Friday, January 25, 2013

Gerrit Lansing, "The Curve"

how one incurs
                           the burden of a city
                                                                                 and Indians!

                  this is where I came in

                                    by the pest-house, through the old woods
                                    (not over that flubbery span no sentinal owns

                  comes into one’s own                                    reality
                                    making the place by pacing the place, live
                                    (or live,         change vowel eye,          heart

                  the stature commensurate
                  to the gist of the nation,
                  imagination                                                                . . . . .

again the curve, the way it slants in,

                  the lay of the land
                  unseen but by
                                                                                 Indians!        then
(thanks ever be to Charles Olson for “Indians!”                   then

                                                                                                         . . . . .

                  the alien eyes, mine eyes have seen the,

         mine eyes alien
                  not Indian!
                                                               outer planetary!

                  were keener for the curve,
                  how wolves and lions came in
      (“some affirme that they have seene a Lyon
         at Cape Anne which is not above six leagues from Boston”

                                                                                                           . . . . .

so I round another man’s measure to round out my own:

                                                      to speak of “discovera”

         the pristine we work to inherit,

                                                                 native lode

                                                                                   to shoot out again,

         is not to make up,
                                                                 some queer hemisphaera,

         it is to smell
         to dig with the hand
         to demonstrate

                                             and at least

                           to reclaim
                           to come in

                                             like Indians!

                                                                            on this curve

from the ravening wood

                                                   to a city

                                                   we once could be citizens of.

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