By Joshua Clover b. 1962 Joshua Clover
Music: Sexual misery is wearing you out.
Music: Known as the Philosopher’s Stair for the world-weariness which climbing it inspires. One gets nowhere with it.
Paris: St-Sulpice in shrouds.
Paris: You’re falling into disrepair, Eiffel Tower this means you! Swathed in gold paint, Enguerrand Quarton whispering come with me under the shadow of this gold leaf.
Music: The unless of a certain series.
Mathematics: Everyone rolling dice and flinging Fibonacci, going to the opera, counting everything.
Fire: The number between four and five.
Gold leaf: Wedding dress of the verb to have, it reminds you of of.
Music: As the sleep of the just. We pass into it and out again without seeming to move. The false motion of the wave, “frei aber einsam.”
Steve Evans: I saw your skull! It was between your thought and your face.
Melisse: How I saw her naked in Brooklyn but was not in Brooklyn at the time.
Art: That’s the problem with art.
Paris: I was in Paris at the time! St-Sulpice in shrouds “like Katharine Hepburn.”
Katharine Hepburn: Oh America! But then, writing from Paris in the thirties, it was to you Benjamin compared Adorno’s wife. Ghost citizens of the century, sexual misery is wearing you out.
Misreading: You are entering the City of Praise, population two million three hundred thousand . . .
Hausmann’s Paris: The daughter of Midas in the moment just after. The first silence of the century then the king weeping.
Music: As something to be inside of, as inside thinking one feels thought of, fly in the ointment of the mind!
Paris: Museum city, gold lettering the windows of the wedding-dress shops in the Jewish Quarter. “Nothing has been changed,” sez Michael, “except for the removal of twenty-seven thousand Jews.”
Paris 1968: The antimuseum museum.
The Institute for Temporary Design: Scaffolding, traffic jam, barricade, police car on fire, flies in the ointment of the city.
Gilles Ivain: In your tiny room behind the clock, your bent sleep, your Mythomania.
Gilles Ivain: Our hero, our Anti-Hausmann.
To say about Flemish painting: “Money-colored light.”
Music: “Boys on the Radio.”
Boys of the Marais: In your leather pants and sexual pose, arcaded shadows of the Place des Vosges.
Mathematics: And all that motion you supposed was drift, courtyard with the grotesque head of Apollinaire, Norma on the bridge, proved nothing but a triangle fixed by the museum and the opera and St-Sulpice in shrouds.
The Louvre: A couple necking in an alcove, in their brief bodies entwined near the Super-Radiance Hall visible as speech.
Speech: The bird that bursts from the mouth shall not return.
Pop song: We got your pretty girls they’re talking on mobile phones la la la.
Enguerrand Quarton: In your dream gold leaf was the sun, salve on the kingdom of the visible.
Gold leaf: The mind makes itself a Midas, it cannot hold and not have.
Thus: I came to the city of possession.
Sleeping: Behind the clock, in the diagon, in your endless summer night, in the city remaking itself like a wave in which people live or are said to live, it comes down to the same thing, an exaggerated sense of things getting done.
Paris: The train station’s a museum, opera in the place of the prison.
Later. The music lacquered with listen.

Joshua Clover, “Ceriserie” from The Totality for Kids. Copyright © 2006 by Joshua Clover. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: The Totality for Kids (The University of California Press, 2006)

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Poet Joshua Clover b. 1962


Subjects Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Music, Architecture & Design, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict, Popular Culture, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Poet, critic, and journalist Joshua Clover was born in 1962 in Berkeley, Calif. An alumnus of Boston University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Clover has published two volumes of poetry, Madonna anno domini (1997) and The Totality for Kids (2006). His poems have also appeared three times in Best American Poetry, and he has written two books of film and cultural criticism: The Matrix (2005) and 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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