Ultra Orator Spell

I become the song I’ve been
singing alone in this field with you.
What deal did we make that leaps
so far behind both into the horizon 
and from it? Some grim comfort
has come my way in the form
of an ox. The ox struggles to remain
in my consciousness, an unfounded
howl yearning to ring around
a ventriloquist’s echo. I’ve become
too busy for such nonsense, so I cast
it into the places where I retreat myself,
the ecstatic, gratitudinal rest and re-
storation of popular music. My goal
isn’t to unfold popular music once
more, rather it is to speak now to
how the animals say it better. Make
the nominal joy render justice. Make
a joke of nothing. Grade this remark
holding no reluctance today, only hope.

Mixed with always:

Your songs
        	are the impossible ruins
        	that keep the hours on turn.
        	Keep awe bare like
sound at night.
The candle burn. Ice
melts and wax. The dirt
on your mind. Engines roll
in clutter. Clank cool
and electrify the room.
We always
become mysterious—
birds at the end of each evening.
Whoever does the telling stops
time like a crescendo. We hit
blue notes so the edges
of your honey jars rattle laughter
against our teeth.
Rhythm breaks
like need or the knowledge
a mouth organ has
about breath and tone, blood
and gravity and balance—
all those sweet sounds
that can make even
windows shatter.

Related Poems

Poetry Anonymous

Do not fall in love with a poet
they are no more honest than a stockbroker.

(Do you have a stockbroker? If you do, 
your poet is with you because you have one.) 

If you think that they are more sensitive because they care about language
pay attention to how they use language.
Are you included? Are you the "you"?

Or are you a suggestion?
Are you partially included as a suggestion? 

        Are you partially excluded because you are a concept 
        in some jewel-like nouns, almost throwaway,
        yet a perfect resemblance? 

        How does narcissism 
        assist you, who is also the object of desire?
        Do you become the tour-de-force?  

        Consider that poem's vagueness doesn't account for your complexity
        and the epithets don't suffice, you are not "one who is a horse-drawn carriage" 
        nor are you a "sparrow with hatchet." 

Perhaps they quote Mallarme when taking you to bed, 
carefully confusing you with their charm and faux-chastity.

All this before voracious body-pressing.
The lovemaking is confusing until, you remember, they said something:

thus spake the dreamboat, your poet, alarmingly announces during climax:

I spend my fires with the slender rank of prelate

and then fierce withdrawal with a rush of perseverance to flee.

You are mistaken if language furthers your devotion.
You are a fallen person now.
They care more about "you" than for you (you, the real person you).

Line after line, a private, unmediated act done to you with confusing abandon, 
flailing in its substance, however deceptive.

It will enhance your own directionlessness, 
you will be harmed. 

You cannot mediate it with caress. 

Do you think because they understand what meaning looks like, 
they have more meaning than others? 
They are the protectors of feeling, mere protectors: earnest? 
        No. They are protectors of the flawed,
        filling zones of bereftness. 
        The aftermath of pleasure. A contested zone for all.  

What about the lawyer who loves the law? 
Isn't he just a poet with a larger book—
the way they protect and subject language 
to sense-making? 

A kind of cognitive patternization. 

Ultimately, both undertake the hijacking of language, 
they won't love you the way
you are; it's in this inability to love— 
unless you embody the poem— 
you embody the law and its turn of phrase.
Unless you see the poet clearly: loving utterance, 
an unadulterated utterance—seized and insular. 

You must entice with otherness.
        You must catch the poem as a muse does. 
You must muse and muse and muse. 

In thralldom to encounters that stand in for sexual ones, 
we terrorize with sense-making, 

it stands in for intimacy. 

It stands in and suggests that all other kinds of feelings 
and declarations yield to it.

It will move you if you ask for permission 
to exist within its confines,
and you move the poet toward you and you hold the poet's head,
wrapping your arms around it 
strapped in your wordless hold, but soon words do come 

and in the trailing off of speech, you will be permanently lost.

