November 12th, 2010 / 2:21 am

She Skull Spirit Stupid Stupid Sensuality Stands Stars Sky She Shoulder Sun Sword Saint Signature Sandwich Same Scrap Stroke Skin Structure Scratch Skull

Elastic Poem #6
by Blaise Cendrars
Translated by Ron Padgett

Noodz by Modigliani

She Has a Body on Her Dress

A woman’s body is as bumpy as my skull
If you’re embodied with a little spirit
Fashion designers have a stupid job
As stupid as phrenology
My eyes are kilos that weigh the sensuality of women

Everything that recedes, stands out comes forward into the depth
The stars deepen the sky
The colors undress
“She has a body on her dress”
Beneath her arms heathers hands lunules and pistils when the waters flow into her back with its blue-green shoulder blades
Her belly a moving disk
The double-bottomed hull of her breasts goes under the bridge of rainbows
The perpendicular cries of the colors fall on her thighs
The Sword of Saint Michael

There are hands that reach out
In its train the animal all the eyes all the fanfares all the regulars at the Bal Ballier
And on her hip
The poet’s signature

from Caliban’s Filibuster
by Paul West

It’s only a rainbow sandwich after all, naked or clad, inland or offshore, whether we master magic or magic masters us, only our own doing, our own undoing, everything that exists as factual as the fact of what’s-not-existing’s not existing, all same things to me. I am coming off it in response to importunings, made whole (approximately) by injury, cured by harm, promoted by abasement, made the giver by a gift received, which I am now—as if fondling a papyrus, a talisman, a scrap of grail-touching along its creases with a fluent stroke as if it might take flight, might not, might with its beak puncture my skin to let in the blessed bane, might yet, my one wish being to divine the structure and the foldlines without unpeeling it. Firm without paste or pin, but paper and wordless, it tells what scratch-pads are for: the doubling of one’s fiber into a gift that packs itself.

Read Paul West’s review of Moravagine via Journey Round My Skull!

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  1. Tim Horvath

      Paul West’s Sheer Fiction series is among the most extraordinary literary criticism out there. It turned me on to so many authors and to a way of reading them that was forceful and worthy of the works themselves. Reading West you do not feel you are reading about books, you feel like you are eating them.

  2. deadgod

      The typo in the headline – if it is a typo; if not, then the portmanteau word – would be cooler, to me, if it read: Structruer.

  3. deadgod

      The typo in the headline – if it is a typo; if not, then the portmanteau word – would be cooler, to me, if it read: Structruer.

  4. reynard seifert

      oh yeah that’s just a typo

  5. reynard seifert

      sort of bummed no one else things that poem is as awesome as i do and the noodz what about the noodz! oh well, i’m gonna go tie a metaphorical tie now

  6. sara