Anna Mendelssohn | the fourteenth flight

Josef Albers, Figure One Reversed, 1937; Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop

 

two secs

for vera tolstoya

 

if this holds & goes no further could belief be a fine sudden
reading jam each other wasps and needing what in others proven
letters, papers, microfiche, secretaries, maids, mansions and a bulldog
mourning nureyev, and would not take his spirit for a scathing word or two
on his not dancing for the colonels where culture leads us to
can we care or is that too a dangerous interview i despair
&
in the world preferring to scribble pieces of sapphire
utterly irresponsible to all political programmatists
uncaring of who but a heap of scrambled irrelevancy
to avoid sermonizing within the deadweight of history
as friends grew scruffier, hair greasier, cafés seedier;
afternoons in poodle parlours, w.i. jam sessions,
raspberry dralon g.i. pied à terres, gilt identity bracelets,
cocktail bar mirrors, slumped sinatra white flaked loafers,
british legionnaires, three quarter length car coats, marriage
to an onion seller, caravan parks, virulent inflatable paddling pool lyricism
which has its good and bad aspects, how goodly to be held
but not by an officer in uniform, goodbye chi wa wa, filling in the past
with no expectations dismantling the flats
in the diagonal indicating exit: “fundamental braque”.

 

[from viola tricolor (1993)]

 

 

two secs (early draft)

if this holds & goes no further could belief be a fine sudden
reading jam each other wasps and needing what in others proven
letters, papers, microfiche, secretaries, maids, mansions and a bulldog
mourning nureyev, and would not take his spirit for a scathing
word or two on his not dancing for the colonels where culture leads us to
can we care or is that too a dangerous interview i despair
& do not laugh at other’s pain or might if constantly to support it
with a host of goodly power were not illegitimate.
& whilst to hoist machinery of administration i think one back
& walk to talk to tell you what should not offend you so, myths
there are a plenty, and most of them inspired by extra situationists
who think in terms too large to use something apart from
the real world as to charge a fortune to my name
and never look me in the face again and do not know of troetz.

in the world i’d have preferred to scribbling pieces of sapphire
utterly irresponsible to all political programmitists
uncaring of who but a heap of scrambled irrelevancy
anything to avoid sermonizing with the deadweight of history
as friends grew scruffier, hair greasier, cafés seedier;
afternoons in poodle parlours, w.i. jam sessions,
raspberry dralon g.i. pied à terres, gilt identity bracelets,
cocktail bar mirrors & slumped sinatras’ white flaked loafers,
british legionnaires, three quarter length car coats, marriage
to an onion seller, caravan parks, virulent inflatable paddling pool lyricism,
and i was less than interested personally in anyone i ever met
which has its good and bad aspects, how goodly to be held
but not by an officer in uniform, goodbye chi wa wa, filling in the past
with no expectations for the future, dismantling the flats
in the diagonal indicating exit: a drawing prize, darkness at noon,
and repeatedly turning controls down to zero, wrong & cheap, it
would take a lot more intention perhaps art is not a pastime,
perhaps it was a practise in another teach in behind the edition of
‘fundamental braque’, i SAID i didn’t know him in my hand-out.
before it didn’t matter what one says to one is not said to another
and doesn’t it show in sculpture(s). sudden, sodden, letters, lettuce,
cults, colts, faces, faeces, past, parsed, look, cook, offend, portend,
other, smother, and the holy simpering feminists denying the truth by
resubmitting the victimized to the victor’s boot.

 

[viola tricolor, draft poems (c. 1993)]

 

 

the fourteenth flight                    for jean-luc godard

 

indiscernible possessed what it flattered flew uplight across confusion deliberately whether
circular pounded out whole relives a generally ongoing disapproval of
prohibition on any vision which might without ever giving the chance, prove
an oddity’s mind does not have to be grounded before the establishment
can either change or be no more yet nothing else was clarified, no firm points
made around which further discussion could be held. I commune with the Dead
although they may have accused me of imitation, charged me with fraud, treachery to kindred or
lascicvious behaviour, although my skull is constricted & my long flowing sentences
rapidly turned into sentencing full of legal acrimony for what i fail to understand

