The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

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APRIL 2020 Issue
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Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

because it is
secret (geheim),
                  & all traces
of it
like sirens
                         sounding in the dark,
what enters
              so assiduously
is also
              what ends—the enforced meaning
(Stop! Police!—how it enters the fray)
              after all
                            no one really knows
                                          what words want
                                                      (these songs wearing peasant shoes
              on strange stumpy legs):
the scattering
              random, bloodstained
                            & everyone running in the streets

as someone
              hears it
                            once again
(the unluckiest brightlit arrangements
                            of burnt ships fired into flame!)
              as it enters
                            the bones
                                          like a harmony
                            that awaits
                            & everything
                                          just chokes
the world
   gasping for
                                    amid the noise
                              of infantries
                                                      all sense),
the unbridled rush
              to find them
   gasping for
                                    -     like barricades unveiled -
     on video
              after the briefest
                              command – Run
is impeded
     by the wild,
              of silence and sex
   & the big foaming
     announces that every rib
              is cracked
                            by the haute volée
                                          of each utterance
              when being
   involves just listening
     to the rain (the revenge of elegies),
              & mastery is just
            the impermanent, briefest
     of rests
     in desperate resorts
where we know it all ends
   & I am you
     & each wishful
            is a decapitation,
              a thought
                            that twists
              because what it notices
  it no longer lives,
& it is impossible
     to say
          no, too soon
& how
                            (the sea burns,
   parched by flame), & someone beckons

   & reminds you
    that each gathering
      is a celebration
     of the already dead
 each word
less than
 it should,
  (the hard facts
    like banners
     over bloodsoaked pavements)

& methinks
  there are years
ranged like so many antlers,
  of cognac & latin,
as anarchists
  start slashing
 at pictures once again
  & you cut here and here
   the asymptotic glimpses
 of the dark fluent sequels
    in Berlin, London,
      & at the great gates
         of Ishtar
where all the shrouds
 are veiled -
   which can only mean
      that life is a Fälle (a theatre)
or that someone
   (the wealthiest art lover)
has reached
   into each word
and cut out
    the name of each cameo
or is it simply
   because I miss you
   through the rain-drizzled streets
  and all I have
in dark, ancestral languages)

                 i.m. Sean Bonney


David Marriott

David Marriott teaches in the Philosophy Department, Penn State University, is the author of several books of poetry and criticism. His most recent books are Duppies (Commune Editions: 2019), and Whither Fanon? Studies in the Blackness of Being   (Stanford, 2018). Bluetown is forthcoming from Omnidawn. 


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues