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Wednesday, 30 June 2010



File:CTA loop junction.jpg

Whether as it was or as it should be
Out of the ruins of the new society
The skeleton of an older society
Arose, from which, all rickety, banging
Shank and bone, a society yet
More ancient and long of tooth; and so on,
Until there occurred a syncope in
The series, and so mercifully ceased
At last the long obscene succession,
Discovery, retribution, torture,
Death, eternity, the crunching of
The whole repulsive nutshell beneath
History's dumb indifferent bootheel.

File:CTA loop junction.jpg

Cross junction, northwest corner of The Loop, Chicago: photo by Daniel Schwen, 2007


Curtis Roberts said...

The overcast day; X marks the spot. I read (strike that; I watched the television) news today, oh boy. The poetry is so compressed and powerful and these words floor me.

phaneronoemikon said...

Makes me think of Herr Teufelsdröckh of Thomas Carlisle..


this world is here to grind me end to end..

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Very powerful. The first line reminds me very much of Lao Tzu, seems at once to make the poem the cycle which it portrays. Though the word "syncope" seems to be the core upon which it spins, "obscene" comes down with the heavy thump of a hammer or, more accurately, an indifferent bootheel.

"banging / shank and bone"


John B-R said...

This is actually incredibly optimistic, in my read. Which might say more about me than anything. A friend was in my office yesterday saying "We've got to reread our Lenin and our Gramsci ... this is the END of Capitalism!" I told my wife about this conversation and she rolled her eyes, saying "As if a c19 solution is going to help us now ..." I'll just say I have no idea what is happening, but it doesn't feel like anything good ...

It's not important how I read this, Tom; I just wanna say keep posting little islands of sanity, and for that Thank You!

TC said...

Thanks very much, friends. X definitely marks the spot.

Who ever said Blogging isn't fun, and good for you, too?

aditya said...

Somehow feels as if the poem itself had been in between some loose rickety floorboards for days before you took it out.

I don't know much about what has always been happening either but this does take you to some place beautiful if only for a while.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

I suppose you could have given me a million guesses, beyond that even said it was a book in my own house, and I would have gone through thousands and never guessed the illustration you appended was to an edition of Carlyle ... or that I've walked down that street many times ...

Blogging is fun ...

Radish King said...

That's it. It reappears in my dreams almost nightly now. Is it where you are?

TC said...

It is absolutely where I am, almost too literally.