Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jacques Dupin


Portrait of Jacques Dupin Francis Bacon 1990

A poem is not made of words
George Oppen

even borborygmies

even monkey

passing beyond all bounds of the mouth

empty promises
of monkey money fly money

coins tinkling
under the wound

and the heart apes the fly
and monkeys

blow their nose like flies
sniffing a departed heart

As long as I breathe monkeys dance

a dance whose long arms dangle
voluble thoughts
a glass language a language

of sulfur
of iron pigments leading astray

the ocher of the excremental

the firedamp blue of the interstice.

The panting blue pinks
of a pestilential
monkey haunch

make the stained-glass light
of your “soul” eaten by flies

nothing —

nothing — unless
the bottom
of the dead gods’

…I write whenever

in the distance
fertilized by anguish

fear squirts out

and no longer has but words
but knives

to calibrate the suffering

I write whenever —
wrenching from time to time

adulterate each other the tongue and the blue
of the acrid shudder

of mothers’

— wherever the fireflies crackle.

At the fly queen’s I am implored
to ink the lead type once again
to strike
the ivory keys — to pluck the string

the threadof the naked space

of my thirty monkey-man fingers

to switch off the vibratory
syncopation of meaninglessness

the prism of insomniac

till the tongue puss
twists and turns

a heart tonic — spirit of fly

so strong it could split the red iris
of the monkey king

a heart tonic so mighty it could melt
the rail gnaw
the iron ladder

extract from meaninglessness

the rough enucleated

that pushes back

into the terror of the species.

Empyreuma sparkling fly burst
sparkling burst of the wounded

disturbance of the unique
against the sunlight

monkeys the nimbleness of sleep
riddling the slag of breathing

spattering the path
and the page leaf

and the pebbly torrent

of the voice

empyreumaan offering in which mingle
as rudiments in the wall

backbone splints

of their lunacythe profusion
of an internally active


Retraction of the monkey leap
by each
facet of the fly eye

you the movement
and the heartif not love

your magnetized iron filings vanish
in my shock of switchman’s hair

Monster —
wild old tune

abstract couch grass of the night

the surgical collar like fiery Minerva
sagging beneath my neck’s scree

all the way to the dark deaf lantern
of your little TERROR

like a rail — with the wind

ripping it up
nailing it back down.

It’s only a plectruma plucked-out
monkey fingernail

alone boring into the stone
the only night

a yes-no swinging
from branch to branchfrom page leaf
to scream — and shaking

sleep’s sifterinterlaced
flies and embers

— a plectrum fly-flecked with venom
touching emptiness

the screeching of fear

against the wakening against
the blind consonance

of a stoneof a flower
of a mowing of wet meadow grass

a hieroglyph slipped from the dread
of a fingernail

pushing away the heart.

Summer grassbaou
fever! — bumblebee blues
of a cramp the green

of a blade in the backbone…

and that the monkey Cyclops
sails across seas
of spasmsof page leaves
of the air — that rolls, swells

under the stifling cassock-like
tuftishness of its tail and prick

the dog-rose of madness

madness of a light death
whose infernal white

sucks up the flies
and the funereal confetti

and the dust of the dancing

and the tall
fainted stem
of the hollyhock…

This night keeps getting
hollowed out, or filled in,
laid bare

by the dewclawthe straw
of the death-pang monkey hag

of the killed gaze
keeping away the evil eye

emptiness and ore deposit
open and boring into the scream

enlarging the knots impregnating
my green blind man’s staff

as long as the written
blood poured

to flow inside.

The meteorfalls
lighting up the depths of my life

such as — or anyone else that flatters
the glottis of the stutterer — or freezes
the beginning of a fire

the sting of the black
fly — or of any other woman
before honey

why not the ubiquity
of the other — and the sky

the abstruse horripilation

of a heavy black scrotum
like a traitor monkey
of tragedy

the meteor falls
hollowing out the end of life

it denies but also sharpens

the scribe monkey’s
claw and eye
both rubbed the wrong way

by the neuter by the white
of all this injected sky

notch in the girth endless
burned monkey hag rags

a constellation tossed out
and distractedly


I draw my bad breath
from the arrears of fear

I draw the snake’s egg
and the plague of its glosses

from the blood of monkey
and fly legs

and of the toppled enigma
in the fissure of the slag heap

in the streaming
of the voice

an instrumental transit
with the pus sack broken

in at the turning angle of seas
and cycles

blind fly dead tongue
monkey mother

whose lipless laugh
I irrigate.

On what fly gallows
to hang yourself — to what monkey saint
make your vows

do battle if they exasperate you
Gorgon flower fly
indigo monkey Icarus

without the dreams the stases the solstice
night of light death

if I am the only mortal
mouth — and the volatile

that move beneath your eyelid

and in a single body round up
— and ramify the whole sky

eidetic summer night
where the apocalypse stone
burns away on the meadow grass

from there I dictate to the stars
with a flexible idiom

transposed from what is monstrous…

(New York, Fayetteville: The Bitter Oleander Press, 2011)

Jacques Dupin's Poetic Language: A Process of Becoming, of Blossoming

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