Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Superfluities, by Major Jackson

I read this poem in Major Jackson's Holding Company this morning, and I went to find it online to share with friends. I found it, but I also noticed that the version that is online has one more phrase than the version in the book, and as the phrase that is only in the book is one that I had stopped to ponder ("ecstasy of fumbling", which comes from Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est"), I wanted to get the book version online. So here it is:


by Major Jackson

This downpour of bad reasoning, this age-old swarm,
this buzzing about town, this kick and stomp
through gardens, this snag on the way to the mall,
this heap and toss of fabric and strewn shoes, this tangled
beauty, this I came here not knowing, here
to be torched, this fumbling ecstasy, this ecstasy of fumbling,
this spray of lips and fingers, this scrape of bone, this raid
of private grounds, this heaving and rocking, this scream
and push, this sightless hunger, this tattered perishing,
this rhythmic teeth knocking, this unbearable
music, this motionless grip, grimace, and groan.

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