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CHORUS: SON(G)

                                                for two voices


                                                    Jack Foley


               beginning

                             his first consciousness/was an immense nostalgia—an awareness/of
               “passage”—
               the universe is running down—always in the direction of increasing entropy—
               the brutality of the word “tu-meur”     be careful here is intelligence at work
               self-hatred   masochism—he spoke of the dog as “dominant”—
               it would be necessary to give a full account of the present state of the public
               taste in this country, and to determine how far this taste is healthy or
               depraved; which, again, could not be determined without pointing out in what
               manner language and the human mind act and re-act on each other, and
               without retracing the revolutions, not of literature alone, but likewise of society
               itself.  —What of all these
               “voices”?
               The language poet orders “tongue”—

               how can we look
               to words?—how can we look?—the two
               of us
                      stranded, touching, telling—
               “I’m just beginning to reach the point where I—”
               —what you’re objecting to in my poem is not its style but thought itself, its
               shifts, its evasions, its magical ability to function in many contexts at once—
               it was the rock star—nerves jangling—veins open—who could tell him
               anything?
               the news /
                               paper
                   which had been folded over flat on the ground
                         yes/
                   terday is now
                                       wide open—
                    the wind reads it—
               To say that a poem is “about” self-consciousness is not to say that it is only
               about

               self-consciousness. There may be poems which are “only” about poetry and
               maybe ________

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