Human Cylinders

By Mina Loy 1882–1966 Mina Loy
The human cylinders
Revolving in the enervating dusk
That wraps each closer in the mystery
Of singularity
Among the litter of a sunless afternoon
Having eaten without tasting
Talked without communion
And at least two of us
Loved a very little
Without seeking
To know if our two miseries
In the lucid rush-together of automatons
Could form one opulent wellbeing

Simplifications of men
In the enervating dusk
Your indistinctness
Serves me the core of the kernel of you
When in the frenzied reaching out of intellect to intellect
Leaning brow to brow       communicative
Over the abyss of the potential
Concordance of respiration
Shames
Absence of corresponding between the verbal sensory
And reciprocity   
Of conception
And expression
Where each extrudes beyond the tangible
One thin pale trail of speculation
From among us we have sent out
Into the enervating dusk
One little whining beast
Whose longing
Is to slink back to antediluvian burrow
And one elastic tentacle of intuition
To quiver among the stars

The impartiality of the absolute
Routs      the polemic
Or which of us
Would not
Receiving the holy-ghost
Catch it      and caging
Lose it
Or in the problematic   
Destroy the Universe
With a solution

Mina Loy, "Human Cylinders" from The Last Lunar Baedeker, published by Jargon Press. Copyright © 1982 by Mina Loy.  Reprinted by permission of The Estate of Mina Loy.

Source: The Last Lunar Baedeker (The Jargon Society, 1982)

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Poet Mina Loy 1882–1966

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Relationships, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Men & Women

 Mina  Loy

Biography

Although born in England, Mina Loy worked as a poet and visual artist in Paris, Florence, and New York City, where her beauty and outlandish behavior shone at the center of several avant-garde circles. The eccentric vocabulary and syntax of Loy’s free-verse poems and their sardonic treatment of love can puzzle and offend, but no reader can question the work’s originality nor the poet’s fierce intelligence.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Men & Women

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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