Led through historical landscape / syntactical not quite cosmological / but through civilization / understanding the narrative & events by sequence / but some other tracking procedure must be in order / world built into the Cantos / follow & attend / follow & attend. / inter-civilizations (Frobenius!) OL EZ extending his body / ego into history through his epic /
hairy epic “Shall we call in the world to conduct our municipal government . . .”
“Hath benefit of the interest on all the monies which it / the bank / creates out of nothing.” Steinbeck feared “The Bank” too / called it “The Monster” in The Grapes of Wrath.
“. . . & this reward is fundamentally different from a tax.
“From the moment a STATE bank-note exists / the state works & supplies the
“MEASURE & has the right to reward
“(tokens / stamps / invented by Avigliano / & by Gesell) 1%
“interest per month maximum. The savage uses one instrument /
“where the civilised man uses a hundred.
“One means for EXCHANGE.
“Another for saving.
“All the expense of the State must be paid for with prescriptable money.
“All the services / everything that goes with each day is & renewed each day
“must be paid for with a money which is not permanent.
“I GET ANGRY EVERY TIME
“THEY TELL ME WORK
“IS A COMMODITY.
“. . . LONG LIVE ITALY.”
10. f o l l y
barbed wire cage/ special cage made out air strip cages werent barbed wire they were inside several fences of same the line of cages inside the punishment area / labeled ‘DEATH CELLS’ there he sat brooding in his cage in Pisa his body tamed / hair-crown flattened / but his eyes wild wild his anti-Semitism / his intellectual arrogance unbound. Poor Ez Poundlooney / disarticulated / fragmentingthe seasons change / he sd to himself / leaves fall early this autumn / in wind butterflies yellow w/ August poor Pound / blind / blind as a bat old dog lickingits old sore: shadowed ghostwind seavoice heard in his hard heart / shadowy substantial & briskly swiftly speaking swiftly wafting swiftly voices singing signed softly & directly / swiftly gone eyebells he uttered vowels to himself: oo--ah--oo--ay--oh--ah--oo. the guard told him to shut his fascist fucking mouth & rapped the cage hard so that it buzzed Ole Ez looked down at his Chinese dictionary / his translated scraps of Confucian odes / his eucalyptus pip from the salita that goes up from Rapallo & sighed.[ii] Alas / alas
if stanzas cd bleed / If paragraphs cd stab hearts / Amurika: rationality’s not intelligence / we’re bound to a terrible history inherited / Africa / Asia / at war with half the world Ezra looked at his hands I’m a time mechanic / he sd to his left hand / not an embalmer poor Pound: traitor / fascist / nazi-sympathizer / aspiring philosopher king a la Plato / a la Heidegger trapped in his fragments. He remembered his earlier years in London. Flits of montage. Tea with poets / strolling Soho / transcribing Yeats / courting Dorothy’s mother & teasing Dorothy with casual glances / waking early to shape his obscene Poundpadour / I am quintessential / he sd aloud to himself silently enough so as not to draw his guard’s attention / he looked at the Pisan hills over yonder & the dirt road leading through them & in his mind sd I overturned poetic meter / listen: my poetry’s changed the world he mentally told those brown hills Pound knew how to build chairs from pieces of scrap lumber & old posts / pecuniary living taught him village explainer / he couldn’t carry a tune to save his life / but he had an acute sense of linguistic rhythm. “. . . to compose “in the sequence of he musical phrase / not “in sequence of a metronome.” He advised Yeats to make it new by searching old forms / seek some troubadour fer yr blood / Sligo--make ye feel new / be an antennae not an ant & so Pound in his cage & in his poetics wallowed in the plumpy shit of his predecessors revolutionary simpleton lightning flashed / rain poured / & he curled at his cage’s center covering his dictionary & translations with his torso we’re of one wood Ezra . . . melopoet & which way does yr goatee point tonight? Pound tapped a rhythm onto the floor of his cage--one two THREE--one two--one TWO three--one two--one two . . . THREE listened closely to his palm pop & he stacked syllables in his mind escaping his constrained landscape via soundscape / O & the purple vowels rushed & pushed upon him from somewhere outside his cage / duration / duration / duration he sd to those hills / music makes me happen he sd ear / ear for the sea surge / murmur of old men’s voices / flashes / bits / fragments / no pictures of those bastards. Pound was not crying.Pound / & don't say poor Pound: Pound blind as a bat in political matters / he was worn faint from the winds of good & evil / blinded w/ dust & burned cold down to his bones / out of key w/ his time invitation / mere invitation to invention / to perceptivity / gradually led him to the isolation of his cage. Read this: “I was & no more exist / drifted a hedonist fascist.” Setting sun behind hills / pink sky--sun’s gold glow reflected in rain puddle. Hold for just a minute longer light / just a minute please Pound sd to himself. Magnified serenity of the setting sun. & to himself he sd Whot the woild NEEDZ--
[i] Carpenter, 541.
[ii] Canto 80, lines 244-45. The Cantos of Ezra Pound. New York: New Directions, 1948.