Follow Harriet on Twitter

About Harriet


and who knows when was the Aequinox?

By Anselm Berrigan

In response to this one’s continuous muttering of exhausted inane yap punctuated by some light bitching about being too currently pastly and futurely dumb to write any public speak, my three-week old daughter June put down her copy of Melmoth the Wanderer for a minute, though keeping on her headphones which were feeding her a shuffle of songs including, I think, if I’ve been accurately identifying what’s creeping into the air, Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, the Eric B. and Rakim number “I Ain’t No Joke,” the Townes Van Zandt version of “Poncho and Lefty”, “If You Don’t Cry” by Magnetic Fields, and some Elizabeth Mitchell, early Polvo, and a lot of random bullshit for the sake of continuous juxtaposition, like “All that Gas” cutting right into a live version of “NIB”, to remind me that the truth is we do not know what the poet feels. All we know is that its internal structure is extremely intricate and consists of more than two hundred bones and cartilages. Among the poet’s most striking external features are its powerful tail fin, the narrow head, the slightly prominent lower mandible, and its large eye, with a black pupil swimming in the silvery-white iris. The poet’s dorsal area is of a bluish-green colour. The individual scales on its flanks and belly shimmer a golden orange, but taken together they present a metallic, pure white gleam. Held against the light, the rearward parts of the poet appear a dark green of beauty one sees nowhere else. Once the life has fled the poet, its colours change. Its back turns blue, the cheeks and lines red, suffused with blood. An idiosyncrasy peculiar to the poet is that, when dead, it begins to glow; this property, which resembles phosphorescence and is yet altogether different, peaks a few days after death and then ebbs away as the poet decays. For a long time no one could account for this glowing of the lifeless poet, and indeed I believe that it still remains unexplained. Around 1870, when projects for the total illumination of our cities were everywhere afoot, two English scientists with the apt names of Herrington and Lightbown investigated the unusual phenomenon in the hope that the luminous substance exuded by dead poets would lead to a formula for an organic source of light that had the capacity to regenerate itself. The failure of this eccentric undertaking, as I read some time ago in a history of artificial light, constituted no more than a negligible setback in the relentless conquest of darkness.

Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by Anselm Berrigan.