[14.8.06] [Utahna Faith]
THREE POEMS BY ANDREI CODRESCU
"that's why she came over / certain of my desire to do exactly that / like a lynx not a typo / but your pen - o, glitch! - flies faster over a page / of proof than buses in this town"
photo: Andrei Thinking
Three New Poems by Andrei Codrescu
Sensibility was not what spelled doom
but rather forelocks and insouciance, palabras y cadavros,
the toasts made ten years before in a Cocteau moment.
What I would like is to conduct a study
on the liberatory intensity of laughter
using recordings from the very first chortle
thought worth recording, a Chaplin audience or
a child before a bicycle in the teens of the 20th century
or an hysteric before a psychiatrist, in itself
a milestone, laughter like smiling photographs
having to wait decades before the cost of film
or equipment allowed a hint of frivolity into
the serious business of the world, furrowed brows,
severe bosoms, modesty, concentration, lack
of spontaneity and the plain duration necessary
to hold a pause or to continue being tickled
by something in the mind's eye, the moment
in let's say 1913, when a Jewish boy fresh
out of the ghetto of Moinesti or Czernowitz
could laugh in a burst that concentrated and released
centuries of repression and fear combined with a strict
alphabet leaving no airy gaps for sprigs of springtime
and did so on tape the cost be damned,
recognition of something new following
as surely uncontainable as a peasant's before
the nude legs of a mannequin being dressed in a shop
window by a woman whose white ankles signalled
the death of his acquired ancestral gloom.
That is a laugh we must recover and I'd like
to study because we all know what followed.
Touch that spoke while it spins
at the world exhibition in paris as all
the characters of sentimental novels
who have fled their master's manuscripts
with Morcol the detective of shadows
in hot pursuit being recorded by M. Queneau
are mounting the bicycle seat one by one
and deciding their destinies in a fulgurant second.
The appeal and the description by later
exegetic apologists for the postmodern
takes longer than we thought and besides
nobody dares touch the spoke as the wheel
spins not even the talented ones whose hands
have been slapped by something we'll call
culture or hypnosis or techno-somnolence.
Meanwhile time flies and nobody's having fun.
that's why she came over
certain of my desire to do exactly that
like a lynx not a typo
but your pen - o, glitch! - flies faster over a page
of proof than buses in this town
so when we were shot together
the embrace lasted longer than the book
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrei Codrescu is a novelist, poet, essayist and National Public Radio commentator. He writes regularly for NPR and for the Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. He is the editor of Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Letters and Life, and is a professor of English at Louisiana State University. Andrei's most recently released book is New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City. Read 3:AM's interview with Andrei here.