Wednesday 9 June 2010

Jennifer Moxley's The Line (Post-Apollo Press, 2007), second selection

A little context from the blurb by Rosmarie Waldrop: "We're in the state between sleep and waking, where consciousness resists the tasks of reason and routine but instead views, from the perspective of darkness, the whole span from newborn promise to the old mammals, erosion of muscle."

"Morning after morning while you lay sweatily wedged between weary physicality and tedious selfhood the punctilious programs of the already dead tromp heavily through your mind."

* * *

"It is my belief that this tedium all started when the elusive present you so longed to possess at last became all that was left."

from "Mortal Aurora"

"Is this the reason old houses comfort you? Their sleep allows for mysterious things--filmy journeys over ethereal banks, star-by-star stone-stepping, beneath your feet soft waters of nothingness and centuries of hidden thought--events that work your defeatist will into a strange elation."

last stanza of "The Milky Way"

"The gift of minor eternity, on a brief mammalian scale, is not this relentless coming to be but the tale you will later tell about it. It is a kind of love, insofar as it moves you."

last stanza of "The Sadness of Old Mammals"

"I sleep with approximately 14,000 days sitting on my chest. A slow hour many years old pushes aside yesterday's appetites and enters as a whisper through an unmuffled ear: 'remember me, remember me, remember me!'"

from "The Periodic Table"

"What an idiot! Why did he choose inevitable defeat by picking the fancy solution?"

end of "The Mattress Raft"

"Why does this poem exist? Nobody knows. But it seems to be mourning the ideal."

end of "The Wrong Turn"

"The lives of the rich are so fabulous! The destruction of the poetical lies heavily on their hands, as on their swollen notion that we are always watching. There is nothing behind the mask. Nothing suffocating under its pressure, no human essence trying to get out."

* * *

"It is easy to lose, through meddling or neglect, an entire aspect of existence. And sometimes, to cultivate a single new thought, you need not only silence but an entirely new life."

from "The Atrophy of Private Life"

"You are plagued nightly by memory-pictures of a time that no longer exists. Admit it, some illogical part of you secretly believes you can go back. The place hasn't vanished, perhaps it even looks the same, but the angle of time that became what you laughingly call your 'experience' is gone. Except in the deceitful subjunctive."

opening of "The Cover-Up"

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