Languages

There are no handles upon a language 
Whereby men take hold of it 
And mark it with signs for its remembrance. 
It is a river, this language, 
Once in a thousand years 
Breaking a new course 
Changing its way to the ocean. 
It is mountain effluvia 
Moving to valleys 
And from nation to nation 
Crossing borders and mixing. 
Languages die like rivers. 
Words wrapped round your tongue today 
And broken to shape of thought 
Between your teeth and lips speaking 
Now and today 
Shall be faded hieroglyphics 
Ten thousand years from now. 
Sing—and singing—remember 
Your song dies and changes 
And is not here to-morrow 
Any more than the wind 
Blowing ten thousand years ago. 

Poetry is

poetry is evanescence
 

poetry is life sentence, release
on words, liberté sur parole
 

poetry is a blind guide to an ancient
enigma, to an inaccessible
secret
 

poetry is an argument
dynamic and jarring
 

poetry is a rag tag cos-
mology we can
raise and wave,
it's a small (abregée) cos-
mogony: unaware,
seamless, unstitched,
breathless, in tatters
 

poetry is to forget
forgetfulness
 

poetry is to separate self from
self
 

poetry is what's completely
left out
 

poetry is emptying without
exhausting
 

poetry is constraint to the remote,
to the not yet, the not
now, the not here,
the not there, the
not before, neither not after,
nor not now
 

poetry is breeching
 

poetry is to burn and give birth
in the same vocal gesture
 

poetry is being-there multiplied
by not being-there, remembering
to trans-be-there traversely
like a watershed
 

poetry is a misunderstanding about
what I don't know exactly,
but a misunderstanding
 

poetry is infinite impotence,
limpid, lucid, hallucinated
 

poetry is intersection
interjection
intersession
interruption
 

poetry is a low blow
 

poetry is transit and exit
 

poetry is infusion and trans-fusion
 

poetry is memory of what is not
and what must not be; that is
the culminating, liminal Self
the Self as an incomplete cosmos
never to be completed
 

poetry is tying—untying
 

poetry is the ritual scene of
infinite uncertainty, of the
inaccessible Infermity
(Infirmitas)
 

poetry is a streak
a swerve
a splay
a spade
 

poetry is crib—cradle
it's nook—needlei
of the Trans-Organ
of the trans-organic
of the Indistinct
of the In(de)terminable
 

poetry is ash
 

poetry is diagonal
it's ramble
inside the manifest body
of Universal Inexistence
of Global Entropy
 

poetry is stiffened laziness
an arm hanging from the
branch of the Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil; that is
a Monkey in Brazil
always hanging by an arm
from the branch of a tree (it's the Preguiçaii )
 

poetry is terrorism in the domain of speech,
a bang in the cloister of language
 

it's terror in the depths of rhetoric
 

poetry is liberation from knowing
escape from the known
a release from mechanics
 

and at the same time it's falling, sinking
into repetitive, obsessive, iterative
mechanics, which are also the
mechanics of hinting, of the
norm, of ritual (of strict
obligation, of rhyme, of number,
of essence)
 

poetry is the implosion of zero time
and in(de)finite degree
 

poetry is unleashing, un-phrasingiii, a potential
threat, breaking, robbing,
destruction
 

poetry is smashing, shattering, shaking
 

 

it's a clash between
strength and restraint
that tends to erase.
We are truly
infinitely mad

 

poetry is almost everything: that is everything, less
what it really is
 

poetry is impermanence crossed with
trans-manence
 

it's impertinence
 

poetry is counter and encounter (spontaneous
and predestined) between neurosis and unconscious,
between archetype and Self
 

a monotonous and perpetuated ring between
impulse and obsession
 

poetry is aggression
 

to write poetry is to cut slits, produce cracks,
point out filaments in the
curtain, in the Barred
Wall
 

poetry is a fight against the night
 

poetry is night against the night
 

poetry is a rub against the voice
 

poetry is friction against the Dragon's skin
 

poetry is this
it's this and that
and so be it
 


iIn the original Italian, this verse literally reads: it's cell—eye of the needle. Villa may have been thinking about the passage from the New Testament "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19: 23-24)
iiPerguiça literally means "sloth" in Portuguese. Here Villa uses it in reference to the mammal that dwells in the trees of South America, specifically those of Brazil, where he lived for three years.
iiiSfraso might derive from the verb "sfrasare," meaning to disrupt the phrase. It is, however, one of Villa's many neologisms and the interpretation offered here (un-phrasing) is merely hypothetical.