Cantos V-VI by Teg George

Canto V


Like Dasius we wish we had taken

ourselves less seriously earlier in life,

wish we would have known that vinyl

might skip but digital has no balls,

that Brooks Brothers made stuff for women

                        as well as squares,

that plastic goes from gold to platinum

like poop through the scooper,

that films shot on Panaflex

have more depth than movies on Scotch,

that department stores shouldn’t name

themselves Target, that Auckland has trumpets

with flames bursting instead of fanfares,

that chairs without arms are chairs without butts,

that vodka made in Ireland reads

like books about SMILING—

                        Dasius didn’t get the whole Seinfeld

thing and Larry David leaves him broken—

Franz Hals’ Gypsy Girl about to have a wardrobe

malfunction looks like Happy Trails for Trigger—

                        prairie turnips


Celucci gets so impatient with people

who believe in the supernatural—

children who eenie meenie minie

are no worse than old women who try to cast

                        spells on the birds—

they’re benchwarmers at the Peace Park,

whiskered, plenty of crusts bagged from the day-old

table in their retirement home’s lobby—

pigeons fight with squirrels while the witches

throw gingerbread wadded over their lovers’ hair

                        or fingernail clippings—

their ancestors had only the supernatural to amuse

because they couldn’t read or write or even draw—

they lived in dirt huts and ate rotten bread or beets

or potatoes or turds—

their children were no more than mud enrobed vermin—

how they survived much less thrived we’ll never know—

but no one made it past Czar Josef,

their entire towns flattened like grapefruit beneath tanks

: an end to their suffering?                     only relatives

in America



After dessert, who can testify to the real

real of Dasius’ dilemma or give eyewitness

of other saturn-alias where personators

must slit their own throats?

                        Why was Dasius beheaded one

month prior to the festival?

                        Why was Saturn an unpopular god

until his festival occurred?


Even Julia Child knows where food sits

in the scale on the god’s tableau—

                        Pretty darn dear it is!

After dessert, an angel standing at the wheel

of the sun cries with a loud voice,

                        saying to all that fly in the sky:

"Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God . . .

                        that you may eat the flesh of horses

                                    and of those who sit on them . . ."


the bears pine in the courtyard

: who has sherry for them?

: whose ropes hang loose?

Hieronymus, the lions have unbridled the stable—

                        sing to your mounts,

                        “I saw Dasius and the souls of those

who had been likewise beheaded for the testimony of Jesus,

                                    and for the word of God . . .

They lived, and reigned for the thousand years . . .“

Yet, we have no bannetons, today.


So, the question that preys on our minds,

“Why did Stein call Pound the village explainer?”

as though the village lacked explanation—

always the village wants less

explanation and more food—

bread baking in its beehive ovens

or fish drying on racks

or wheat threshed

or rice hulled

or deer bled out while hanging outside the parsonage—

Old men and camels

                                    working the water-wheels—

all our strivings pass as a puff of air,

a breath blown amongst the masses

jaywalking on Fifth Avenue,

amongst the tourists toiling through the catacombs,

amongst geese, even high grass blowing in the meadow


breath invisible and past such is

every human joy spent

with air, with exhalations

that thoughtlessly were spent

in pursuit of vacant goals,

wan dreams, pale imitations of grace,

of beauty or art—

: darkness falls

: Republics topple

: tablecloth stains

                                    Ain’t we just stuck on us?

tiny hearts                           tiny minds

instead, embrace the nothing that is


Tycho Brahe makes the crawl

                                    on CNN Headline News,

“the ƒtarres therefore move in the heavens

as birds in the aire, or ƒiƒhes in the ƒea, and the like . . .”

His wheel as that of Darwin’s having

                                    come to nothing

in the continuing back slip of science to the superstitions

of Modernity, the astrological pedantry

                                    of Apian’s chart

where the motion of the spheres is governed by earth’s

rotation not the revolution of the firmament—

                        the firmament being so infirm

that the galaxy spins around a black hole and not earth,

                        how galling!

Decrepit science with no exaltation

but exhalation the breath

moving the wheel a negativity

of space made by a singularity

of matter made so grave that gravity

falls inward until nothing can escape!

