Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Selections from Edward Dorn's Gunslinger I & II (Fulcrum, 1970)

A rich and strange book. I'll be returning it to The Poetry Library this week should someone else wish to experience it.

from Book 1 (easier to excerpt as the narrative is just beginning)--

He would show you his map.
There is your domain.
Is it the domicile it looks to be
or simply a retinal block
of seats in,
he will flip the phrase
the theater of impatience.


my mare lathers with tedium
her hooves are dry
Look they are covered with the alkali
of the enormous space
between here and formerly.


And by that sound
we had come there, false fronts
my Gunslinger said make
the people mortal
and give their business
an inward cast. They cause culture.


Stranger you got a pliable lip
you might get yourself described
if you keep on.


and as the disputational 44
occurred in his hand and spun there
in that warp of relativity one sees
in the backward turning spokes
of a buckboard, then came suddenly
to rest, the barrel utterly justified
with a line pointing
to the neighborhood of infinity.
The room froze harder.


Your vulgarity is flawless
but you are the slave
of appearances--


You make the air dark
with the beauty of your speed,
Gunslinger, the air
separates and reunites as if lightning
had cut past
leaving behind a simple experience.


to her swelled black mound
her startled faun
which has the earthy smell
of slightly gone
wild violets

from Book 2--

I didn't know you had a drawl, Slinger

I dont, I slow up at noon
from the inertia of National Lunch
and from the scatteredness
of the apexed sun which attempts
at that point to enter a paradox--
namely, The West which is The East.

Edward Dorn
Gunslinger 1 & 2 (London: Fulcrum, 1970)

The entire Gunslinger is available from The Book Depository.

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