If I had a blue guitar, with the air of a destroyer, what would the mea culpa amount to? The mean sun moves through these streets, like spitchcock sliding out of grasp. At night trick cyclists charge the half-bloods of causing too much stress amongst the body politic. I digress. Lolita grabbed a longbow and aimed it straight at the heart of motion sickness. The mother country is a Ouija board lit up by shelterwood paralogisms.
Early in the morning, dressed in a sher- wani gifted by tangerine relatives (unionists all), I considered volun- teerism. A weanling still, my time (after the wedding night) has been a mortise lock, broken only by morphic resonance. If I wake up in Morocco, I go to sleep in Gran Canaria. The head- master had a note for me: wipe out the graffiti, today the lord mayor should visit.
Then we went to learn to be mahdis. We ate the maguey plant, built picture palaces, followed the rural route, lived at the skating rink, owned that the ghats needed to be cleaned. The ghost in the machine is not what you think. The solution is always cortisone, say the chemists of distance learning, the time for galactagogues was at birth. Now you are old, your skin is gorse, and larceny will land you in Kaliningrad (ice-free!).
To accumulate (via glassblowing) a fungiform congregation, delighting in one’s cellular wit, the home videos dedicated to homoousian melodrama: this only adds to the melancholy, the slow death of the rose quartz and its sight gags. Yes, it’s funny how your conspectus excludes so little, how it is a blurb that never blushes. The end comes too soon, like Aubrey’s Brief Lives, or the century plant.
There is a reason the cerebrum is divided into two parts: Europa, moon to dark lines, incarnation of the left brain, is likewise mobile to those given to naches. The nagas are part rapparrees, part sign language, but I understand only the formal silkscreen. We are all gods, or coruscating birds, falcons who run out of finitude. The air of this fine print cannot break through the nestled integument.
You see, poetry does criticize itself (and if the novel is dead it seems likely to me that people just can’t bear narrative): said Oppen. And I think too that the mind is by nature Nestorian, or rather the readership of posterity (for which I write), nepo- tism reeking through their every pore: the rank and file have honor societies to get past, which they can’t, because time can only be frittered, it is not slow-melting tallow.
Your ginseng death comes as news to me. I stand advancing maxims and homeschooling for my nieces and nephews, Mayans next of kin to me only in the sense of dull reportage. The ripple in Tabriz is heard far off. I am unconsummated, accepting the costermonger’s compliments, feeling ergonomic. Gracioso, they call me in error: massa, massa, the shock workers beat again the talking drums!
Some morning, take the time to observe the takin (deep in the Himalayas) pursue its hunt: it takes something back, or it takes nothing back, just as vin ordinaire tastes extraordinary depending on the idée fixe for the day. Take the time to teach the hired hands something of Horowitz’s impressions, something of the orphanage Ortega y Gasset and Horkheimer left behind to damn the short story’s temper.
I do shoulder stands. You watch from the safety of the stellar wind, questioning my flip- pant focal point. All I have to say is: “the cold wife lay with her husband after her death,” and then to add, “except God, who seems a nuisance from the point of view of Key West.” These are all facts well-known: that The Decameron is not yet finished, the loving cup is empty, empty, and the view from the mirador is one of simoleons.
At the botanical gardens, we take the blue devil under the capitulary (not so secret), as demonology, for once, is not ivory black, not kruger- rands, but marrowbone that plays on nativism. Not a stickler for reported speech, you repel thigmotropism: everything moves in reaction, like a corsage in wind, like the carnival breaking free of the black swan. Such a loud amen corner!
Interview with Anis Shivani on Experimental Poetry, New Books, and How to Make it as a Literary Writer by Cindy Huyser in The Huffington Post (May 5, 2016)
Anis Shivani’s debut book of poetry, My Tranquil War and Other Poems, has recently been published by NYQ Books. His second story collection, The Fifth Lash and Other Stories, is just out from C&R Press, and his novel Karachi Raj is forthcoming in October 2016. His other books include Anatolia and Other Stories (2009) and Against the Workshop (2011). Currently he is working on a new poetry book called Empire, a novel called Abruzzi, 1936, and a new book of criticism called Plastic Realism: Neoliberal Discourse in the New American Novel. His work, both poetry and prose, can be found in Southwest Review, Boston Review, Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Epoch, Fence, Boulevard, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Subtropics, Colorado Review, and Quarterly West among other places.