Diurnal Astronaught

Marbles & Piracies

field notes on a reading of
the (complete) works of e.e. cummings

 

Tulips & Chimneys (1922 Manuscript)

TULIPS

EPITHALAMION

1.
unreluctant                             pandar
chryselephantine                                acerb pole
sceptered colossus                              diadumenos
lilied robe                               unimortal

read aloud: classical image & the flower
assonance & internal
rhythm-resonance
consonance concerning
the ageless,seasonal thing
—&thunder

2.

the wild trump of April                      the barbarous bright sky
witcher                                                incurious curtaining dusk
unserious                                sedulously
crocus                                      undiscovered
untimid
cowers

 3.

complete the perfumed paraphrase of death
twilight momently
dun                                          incognizable amethyst
athanor                                               chancel
inimitably                               warm long flower
                                                       of unchastity

     thy suppliant singer & his wandering word.

 OF NICOLETTE

in white towers to the moon

 24 lines
scheme:

lay     A
night     B
moon     C
tune     C
white     B
snows     D
rose     D
may     A

one     E
tears     F
prayer     G
drowsy-fair     G
peers     F
apart     H
heart     H
sun     E

glass     I
fire)     J
face     K
grace     K
lyre      J
fall     L
wall     L
grass     I

snare    M
up     N
feet     O
beat     O
cup     N
went     P
bent     P
hair    M

white towers to the moon
dumb-blooming boughs
troubled heart of May

 SONGS

I

teartroubled
people of perfect darkness
sacred witchery of almostness
far-spaced possible nearaway
begins application of (parentheses)

& ; : punctu.ation
[complicates, but sparing, timid?—
a yearning toward some future gesture]

II

while a bee dozes

sparse—
3 stanzas
first lines enjambed:

                      with
                        out
                        and

end lines end:

                        blue;
                        dears;
                        deliberated.)

III

unstrength                  but my heart smote in trembling thirds
unsheered                    of anguish quivers to your words             [bold emphasis mine]
death’s faultless eyes
noon the implacable bassoon         now twilight seeks the thrill of moon
                                                washed with a wild & thin
                                         despair of violin

concerning the tremble
what is done before the sacred all-self
fear & worship
self-division

PUELLA MEA

Harum Omar and Master Hafiz
keep your dead beautiful ladies.
Mine is a little lovelier
than any of your ladies were.

dead & little
keep mine anys
of your were

only a little
keep your dead
beauty, & mine

                                              with
April feet like sudden flowers
and all her body filled with May)

& sudden flowers
filled with May
all her flowers

all her flowers
all her feet
all her flowers

all her flowers
filled like feet
like sudden feet

like sudden feet
her body filled
her, all flowers

her, all flowers
& all feet
& all filled

& all filled
& sudden, like
May with April

May with April
like her feet
her sudden flowers

              so pure surprise
(it were so new a flower,
a flower, so frail so glad)
as trembling used to yield with dew

so it were
so so frail
glad as trembling

glad as trembling
new with dew—
surprise a flower.

surprise a flower
so glad dew
so yield to

so yield to
so frail so
so very so

so very so
so were it
a flower trembling

a flower trembling
a flower used
a frail flower

a frail flower
trembling with surprise
a new flower

a new flower
were used so
it were so.

 

CHANSONS INNOCENTES

Whenever I sicken of my flowers, I make flowers
& live in sick with circles, sickening of flowers
with my self that is not self
but
a sick & sickening circle thing thinking
“stupid flowers.”

 

I

in Just
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman 

whistles        far       and wee

I see my name & take a glee
when world is mud(d)
when mudd is mudd
is mudd mudd again:

space begins to be a thing between the whistle and the wee
& for the first time in the tulips
I see there is a page to read.

Recalling PUELLA MEA:

when the world was mad
when the world was young

(was—now IS)is mud is.
Was.
& the Joes of Indiana going
“is what it is was”

 

and eddieandbill come
and bettyandisbel come

names are name
a name become
what is usual & unified
the young travel in pairs

eddie/betty
bill/isbel 

running
dancing

problyalwaystogether

running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

America the mischief!
We know it’s spring.
We saw when

in Just spring.

But IS repeats itself
It must.
It was Just spring, but
now, it IS spring.

when the world is puddle-wonderful

even the world must IS
mud()must wonderful
IS must puddle:

the world is mud
the world is puddle-wonderful 

in Just spring                          little lame balloonman
and it’s spring                        queer old balloonman
and it’s spring                        goat-footed balloonman

in the IS of spring
a little lamb
(lame/goatfooted:
sonic resonance/image resemblance:
)
little balloonlamb of lame spring
pastures to the poem!

(if you sounds like a duck
& looks like a duck
you is a lamb)

whistles                       far       and        wee
whistles                       far       and       wee
whistles                       far
                                    and
                                    wee

f      a      r        &

w
e
e

in Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman”

spring is little
mud(d) lame little
when in spring

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

come & marble
come & spring
come running &

in Just spring
& it’s spring
&it’s spring

II

hist           whist
little ghostthings
tip-toe
twinkle-toe

in simple
lines
of simple
rhymes
small, easy compound signs

the bitty-body
new

hist           whist           tip-twinkle
twitchy witches
toes toads tweeds & tweeds

 little itchy
scuttle rustle run        and
whisk   whisk
with what
wart woman                nobody knows
           WheeEE she knows

     ooch ouch ach     great green
                    devil the devil
                    dancing
                        devil
                        devil

witch is a dark, as in
there’s violence in
like playgun
swinging sticklike sword

“she’s a witch”
& then the townsfolk
murder her
saying “devil” when
what we mean is
all her green
fields

spring IS
but IS begins to turn

play begets
of the uglies
becomes another thing
?
When?

ghostthings
tingling
mousies
scuttling
      ooch ouch ach
wart woman

III

voice turns to direct address

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

tree made flower
why does the I turn the you?
pretense for pretense
becomes
pretense for purpose:

tree like flower
“I” like mother

only don’t be afraid

I’ll dress you
hug you
kiss you
From the I & II-tableau/vignette to the III-epistle of a parent-pretender:
as engaged a witch & devil in the green.
NOW speaks with Christmas tree (Christmas is already inside,
away from the sapling tree, which is a flower is “I”s child)
Expectation & culture remove purity from expression
& play becomes purpose.
Not just a tree, but a tree named flower, named Christmas.
In spring I promise winter what I’ll be
when winter is winter:

A tree/a doll/a model—for self—self become mother—tree become child.

only don’t be afraid

 

IV

LOST!

why did you go?

opens poem & stanza

where did you go?

opens 2nd stanza

maybe asleep?

closes 3rd stanza

do you know?

opens 4th stanza

                           or maybe did
something go away
ever so quietly
when we weren’t looking.

closes poem (4th stanza)
what the reader loses: the question mark.
Is’t a lost curious-ity?
The question from us has gone.

V

with eyes a little sorry
also picking flowers
buttercups
         violets
               daisies

(still no tulips)
ADJ’s: sorry, bullying, wonderful
V’s: comes, picking

Tumbling-hair
Another comes

eddie/betty/bill/isbel:
names unmarked by a capital into a pronoun proper:

Tumbling-hair/Another/Christmas
Full-bodied names. Distinct & rule-governed.

Another comes.

The distinguished-between comes.
The named comes.

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