Uut Poetry

Uut Poetry

Uut (n.): an infectious strain of contemporary American surrealism; a practitioner of Uut poetics; a cloven-hoofed quadruped with nautical antlers.

More about Uut.

The essential modernism of the surrealists is their concept of art as a building process, not as an expression or statement of existence as it is, but as a modification or an addition to it.
Anna Balakian
Labels

We all search for the simple parts of our lives
by falling in love
with locomotives.

For on the weekend some of us will make stockings.
For caterpillars know not what evades detection 
in the raised dew of the brain.

Labels, rejected by society,
are the mystical signs of the quantum science
babbling behind a spatial skein,

the aimless nest 
of adjectival fibers,

the knobby truss
of all of our lives.

art by Die blauen Reiter

Labels

We all search for the simple parts of our lives
by falling in love
with locomotives.

For on the weekend some of us will make stockings.
For caterpillars know not what evades detection
in the raised dew of the brain.

Labels, rejected by society,
are the mystical signs of the quantum science
babbling behind a spatial skein,

the aimless nest
of adjectival fibers,

the knobby truss
of all of our lives.

art by Die blauen Reiter

National Poetry Month: April 22

banangolit:

image

Today’s poem is from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein.

A brief overview of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s crazy-ass life: born in Vienna in 1889 to one of the wealthiest families in Europe at the center of Viennese culture (Gustav Klimt painted his sister’s wedding portrait; Mahler and Brahms gave frequent concerts at his home) the Wittgensteins were a pretty nutty bunch— think Royal Tenenbaums but richer and crazier. Three of his brothers committed suicide (one jumped off a boat, one drank poison, and one shot himself after the troops he was commanding deserted him).

In college Wittgenstein became interested in philosophy (the kind that involves equations and stuff) and attracted the attention of Bertrand Russell. He went to Cambridge and was declared a genius by Russell but pissed everyone off by being a domineering asshole about it. He inherited all his dad’s money, enlisted in the army, and fought in WWI on the front line of some of the most intense battles in history. He won numerous medals for bravery.

After the war he was mentally fucked and gave away his fortune to his surviving siblings. He retreated to the Austrian countryside and wrote a philosophical treatise called Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that was regarded as basically the most important philosophical work of the century. He became an elementary school teacher in a rural town and got in trouble for beating the children. Later in life he went through a “confessional” period during which he returned to the town and personally apologized to the then-grown children.

He eventually returned to England and rescued his siblings from the nazis by convincing Hitler they were mixed blood and not too jewish (and giving the nazis a bunch of the family fortune). WWII convinced him philosophy was stupid so he took a low-paying job in a hospital instead.

Late in life he wrote another treatise called Philosophical Investigations that clarified and refuted some of his earlier work and then died in 1951 at age 62. He was gay but not openly and, with the exception of a few brief affairs, was mostly considered to be celibate.

The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a bizarre book written in a series of numbered epigrams that seem like poems to me. Although it supposedly contains groundbreaking logical revelations, it’s a great book just to pick up and read a few random entries, and that is the only way I have ever tried to read it. The part below is actually the ending so stop reading if you don’t like spoilers.

from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

6.522     There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.

6.53     The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said i.e. propositions of natural science— i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy— and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in his propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person— he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy— this method would be the only strictly correct one.

6.54     My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them— as steps— to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)

He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

7     What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

ecantwell:

My chapbook, Premonitions, is here!
I had a fantastic time working with Scott Sweeney at Grey Book Press on this little manuscript—a group of poems I truly love, and that I hope you can truly love, too. Scott had some really nice things to say about this chapbook, and it will only cost you $6, which is super reasonable. Small presses are the best!
To order one, go here & scroll down until you see the link for Premonitions (the last entry on the Titles page, as it’s the most recent). 
Love you, Tumblr.

ecantwell:

My chapbook, Premonitions, is here!

I had a fantastic time working with Scott Sweeney at Grey Book Press on this little manuscript—a group of poems I truly love, and that I hope you can truly love, too. Scott had some really nice things to say about this chapbook, and it will only cost you $6, which is super reasonable. Small presses are the best!

To order one, go here & scroll down until you see the link for Premonitions (the last entry on the Titles page, as it’s the most recent).

Love you, Tumblr.

Stagnance

The Suicide By Manet

Inside the blistering sun, 
I’m swept with desire and fascinated intrigue,
You’re the love of my life and what enters me intravenously,
You’re the blue tint I will have on my lips as I grow cold on the floor at Max’s Kansas City,
And the mental stop I have as I shove my face in a paler shade of your white skin at the Hacienda,
More beautiful than the shores of Matador and more serene than the images from Spain,
You light me up like the neon illuminating Tokyo,
You’re the bird song I want to hear everyday of the week, 
If I could have you inside my sanctuary, ghosts will call it heaven, I want to stand there placidly with you,
Perched inside a station while it’s raining nearest the darkest most desolate area we can be stuck in, 
I want to stand there with you and look right into your eyes, dance with the zabula in our minds, 
I want to be inside the inspired explosion of orchestral vibrancy floating in ominous space with gear inside of us working jobs we hate just so we can be together,
If I am to die tonight with these thoughts in my head, I want you there by my bed to lay me down, inside of me,
Forming, morphing into spirit,
You are desired and never tormented, forgotten from time to time but never lost, as the jungle climbs high so do I, to meet you at its beautiful misty peak,
I will look outside for the hints and promises on the Northern Line to Sheffield because there someone stole you away from me; Jesus Christ by initials.
As you wait on the bench in the rain sitting quitely, I stagger at the corner looking at you listening to the thunderous boom, flash, of wet December night,
No more jungle, no more zabula,
And as each step grows nearer I only envision this embrace to be the best,
I am sorry we have to escape each others arms so we can hold up an umbrella as we wait for the train,
6 hours on a train, to only stay still for 5 minutes with you,
6 more hours laying in your lap,
And you think I don’t love you, 
When I would wait until the day I die, to look at you smiling my way as we meet again,
Only five minutes,
I love your breath.

