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Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Great Yes


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Datei:Gespensterwald 1.JPG

Gespensterwald bei Nienhagen
: photo by Ch. Pagenkopf, 2007
 



So much routine
mechanical business, so
many uninterrupted
hours of it, the unvarying tedium, the exhaustion going finally 
beyond acceptance
or refusal. In the end the great No
almost has a way of not
having to say itself any more,
its reiterative reminders grown tiresome,
overfamiliar, perhaps even, during the reeling sleepless dark-wood
night of doubt
and fear, felt as -- or drowned
out in? -- the strong warm rank animal
breath of the great Yes.






File:Gewitter Thunderstorm.jpg

Thunderstorm with lightning: photo by Franz Mattuschka, 19 June 2009

12 comments:

TC said...

This poem is meant as a modest companion piece to:

Constantine P. Cavafy: Che fece ... il gran rifiuto (The Great Refusal)

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

"during the reeling sleepless dark-wood
night of doubt" the lightning bolt strikes --

"The Great Yes"

7.7

light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

things present and at “hand,”
hand reaches for them

in the dark, because coming
to terms, is possible

grey white fog against invisible ridge,
cormorant flapping across toward point

Scott Keeney said...

modest maybe but really beautiful

"beyond acceptance
or refusal. In the end the great No
almost has a way of not
having to say itself any more"

. . .

Robb said...

"dark-wood
night of doubt"

Tom,

I attended a launch party at the Paris Review office on White Street. It was a joint venture with Vice and I felt as if a baton was passed to something undeserving - maybe from something undeserving. There was a sword swallower who also swallowed a balloon. Impressive either way. Old covers of magazines were hung on the walls everywhere, including the bathroom. Issues you surely had a hand in. There were stuffed birds and animals on the walls, some dangling and spinning from wires in the ceiling. It was hot and sweaty and women don't were bras anymore/again. Everyone was a hipster or an Ivey Leaguer or both. Not everyone but a lot. The drinks were free but hard to obtain. It felt literary and uninteresting but something to see for the reminder of the value of distance.

I think of you more often than I leave comments.

Your friend,
Robb

Hazen said...

The No says itself. The life force is in the Yes. In ‘the strong warm rank animal breath of the great Yes’—we live and live again.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Each breath is precious. That's the way to go through a yes or a no. Yes? No? Oh no. Yes.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The path is fairly flat
in the haunted woods.
It does twist a little
here and there
the trees almost
step aside. Night
invades and cannot
be touched, yes?

Wooden Boy said...

For those of us worn out by the machinery, this poem lays things out bare.

I'm thinking of Yeats: "The best lack all conviction, the worst are full of passionate intensity"

"Beyond acceptance or refusal" is where we are for almost all of the time.

We think the suppressed laughter in the staff meeting is somewhere heard as a No when it only echoes in the confines of the skull.

Difficult and necessary reading.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Yes, my modest friend--
a worthy companion

Piece to the great
Alexandrian's No.

TC said...

Modesty always the best policy in the confines of the skull

in the dark, because coming
to terms, is possible [not]

The daughter of the acquaintance of Hundertwasser has sorely hurt her foot, and where is the life force now it is needed?

The life force can touch, but can it be touched? Elusive as it is.

In the haunted woods the trees almost seem to step aside to make way for the lost myopic old person. Then they step back to where they were. Traveling in the dark -- clunk.

As they used to say back home, "the old boy's a bit tetched".

But back home, where is that?

Probably not at the Paris Review launch party.

the suppressed laughter in the staff meeting is somewhere heard as a No
and the lack of conviction is a wallpaper
A barbaric philistinism on the way to White Street to be born
with stuffed birds and animals on the walls, some dangling and spinning from wires in the ceiling hot and sweaty
a joint venture and I felt as if a baton was passed to something undeserving -- maybe from something undeserving. There was a sword swallower who also swallowed a balloon, Impressive
either way
editors of magazines nailed to the walls like dead animals everywhere, including the bathroom
where the con art launch party hipster taxidermy
was all along a CIA front.

Salon came out lately with a catch-up piece on the subject, but must the bravely bra-less power bachelorettes of the balloon and taxidermy con art animal abuse faction always be the last to see the truth through their perspiration befogged designer hipster power specs?

In case anybody cares, here's the lowdown from the man who ran the op.

And does he sound apologetic?

Does an elephant have wings?

Could a wing'd elephant be dangled from the ceiling at a joint venture motor launch balloon art party?

Does the editor and founder look the interviewer in the eye when asked if he knew the lit charade was never anything but a cover?

Everyone a hipster or an Ivey Leaguer or both.

Exactly, and a resounding Great No.

ACravan said...

This is a wonderful companion to the Cavafy, which is . . . wonderful. Curtis

TC said...

Thanks Curtis. Sorry about that. It's just the Paris Review celebrity art party cover op gets me going every time. Even when we do not have a new invalid situation here to deal with.

(I'd spent a number of distracted hours in the night researching the horrors of Fine Art Taxidermy. Don't ask.)

There is so much to say No to these days, bracketed around the meek dwindling whimper of The Great Yes.

But to the idea of exploring Gespensterwald bei Nienhagen I will grant the Great Maybe... if provided a guide dog.