Draw close to the abyss,

Swing out over the ravine,

Grab your vine—

                                    Tarzan, Jane, Boy

                        wallow if you fall—

next stop                  Disney



Canto VI


var plasma

what are these wheels that PB sprouts

            from stripped trees

as though hell hath no fury

            as a wagon scorned

but sprung from branches and twigs

these wheels

witness deformities and hazards

unspewed since Bosch

                                    risque notes not a list

of soldiers on this Festos Disk

                        linear A or B or Z—

who’s to know it’s not alacrity’s


sweet lips wedded

                                    small pecks

sealed with a kiss

then pressed into clay

before the cataclysm of 1628 BCE—


so as Elaine s/d “What am I supposed to do?

                                                Be a shrinking violet?”


or as my Liebling s/d “Cynicism is often the shamefaced

                        product of inexperience”


var gas

Earth and air their order keep


And everlasting stars wheel on their way

Unchanged, may peace profound brood o'er


Vultures who wheel eddying round

Rowing with oars of wings


When they recovered their breath from the battle

And gazed in amazement at the water


The bones spake gator shi shi, baby

The bones spake crok shi shi, say


Da ima not play wit you no mo


Say leave the bones on the sand, baby

Leave the kayno kadeenyay, baby, say


Da ima not play wit you no mo


Daughters in Shakespeare have fools for fathers

My father’s inflections on my daughter’s face


Sufficient unto the day the evil thereof


                                    Mycenaean Linear Script B

            now was linked to the calendar

                        to the eternally rolling wheel of Time


var liquid

suppose one must make

            story from life

rather lines too pressed

            like aspic or duck at Elaine’s

rather lives too quiet

            like neck face or beer man

:  Medici Boy in 1942-52

JC appropriates B’s Medici Princess in 1948

then the Medici Prince in 1952—


            oil water whether will shill for water oil


rotation invented 5500 years ago

rotary motion                            bip bip

potter’s wheel thrown 3300 BCE

            spinning spindle play

                        shaft and socket open


                        cue theme music


var elastomer

            really the trees denuded

that PB hangs with cartwheels look more

than a little like bones forking up from hills

like whales beached on Acheron’s shore


                        as though through the lens of Roger Fenton

            the mind of Tennyson, the idiocy of war

not limited to Crimea but into present

            Indochine and Mesopotamia—

            :  confusion            fear

                                    terror            confusion—

abhorred by the god

                                    all of us abandoned

to our own machines


                                                            swinging hung

from trestles as a warning to those

            who would occupy any land


:  as Hecuba can lose so can she thrill—

            so can she curse                      blind Polymestor

urging on his children                        DEAD

so that even Euripides will bend to pity

            our god’s machine


var glass

And now it becomes death preserved as class—

The ostentations of vehicular

Prowess versus an auto-da-fé of sass—


Bad tires, worse chassis, tempered particulars,

Worthless roofs, sad CAFE, enfilading

Leases, fleet depreciation, mylar


Car coats because the thing won’t be fitting

In the garage, all wheel drive masquerades

As traction control              wicked ice skating—


Name it Cayenne, Escape, or Lemonade,

The price points are taller than the axle

Height:  much far above average put paids


var solid

11 11 keeps recurring but one musn’t pay

too much attention otherwise they tie you to a telephone pole

and shoot you full of arrows like St. Sebastian

then who’ll be there to pull the shafts

and for fuck’s sake don’t go prancing back to the Emperor

bragging that he can’t kill shit where you’re concerned

or he’ll toss you off a cliff or something

even PB knew not to make such a big thing

but bury it all in the background

like St. Paul’s conversion where you can barely see him

fallen off his horse surrounded by these guys wearing

conquistador’s helmets—

it pays not to send

youths to the deli for pastrami

they’ll never appreciate it

better to give them burgers or wieners

:  the freezer has it Chan used to say

:  Golden Cadillac lens and a machine gun

both can shoot but only one gives the portrait—

                        Alfred and his fettuccine


var B-E Condensate

            does the boson have the Buddha nature?


breath supercooled

            words fall in like US Marines at 8th and I

                                                words line up

march right into Henry’s paragraphs


                                    stall                  English garden

shut gate                                   politesse

                        but no Ambassadors

                        nothing if not desultory

            perfunctory phrases not in the cards

so to speak

                                    not through this hedgerow



Cantos I