June 27, 2008


1.      make a found poem on the chalkboard left by the last class,
economics, whose budding economists have left the building
or at least the room.
        It would take Jerry Lewis, or maybe Danny Kaye, in cap and gown
pointing to these impossible vectors, lecturing in falsetto, how
monocompetition, or does the smeared chalk say noncompetition,
complicates the premise etc.etc. moreover and furthermore,
explaining the labels dead center over the graphs

                         progress                    colored
                         expertise      and       monopoly

or the other two, floating single and chaste as Hegel's angels

                        modernity                    retroformation

2.       enter our jolly poetry prof who makes thoughts thinkable,
astonished by the palimpsest, and its last mysterious couplet


The first is either a misspelling for the city over its ears in cinders
or the Roman general summoned  to end the slave revolt
of Spartacus. Why pair that word with Cuvier? he wonders.  That's
Baron Georges Leopold Chretien Frederic Dagobert Cuvier, the naturalist
who named the pterodactyl, and came up with the shtick
that species have been wiped out, now and then, by this or that,
earthquake or meteorite, or most likely, flood, these random cataclysms
that come upon us all. Catastrophes to make  grown men cry.
Back In 2000, tagged a millennium year, didn't the Dow Jones
take one of its longest dives to plummet (such a full-mouthed, chewy word)
to plummet  more than 600 pts?   Bill Gates dropped 11 billion bucks,
at least as much as the national budget of Freedonia.

Next to this classroom door, on the way out, an afterthought,
a triad, maybe a prophecy      ITY      ISM      IST     a  natural  conjugation
that will mutate, sprout  roots or rhizomes, sedge or moss.
In this Pennsylvania valley, between mined mountains,
we sit down to learn on North American Time.

—Annette Basalyga

Posted by dwaber at June 27, 2008 01:46 PM