quarta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2013

To Susan Sontag, with Love by Taban Lo Liyong


in mans greatest intellectual age sometimes called mythopoeic
he gave rivers tongues trees ears sky eyes mother earth oozed
with life
words were very gods
why but to make witnesses
all witnesses police judges erinyes
we remained human while that age lasted and its shadow
covered us
but enlightenment encroached this sensitive terrain
drove imagination behind saying we rational creatures be
and down with superstition
man shall live by reason alone
as if this was first time human intellect had beheld these views
enlightenment prophesied god dead
snuffing out divine in us
sacredness was dead for good
we caught unsuperstition like flu
mans feedback is fear
and superstition his homeostasis
and religion his lifebelt
at end of his tether man lives by myths and dies by daring
ignorance
ancient greeks in modesty moulded earth and gave objects so
made supernames
correlatives of force and power in man
heartsearchingly deeming it better man surrendered potency to
objects

and nouns abstract
making himself harmlesser towards strangers and neighbours
and a serf to his own metacreatures
whose feats feast games
he observed with awe from distance
dared not imitate challenge
scapegods man made and placed on olympuses
had megahuman exploits men enjoyed in telling only
and bore blames for his immodesty
and glowed with pride in his success
always picking tabs and paying insurance
to experience lodged in subconscious
for acts omitted or committed
with lights we came on scene in time machines
and thought first generator toy
and dismantled wheel rod indicators
shaking cosmology out of balance
human injunctions divined and austere
had gone forth to fear gods
and not prod them
and respects to locks of nestors
and noncontradiction of continuity with observation of line
in middle
mans mind cant carry much
nor follow road straight
but if remains on earth will stay safe
intuition is not practical
greeks flew by proxy
divines kept dark ages bright
inquisition lost last battle against madness
without fear without superstition nails are painted red
and fermi munches japanese
a villain after galileo
at least newton repented
firmer wax sends daedalus hit very sun
and goddic mysteries flouted without fear
everyman own god
puny nietzsches strut
bloated frogs
race of supermen has come
but where superhumanists
with guilt gone
was auschwitz far
sacredness is dead
and hiroshima invented
without superstition
denigrated godtheidea
to confront mantheideamaker
more nearly
our death machines be twostage rocket
launched on humanists laps
by scientists
they killed witches and sought for stone
keeping idea alive
we are enlightened now and burnt by fire overexposure
the wring hands
chorus bastard humanists
rebels against ignorance set acknowledging us
drilling efficiency in thick skulls and making us robots
god knows what else our fates
from abundant imagination lodged in impractical timid
humanists
scientists put to work magic
poets planned and blueprinted in classrooms
lurid attics and pulpits
and politicians would outdo alexanderandcaesar
as taught in school
everybodys tomb a pyramid and shrine
we teach iliad for war
right and wrong troy is ours
damn guy fawkes for gunpowder
but printing machine crushed noble castles
far and near amen
aeiou rimbaud sought your pregnant secrets
as if grammarians hadnt stuffed us full
with correct usage agreements
miss verb and mister person
and lord bacon urged exactness
unto him machines
shakespeare
life blows like wind
of no signification
what its worth
and world a stage
for how many roles
of angelsanddevils
sartres waiter dribbles precarious tray
full of eats and drinks and poisons
accomplished actor iago
jean uncommon actor
manipulating words
ergo cinc
manipulating cultivated physiques
veritable foyers
goethes alter ego mephistopheles
rewarded belle in saigon
drops napalm and bomb
wildes science for sciences sake
is come
rejoice
capacity for variety sensations is dostoyevskys work on paper
pavlovs moved from dogs to flesh and mind
overacute consciousness is disease with own fundamental laws
common to intellects elect
screws them tight
and forces moment to own conclusion
no matter the end
fyodor gets pleasure killing story
scientist discovering law
lover consummates sex orgasm
murderer kills victim
everything permitted
existentists technicians prepare biological warfare
aristotles literary sublime is literature
imitation
so metaliterature cybernetics
inhuman use suffering
oedipus cleanses us incest
and murder
and bloodier macbeth
washes cleaner pogroms
and roastedpeasants best detergents
granddad noah dead drunk near mississippi
triple summer murders
and sharpeville bloodbath
divine comedy be bloodier
for sake of dantes enemies
burn in hell
and ours hereandthere eliot we loster generation
with war objective correlative of might and something else
ive never heard bomb
but beethoven shot and tschaikovsky answered
guernica mangled few
picasso criminally dismembered all
and unborn gorgons head
moore made models for pills copy
and japanese bomb mass produce
general piet mondrian directs bombing operations
complete maps enemy territory
squared paddies green jungles ports rivers bridges deltas roads
rails
ready bombing
marines today tomorrow when escalation authorized
homer wins pulitzer prizes
outstanding warreporting
those deranged war cured sanatoria
but brainmixed by joice
teach universities
technocrats
beautiful hirelings
magnates
single
corporate
governing servants
Efficiency Almighty
computers in hand
massmedia in mouth
aesthetics for minds
missiles as comets
go worshipping unconcerned
about myliverandourhobbyhorse
guinea pigs die our first breaths
we less equal than other pigs
strong carlyle orders workanddoubtnot
and robots drive through green and yellow
till all is red
books on sex banned
but more potent tripped
milton honoured
but mute betters forgot
forget innocents and sadists
but preserve masochists for private consumption
publicly honour heroes
distinguished murderers
temperance societies filled donations
teetotallers get grand ovations
but not alcohol only intoxicate
KNOWLEDGE does
homer turned keats on
elgin marbles broke his heart
poor sweet nightingale
psychedelics may be harmful your health
but surrealism destroys than pills
adverse effects literary materials
on human bodyandmind
be investigated by houseunamericanactivities
sick in utopias criminal
should be criminal in ours
to be bright
and all intellectuals be rounded up
on ground intoxication
with ideas
and disturbance of natural mediocrity of man
we shall revive
the grand ancient society
for preservation of Ignorance
man
thoroughly dull creature since civilizations came and went
centuries piled top centuries
to make man less ignorant
after that
she has to spend most her life and energy being reminded
of bits of what should know to make death kit

ps
between the committed man
moral and blaming
and manofscience
there is only a difference of impracticality
the timid gropes for standardization and equality
the tradesman delivers on a platter the finished order
mixed with blood
and limbs
and horror
and overefficiency
amen.
In: Poems of Black Africa. Edited and introduced  by Wole Soyinka. 1975, pp. 21-28.

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