Lingos I-IX, trans. by Rosmarie Waldrop (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck, 2006)
the unbridled increase of tongues the
constant rattling of words in the morning
the evening the unceasing pulse of things
to think of even in sleep the eternal ham-
mering of phrases like “in sight of night”
by and by to fill mouth after mouth.
the swarming-around-me of birds. in
order to make (to name) your escape you
undertake the reconstruction of lungs to
bellows/deconstruction of feather to quill
(must be a flight log) and tiniest fictions
germinate inward. featherbed fictions.
like ideas functions of THE I: that i were
words, and words therefore were me. THE
I can’t grasp it. it as it were grasps me.
thus we seem to form a team: THE I hates
birds. birds like me: feathered but
untarred. Like flews entirely unlicked.
by feathers bird tongues voices. they:
understand d a good day’s work as the
destruction of what came before. i: con-
sider there might be facts outside the
poems. they: “a handsome hulk.” i: a
brutish wimp. amid. But actually replaced.
words don’t drop out of the sky, from history they
grow. which takes forever. until (under age but
self-enslaved) animals beside their ankles sprout
antlers—magic moment: the wolf comes running
just when one cries wolf—leave it to an Englishman
to “give scholasticism’s speculative system the coup
de grace”: let nothing stand for nothing else! The
market promptly reacts with poetry cutbacks. But
much to be said for not just: supply-side. almost
certainly artifice but a nose for what will work.
a joining against the grain as that of egret and roe /
in plain speech: state-supported verstromung-prose.
begins the great poet famine. easy for words to
howl with the wolves. hysterically they start to
dart. Power relation unclear. their sharp-toothed
jaw: producer-friendly! likely ready to tear you apart.
all too violent the basic futhork “out of the stream
of terror swam into the swarm of enemies scream-
ing” the lines curve round now that now “this
man here assailed by a sea of corpses” a graven
“rubbed with him the tholes in the bored-out
boat” then a strong quasi-cuneiform stroke “the
worship warden am” erecting an “envy-pole”
as part of a sword belt pleases with the triple
only one band of the sound spectrum of “same”
“not unrenowned” word-divider inroad-maker
goal-outrider this then seems what the inscription
(vistula-gothic) “spindle whorl” is about “movable
wares” successful in the quest for single rune staff
and this fart-of-a-bitch reproduction hits home