ditch,

the poetry that matters

Mark Young

Mark Young's most recent books are Pelican Dreaming: Poems 1959-2008 (Meritage Press, California, 2008), Lunch Poems (Soapbox Press, Auckland, N.Z, 2008), More from Series Magritte (Moria Books, Chicago, 2009) & the e-chap Terracotta Worriers (ungovernable press, Sweden, 2009).
 
He edits the e-zine Otoliths from his home on the Tropic of Capricorn in Australia.

from Genji Monogatari

 

VIII. The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms

The relativity principle
holds only inso-
far as the reduction
in biodiversity in the
rice paddies can be
attributed to the over-
use of agricultural
chemicals. Otherwise
time is compressed to
a single point in space,
can no longer tell us how
the big bang gave rise
to the universe as we
used to know it. The
longbow moon is met
by the silence of crickets
& frogs, provokes the
rhetorical koan: do
flowers blossom when
no-one is there to see
or smell them? I have
drawn
Spring from the
Urushi box, said Genji.



XVI. The Gatehouse

Embodied energy is
not what is brought
along but what
it cost to get it
there.
Few machines
are capable of drilling
large diameter shafts
in one pass. Later he
said that deconstruction
is justice. Repetitions may
occur, &, besides,
repetitions may occur;
that's why redundancy
may also be unavoidable.
πέλαγος or pélagos,
means open sea. Look
out at the open sea &
see the large pelagic fish
pass by. These impacts
are rarely apparent at the
point of purchase. How
very attentive he was
to detail, thought Kogimi.

 
 
XXIV.
Butterflies

Little plot, not much
action. Forty seven
epiphytes, grown up
in vitro, take turns
to soliloquize on how
they'll seek revenge
for the death of a host
they never knew. A
chorus onstage with
them, eight little girls
in costume, four
dressed as birds, the
rest as butterflies,
chanting the sutras
interwoven with items
from the latest CNN
news—a ban on the use
of soya grown in deforested
areas of the Amazon, the
privatisation about to
rescue the airport from
bankruptcy. Rainforest
mahogany is currently
being imported into the
U.S. in clear violation of
international agreements.
Rain has always been
used in Indian cinema to
portray rejuvenation. The
butterflies seemed to fly
higher than the birds.



XXIX. The Royal Outing

She had fallen asleep
in the palanquin, & it
wasn’t until they arrived
that she realized the
mountains had disappeared
& everything was flat &
monotonous. Being
& Nothing, the only
conceivable externals in a
Hegelian scheme; but the
grammar makes it possible
to bring new semiotic "no-
things" into being through
the unfolding of text. To
question language is
to question being. Please
state clearly if you wish
to remain anonymous.

 
 
XXXVII.
The Flute

Comes a point when
the juice no longer
runs through the jelly-
bag & the subsequent
variation in acoustic
properties means soft-tissue
injuries become more
prevalent. He took the
child in his arms & told
her of an age when
performances were held
in the streets, open spaces,
shrines; when small groups
of independent Noh &
Kyōgen actors roamed
the countryside, able to be
identified by the color of
their socks, white for
the Noh, yellow for the
Kyōgen. That now re-
membered only as a
probability problem &
even then corrupted—
an actor has two white
& two yellow socks
randomly disarrayed in
his dresser drawer...The
fiery string music of ’30s
country bands given way
to the fiddle & steel honky-
tonk of musicians with
cleats on their shoes. Forte.
Piano. The child was asleep.
He put her down & blew a
soft strain on his new flute.



XXXXII. His Perfumed Highness

Confirm is periodic, historic
drama loh! Especially about
the different Dynasties. He went
to see Deep Purple with both
hands curled around a stick of
flame-tempered hardwood
or maybe it was the silent
u in biscuit. There's confirm.
No doubt about the history, the
unmistakable grace & mastery
of brilliant color. Though the
syntax may leave a little to be
desired, it should allow rich &
expressive statements in contrast
to his previous constructions.

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