Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Olson, iii

Lepanto, Cy Twombly

"You are the Mountain Man, then."

Olson is so far from his experiment with danger in the North Carolina mountains, it takes him a moment. Twombly the scribbler used to call him that. Twombly off in feeble Lexington.

"Black Mountain. It was nothing. Just another - "

"Dream. Yes."

Miffed, even if he is about to say the same thing. He slurps bad coffee: a bean about which the English are clueless. She brewed as Van put up. Out of the pumps, spectacular calves. Hungry, he thinks of baguettes.

"Like Marinetti?" A soft lob to the baseline.

"Marinetti was a fuck, Mr. Olson. A most joyous fuck, but nothing more. Slithering wet joyous sheets, but still a fuck. He may have dreamed me his prompt engine, but I am, I assure you, skin and bones."

My sweet spine doth arch, in autumn falling.

Brown hands place two plates of tacos upon the table between them. She slides him hers.

They are seated on the stage in the cavernous auditorium. Curtains open, all the accoutrements of a one-room apartment: carpets, sofa, three chairs, this table, an unmade bed. Bags of clothes and suitcases spilling.


She watches his eye at rest.

"You are long for a bed, Mr. Olson."

He does not hear the are.

Van places two more plates of tacos at the edge of the stage, a table set for cats. From the dark reaches, two men walk down the center aisle, stand and eat at the makeshift bar. Brown hands place two bowls of coffee plate-side. Neither man regards the other; both disregard the play.

"Crane," she says. "The one who smells of ocean."

Olson smells noth-

"But, then, you've lost your nose, haven't you?"

Fed, the two men drift back to the reaches. He hears chairs unfold.

"Have one." The brown hand holds a cigarette. She lights the match.

I am unmade. Leaves on her naked back. Pre-Raphaelite length. In the maw of the greasy man.

"I knew my limits then," she says to the translucent skull.

"And now?"

"A most foolish question from one who has stepped back."

"I tripped and fell."

"No one stumbles through the crack. You have fed on self-deceit, Mr. Olson, but this asks for something better."


Most unmade.



Blogger Teresa said...

Not sure about this one. I read your posts in order of posting, then read them back down again. Did some googling, and read them again. This is powerful, but all of it going up at once is a bit much to absorb. Maybe I'll come back later with more thoughts.

1:05 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: Granted, it's a lot, and what's more, it's me off in my bizarro world of Tres Leches, fantasizing CO, Mina and her brood of lusting admirers, and, of course, Van the Superhero. For your googling efforts, Crane is the poet Hart Crane.

No need to chase them all down, unless you're like me and just have to - though they all are fascinating characters, even before they showed up in Tres Leches.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Is Tres Leches in the physical world outside of your synapses and neurons, or is it a mythical realm where these old poets show up in something like dreamscape??

Ahh, wasn't sure if that was Van's sensei (sifu), kung-fu master. Crane is a good name for a kung-fu master, if you ever need one.

They are fascinating characters, indeed. I studied Spanish and Latin American lit in college and now Asian lit; I missed out on a good chunk of American lit, it seems. I guess that comes in part from being a produt of public education in the 70s when everyone was putting into pedagogical practice the ideals of the summer of love and doing what feels good in the classroom. College freshman English prof. taught one semester on Henry James and one semester on William Faulkner. Sophomore English prof. taught romantic poetry one semester by Donne, Marvell, Shakespeare, and the Brownings and contemporary African-American and Chicano lit second semester. So I have black holes the size of Russia in my English lit education.

3:20 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: Uh. Yes. And yes.

Since most of us run around this blogosphere with noms de plume, it seemed only right that San Antonio should have its own, too. And since I'm not sure there's much difference between the physical world and my synapses, Tres Leches is everywhere and nowhere. And, as you've by now seen in this blog-hovel of mine, just about anything is fair game. I have been obsessed with both Olson and Mina on separate occasions, which just makes them even fairer game. I was surprised, while rummaging through the attic for the garage sale (synaptic garage sale, mind), to find that this little Olson saga was written 6 years ago.

To my mind, it is impossible not to have Black Russian holes (tastier, I think, than black holes the size of Russia; of course, my Estonian stepfather made Tan Estonians, not Black Russians. I wonder if the Chinese on Taiwan have taken similar libational revenge on the oppressors?)...okay, enough of that digression: ahem, To my mind, it is impossible not to have Black Russian holes in your English Litera-cation. How not? Way way way too much to cover, way too many wonderful (and yet obscure) poets and writers of fiction. That's what the rest of our lives are for and even that ain't near enough. I have a Uruguayan writer/educator who checks in here at Muravia, and she has recently opened doors into even more folks heretofore completely unknown to the resident Muravian. Juan Carlos Onetti has been the favorite so far.

You might call Tres Leches the trailer park just down the road from Yoknapatawhpha. No telling who's gonna show up.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

Somehow I don't see Mina Loy in a trailer park, not even for great sex. Olson maybe, but a trailer park might be too upscale for him.

I grant that there are way too many authors in any language for anyone to know them all, but I seriously managed to get out of school without reading many authors in English. I read more in my dad's library at home for pleasure than I ever did for school. Does Juan Carlos Onetti write in English, or is he an Uruguayan author/poet writing in Spanish? If you are going the international route, you might enjoy modern Singaporean and Indonesian short stories, specifically "Painting the Eye" by Philip Jeyaretnam and "The Mysterious Shooter Trilogy" by Seno Gumira Ajidarma. They are definitely off-beat and subversive.

8:08 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

T: Mina would insist, at the very least, on a double-wide, but even that would not be big enuff for the Viking.

I will assuredly add the new folks to the Muravian queue. Gotta love interlibrary loans. (In case they haven't arrived at the local biblioteca.)

8:28 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

They're in an anthology of SE Asian short stories called Virtual Lotus. They have been published for quite some time. Virtual Lotus came out in 2003 or 2004, I think. The editor is Yamada.

10:31 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Excellent. I'm on the hunt.

10:46 PM  

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