Saturday, November 18, 2006

Found some of Mackey's poems online. He uses a very jazz-influenced kind of rhythm, it seems. Even has some poems set to music, or music played along with them, on audio CD's. He also uses a lot of word play, anagrams, etc. Interesting . . .

Song of the Andoumboulou: 50 (sorry the formatting is not right)

-ring of the well-

Fray was the name where we came
to next. Might've been a place,
might not've been a place but
we were there, came to it
than we could see... Come to
so soon, it was a name we stuck
pins in hoping we'd stay. Stray
was all we ended up with. Spar
was another name we heard
went by... Rasp we also heard it
called... Came to it sooner
than we could see but soon enough
saw we were there. Some who'd
come before us called it Bray...

Sound's own principality it was, a
pocket of air flexed mouthlike,
meaning's mime and regret, a squib of
something said, so intent it
seemed. At our backs a blown
bamboo flute, trapic remnant,
Coast reconnoiter come up empty
but for that, a first, forgotten
warble trafficked in again even so,
mango seed's reminder sent to what
end we'd eventually see...

We had
Come thru there before we were
told. Others claiming to be us had
come thru... The ubiquitous two lay
bound in cloth come down from on
hoping it so, twist of their raiment

integument, emollient feel for what
might not have been there. Head in the
clouds he'd have said of himself,
have said elsewhere, his to be above and
below, not know or say, hers to be
alibi, elegy otherwise known...

have said elsernrheren

Above and below, limbo what fabric
intervened. Limbo the bending they moved
in between. Limbo the book of
bent knee... Antiphonal thread
attended by thread. Keening string
by thrum, inwardness, netherness...
strings tied their hair high, limbo
the headrags they wore... The admission
of cloth that it was cover, what
was imminent out of reach, given
went for real, unreal,


"Song of the Andoumboulou: 50" from Splay Anthem by Nathaniel Mackey, copyright © 2006 by Nathaniel Mackey

1 comment:

Jordan said...

Mackey's very particular about the formatting, actually - if I remember correctly the indents usually fall one em space over from the end of the previous line. Thanks for posting this. (Totally unrelated: enjoyed your poem in the recent NER.)