Nox [Excerpts]

Anne Carson - 1950-


gentes, gens gentis, feminine noun...
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1.2 Autopsy is a term historians use of the " eyewitnessing"
of data or events...
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per, see above per...
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mutam, mutus muta mutum adjective...
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More by Anne Carson

Thunderstorm Stack

A bird flashed by as if mistaken then it
starts.  We do not think speed of life. 
We do not think why hate Jezebel?  We
think who’s that throwing trees against
the house?  Jezebel was a  Phoenician.
Phoenician thunderstorms are dry and
frightening, they arrive one inside the
other as torqued ellipses.

from Pinplay

Chorus:
Choral interlude followed by Act IV.
How many pins can dance on the head of a god?
How many kings can you pin to the dance in my head?
How many dances left stains on the woman he was?
How many stains kept him quiet, O Agave!

[enter Agave exultant and covered in blood, carrying the head of Pentheus impaled on a lacuna]

Agave:
O!

Chorus:
Speak, Agave.

Agave:
I’ve come with the pins.

Chorus:
We welcome the pins.

Agave:
I stained them as prizes.

Chorus:
We prize them as kings.

Agave:
How many kings—

Chorus:
did you rip the cheeks off?

Agave:
How many cheeks—

Chorus:
did you pin to the delicate mouth of the mother?

Agave:
How many mouths did she need—

Chorus:
to finish the meat?

Agave:
Not so many.

Chorus:
A happy number?

Agave:
A clever number.

Chorus:
A realistic number?

Agave:
A frolic of a number.

[Agave raises lacuna high in one hand then lowers it gradually as her mood changes]

But then again,
actually, not much of a number.

Chorus:
If you think about it?

Agave:
A dismal little number.

Chorus:
If you study it closely?

Agave:
Just a sob of a number.

Chorus:
O Agave!

Agave:
What?

Chorus:
Your sob has a name.

Agave:
How many names can I pry from the head of a pun?

Chorus:
Just one.

Agave:
O my son!

[Agave tosses lacuna to audience with Pentheus’ head attached]
 

Related Poems

The Luxury of Hesitation [excerpt from The Proof from Motion]

things 
forgotten
I could


burn in hell forever


set the glass
down, our
emotion's moment


eyes vs sunlight


how removed
here, from
here


towards the unfamiliar and


frankincense forests
against the discerning light


everybody
sudden


frightful indeed, the sound of
traffic and
no appetite


the crowd


I would like to be
beautiful when
written



"Horse and Rider" by Keith Waldrop   |   Click to enlarge