art by Eugenia Loli

Stagnance

The Suicide By Manet

Inside the blistering sun,
I’m swept with desire and fascinated intrigue,
You’re the love of my life and what enters me intravenously,
You’re the blue tint I will have on my lips as I grow cold on the floor at Max’s Kansas City,
And the mental stop I have as I shove my face in a paler shade of your white skin at the Hacienda,
More beautiful than the shores of Matador and more serene than the images from Spain,
You light me up like the neon illuminating Tokyo,
You’re the bird song I want to hear everyday of the week,
If I could have you inside my sanctuary, ghosts will call it heaven, I want to stand there placidly with you,
Perched inside a station while it’s raining nearest the darkest most desolate area we can be stuck in,
I want to stand there with you and look right into your eyes, dance with the zabula in our minds,
I want to be inside the inspired explosion of orchestral vibrancy floating in ominous space with gear inside of us working jobs we hate just so we can be together,
If I am to die tonight with these thoughts in my head, I want you there by my bed to lay me down, inside of me,
Forming, morphing into spirit,
You are desired and never tormented, forgotten from time to time but never lost, as the jungle climbs high so do I, to meet you at its beautiful misty peak,
I will look outside for the hints and promises on the Northern Line to Sheffield because there someone stole you away from me; Jesus Christ by initials.
As you wait on the bench in the rain sitting quitely, I stagger at the corner looking at you listening to the thunderous boom, flash, of wet December night,
No more jungle, no more zabula,
And as each step grows nearer I only envision this embrace to be the best,
I am sorry we have to escape each others arms so we can hold up an umbrella as we wait for the train,
6 hours on a train, to only stay still for 5 minutes with you,
6 more hours laying in your lap,
And you think I don’t love you,
When I would wait until the day I die, to look at you smiling my way as we meet again,
Only five minutes,
I love your breath.

art by Eugenia Loli

I Was Going to Say When Truth Broke In

Infinite Splinters

I drank a cup of instant coffee at midnight.
While I drank there were bats hovering 
the basement ceiling attached to flaccid
stalactites of meaning that yelped black growls.
I’m proud to say I didn’t touch them, 
but if it came to be that they dripped 
onto my forehead I wouldn’t know except
to have been blown to Bermuda.

I sat at a gathering of friends discussing 
broken promises, then she walks right in 
with a cast on her left foot, sucking a bright blue 
popsicle and laughing when she falls face first 
into the emergency exit and the alarms go off. 
It was Mother Teresa after all. Someone asked me 
to pronounce Copernican heliocentrism in French 
and out my mouth came the giraffes I’d been hiding
since sixteen: a bear in hat, a startlingly demure
pack of clowns, and an emaciated lion followed
as they should.

The garland of dreams pulls from my head.
The wrecked wrens find it a suitable nest.
The tepid breeze finally smiles at it too.
A kind of liminality into jars fancifully mingles,
like the way cars snake through traffic,
how the heart manages the knowledge of mortality.

art by Collage al Infinito

I Was Going to Say When Truth Broke In

Infinite Splinters

I drank a cup of instant coffee at midnight.
While I drank there were bats hovering
the basement ceiling attached to flaccid
stalactites of meaning that yelped black growls.
I’m proud to say I didn’t touch them,
but if it came to be that they dripped
onto my forehead I wouldn’t know except
to have been blown to Bermuda.

I sat at a gathering of friends discussing
broken promises, then she walks right in
with a cast on her left foot, sucking a bright blue
popsicle and laughing when she falls face first
into the emergency exit and the alarms go off.
It was Mother Teresa after all. Someone asked me
to pronounce Copernican heliocentrism in French
and out my mouth came the giraffes I’d been hiding
since sixteen: a bear in hat, a startlingly demure
pack of clowns, and an emaciated lion followed
as they should.

The garland of dreams pulls from my head.
The wrecked wrens find it a suitable nest.
The tepid breeze finally smiles at it too.
A kind of liminality into jars fancifully mingles,
like the way cars snake through traffic,
how the heart manages the knowledge of mortality.

art by Collage al Infinito

Last Sunday I ran my first race, 10 miles in the Parkway Classic. On Wednesday I defended my dissertation. On Saturday night I celebrated Pascha. It’s been a riveting and full week.

Now I’m back and ready to rip. New ideas percolating. New poems forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Load more posts