings; A,
black underclothes bristle with flies’ sheen in
lovely patches which hum about savage smells,

Chasms of shadow; E, candid mists & canvas canopies,
haughty ice spears, pale kings — shiver of flow-
erings; I, blacksweet blood mouthfuls, laughing
of lovely lips in rage or regretful drunkeness;

U – swirling, holy vibrations of green-livid seas,
fields at peace with scattered creatures, peace
of wrinkles which sorcery impresses with brows

So studiously wide; O, great trumpet filled with
alien cries, a silence traversed by worlds and
angels, O the End: A violet ray of your eyes!

(untitled), Mellarmé

Because some meat was as at the point of roast
Because the journal detail’d an act of rape
Because on her vile and malformed throat
The servant forgot her collar to tie up

By cause of a bed large as the holiest place
He sees upon the ticking clock an ancient,
Foolish pair and sleeps not & without shame
As leg beneath the sheet glides like a brush

His chill, desiccated woman’s beneath him, idiot
Against her pale breton rubbing his helmet’s
Hairs & labors huffing beyond all sense

And in this, a night without storm of rage,
Are these two beings coupled in sleep; oh
Shakespeare, Dante ’u too! He c’d a born poet.

Delphica, Gerard Nerval

Daphne, you know that old affair under the
Sycamore leaves, or at th’ashy laurel’s foot;
Vnder olive & myrtle trees, willows’ tremb-
Ling, this love-song that keeps starting over

Again? Do you recognise the temple’s tow-
Ering steps, citrus fruit you sunk your teeth in?
Or grotto so dangerous to unwelcome guests,
Where ancient dragon’s seed lies vanquished?

Those gods you’re always crying to will be back,
Time’ll bring the order of our former days back a-
Gain and ground be wracked with air of Prophecy.

But while gods fateful prophetess lies Roman sleep-
Ing faced under the Arch of Constantine, there
Is nothing to disturb the crushing stair.