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Mazed Interior

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Cogs & cogs that cannot turn
         to recognitions: such dogs in the dark noonday!
As if the tongue told & tolled
         the melancholic arcades.
Where the moods advance toward the modes.
Time to try the knot, the Not
Or to be caught
Forever in nerve-traceries of Beauty . . .
Unstrung, the structure is sound.
Detour to far fires.
To be counted missing . . . in a toroidal space
That mimics the shape of its container, speech.
The passive of, the possessive of—
Measureless intent, blue almost black, the picture
         below the voice.
Less a name than a substance
Coming to stillness, star-inhabited.
Less a substance than a sigh.
Awaited, thou, unawaited. Divided here. O
Opened as earthen
         ring, cave-recorded.
A mazed interior. Self-similar aisles of isles, pouring
         form from form.
Lastness as device. Aligned as measurements (letters)—
         as sensitive, all-too-sensitive compass
         needles forever seeking
         the frozen pole, the zero.
Caption: “An end-of-century sailing ship, Delirium
         held fast in sheets of ice.”
No atmosphere is sufficient.
An embryo in the brain is not yet breathing.
There, the labor
Of the living rock, where an ache, or bruise-ember
         will be discovered.
         for Theremin, or permanently scarred.
Where shadows point: Mad lengthening to made, as unmade
         Thus, repetition, resisted
         is the register of thought.
Now here, even as staves are falling, another story
—intervallic—cannot be told—that is, besieged
As the heart encaged in bone.
The animal calls long long, disconsolate
In its hollow mountain.
Neither nor nor neither, time builds
Its twelve tones between round & ruined.
—as the roots of the sunflower, arrayed over earthlight.
Routes unreturning / term without terminus. Riding as reading
Writing as the righting
Of fallen
         angles, of tangles of Accident—
         arrives riven, a body never to be / surveyed.
Abandoned in a wintry field, the sum of its travels
—its hunting the same as its haunting.

Andrew Joron, "Mazed Interior" from Trance Archive, City Lights Spotlight No. 3. Copyright © 2010 by Andrew Joron.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.
Source: Trance Archive (City Lights Books, 2010)
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Mazed Interior

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  • Born in San Antonio, poet Andrew Joron was raised in Germany, Massachusetts, and Montana. He earned a BA in the philosophy of science at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied with anarchist philosopher Paul Feyerabend.

    Addressing the trajectory of his work in a 2010 interview with poetry blogger Christopher Nelson, Joron explained, "A fascination with sound, with syntax, and other properties of language defeated my earliest ambition, which was to become a science-fiction writer. I realized I was more interested in language as a speculative substance, and not as a platform for building plot and character." In a 2009 review of The Sound Mirror (2008) for Bookforum, critic Noah Eli Gordon observes that Joron has "managed to create poetry attuned to materialist critiques of language without abandoning any of the art’s mystery and metaphysical inquiry." Influenced by poet Gustaf Sobin and surrealist mystic Philip Lamantia, Joron composes experimental poems in...

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