 

wanting to write undetected by lasers, exposed by lasers, the floodlit pitch. one more sweep over the Cities,
hugging das kapital in burton-on-trent i have to congratulate the wrong answer, but there must be an explanation
which releases this agony of petulant harassment grating eyes into slivers of aluminium point reflectors
ontologically carolling fire sticks on seminal autocracy the name won’t deliver the button box unrecognizable.
girl’s encouragement suggestion supportive brain generous for no selfish interest flaring peaceful colours
in watery grains why do they think of factories, collusion, and mysterious pockets of energy,
inaccurate incongruity closes with power’s temporal beat we meet: set pieces.
set pieces you recognize as being the cultural organisation  as yet unclarified & therefore unavailable
it sounds, some spacious time voice and it lowers itself onto the boardwalk each dawn

 

in all guises of backward movement it avoids the centralised spectre of an electrified rigid force
which won’t move to be searched and won’t be slapped to be called horse and won’t be purred as a pussy
and will give a few lessons on conduct in court if declarations of
helplessness are made in the face of publicity. where were their notebooks? why didn’t they write? why did they declare
themselves to be friends? were they in need of help? if so why did they rob me? had they been instructed
by the purveyors of a cult to show their whiteness through my forests where their bulldozers smashed
without even a john steinbeck turned into a reactionary and that utterly banal rejoinder they all do
to follow a let’s play wyned down without further explanations of this is how we do why do, this loud
extra interest in an eventuality prescripted from a distorted version of suddenly last summer.

 

yes i could say it like them but i don’t want to and why should i repeat this is how we were taught
and we were good little girls it’s only an excuse for further spiking a minor injury quickly
remedied with out all the startling flurry of what the cabinets have to offer in the way of
needles and lock-ups and strip cells an padded jackets which serve a judo breakfast
beating back buckled belted in nails lipsticks palisades a dull morning falls from the string

 

the imaginative faculties are in the grips of prosecutors who can gear them any way
the both need and choose to secure their convictions so unconvinced are they that we share a lack of conviction, a hopelessness
that the accused are more often ready to admit to than are their prosecutors, and where does the pounding
come from if not from an economic system in some small trouble with some few straightenings in circumstance.
and will they go down? oh no, they won’t go down. they will Win as the good book says
with their greed and their trimmings and their bankrupt lives they will win by, in the first to the last resort, killing.

 

it was a trapping tactic to deem a writer’s ego the motivating forced regard the I along and around
a few decades of various locations distributed between solitude and social participation.
a sentient being who sensed antagonism from more serious-faced dissenters whose conversational exchange
was more cognisant of its own creation although i would not resist the general direction
but really knew it was better for me to be flying off in another direction away from their miserable
groundings in what i knew only too well, that life for the majority of people is more or less hell.

 

psychiatry the modern worm who eats and wriggles into the light a close up victorian rhubarb patch
where squiggles the caterpillar warms itself beneath the cover of a magnified leaf botanically perfect
and perfectly portrayed as perfect perfect of english perfect all in a thick wool frame smiles
with enquiring refusal to probe more deeply into the phenomenon known as subjective abstraction.
hard day at the office, employees causing ye problems, why so silent, waiting for din dins?
who is this rock of gravity. could it be a man. looks fairly like one. looks like the one who left here this morning
riding four elephants driven by Pan straight into a dossier on a complainant’s file oh the pause between each sip
and the fidgeting tax payer and the inartistic tendencies of Leo van Gogh.

 

so had they bothered to remark less upon how various paving stones seem to make me jump up and down
when s/he was being uniform and corporate and attuned i was thoroughly cradling a latent fervour
for a further plain one colour coated before they ordered an illustrated history of beef on toast
from afar, behind closed doors, at lunch, in the clinic, with a few thin jokes from a few vicious fantasies
and why beats me that’s all those closed mouths off-scew focusing had to organise a political justification for writing poetry
having not demolished a tree top for those i did not know how Could i being in jeopardy accept an invitation to a free death.
to other ends to roots twining rope logged tips touching earth’s secure holding moist & uneven in texture
riveting and imbedded cities in the silent opposition of mooning elks. Impatience, joyless loving, & artlessly limited.

 

[from viola tricolor (1993]

 

From
I’M WORKING HERE

The Collected Poems of
Anna Mendelssohn

edited by 
Sara Crangle

Shearsman Books, 2020

“The Collected Poems of Anna Mendelssohn” is one of the most important books of poetry in recent years!

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