Saturday, February 1, 2014

Charles Olson, "Antimaximus II"

The little horn waxed great and was knocking off
not just some of the host but stars, mind you,
to the ground. Something had to be done about

By signs and wonders hidden in the syntax he sought
to obtain credence, showing himself that he was man.
By the breath of his lips he fooled the good which
should have slain the wicked. He was retarded himself
by being American and thus a perverter of men, come
of a nation of workers of wonders

Seducer by song, to be thrown down as a hidden second
beast who sang of what was, and is not, and yet is. And it
isn’t good enough.

Wearing the head, as it were wounded to death, playing the
lamb that was slain, the number is 666, he made off as though
he had to throw off a great sleep, arouse himself and go
forth from a cave in which he assumed he had lain—cry
Tiamat, he cried, “o us, the sleeping emperors.” And the girls
said, “sing more songs!” A plague on both your lips

Not Sybils but by syllables shall you be free

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