Muse & Drudge

January 6, 2008 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

I’ve been reading the poli-punning delight that is Harryette Mullen‘s Recyclopedia. Today I’d like to share one of her poems with you:

up from slobbery
hip hyperbole
the soles of black feet
beat down back streets

a Yankee porkchop
for your knife and fork
your fill of freedom
in Philmeyork

never trouble rupture
urban space fluctuates
gentrify the infrastructure
feel up vacant spades

no moors steady whores
studs warn no mares
blurred rubble slew of vowels
stutter war no more

An unsteady (suggesting a drunken slurring?) plural “moors” manages to capture the cold barren space of “moor” with the additive “more” negated. Assonance is Mullen’s means of reducing steady to studs, and moors to mares such that in the final quatrain the “blurred rubble slew of vowels” conjoins and genders the moor mares and steady studs in a question of “whores” and who exactly is stuttering “war no more.” The blurred unsteady stanza offers tentative truce if not piece or peace.

Freedom is consumption of vacant raced bodies and buildings in Philmeyork. The gentrified urban infrastructure presents an untroubled rupture, i.e. a rape, of the felt up vacant spades. The infra is here intra and entrails/entails the violence of your knife and fork in that Yankee porkchop. The north isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, apparently.

The soles of black feet beating down back streets syncopates a blues line, but the blues is the blues and hip hyperbole is no moors steady than a stutter stew of slobbery cutlets. Still, this feels like resistance.


Entry filed under: poetry. Tags: , , , , .

Justice “D.A.N.C.E” Snowblind

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