Ether Sea Projects

About the Book

GrenierPhantom Anthems

Robert Grenier

1986 • 104 pp. • $12.00
Poetry

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“Articulations aren’t solely linguistic categories; etymologics locates ‘articulation’ within medical discourse as physiological points of juncture, or, simply put, joints. ‘UNBENDING LEGS, agh, I’m getting/awfully/old/&/stands.’ Overarticulation, hyper-extending the joints, amplifying the punctures, dislocates language out of its socket, initiating a kind of semantic-arthritic: ‘a l w a y s h a p p e i e r.’ Grenier’s ‘scrawl’ poems emphasize the function of the fingers and knuckles while writing, occasionally shifting from the right to the left hand: a maximization of hand-writing. It’s about time poets found themselves thinking in common with the doctors (from shamanists to William Carlos Williams). Rhetoric is anatomy.”
—Joshua Schuster

 

About the Author

Robert Grenier is a 63-year-old, wiry/paunchy, white-haired, disaffected, formerly influential, prototypical/clean-shaven/Harvard-educated “Language Writer” (from Minnesota) become wildly innovative, “neo-Romantic”/”old-fashioned,” hand-craft-writing/image-making, scruffy, corn, beans and squash-growing/blackberry-apple jam-making/set-in-his-ways type of opinionated, “archaic”-nuthead/vociferously “correct,” “liberal”/verbal/”extemporaneous” person living in Bolinas, California.

Also by Robert Grenier:
What I Believe

Excerpt

CROW
started as arr
from the trees in the woods
rather dimly
attended to as bark
more familiarly
identified as the neighbor’s dog
by their house over there
where the kids walk probably
flew overhead as ark

UPSTAIRS OUTSIDE IN HEAVEN
roistrous unfurling of be-nighted
jet engine passage overhead
sound noise burning stars exhaust

UPSTAIRS OUTSIDE IN HEAVEN
roistrous unfurling of be-nighted
jet engine passage overhead
sound noise burning stars collapse

UPSTAIRS OUTSIDE IN HEAVEN
roistrous unfurling of be-nighted
jet engine passage overhead
sound noise burning stars aghast

MOON INTO
waning parcels
of heaven clouds move
dawn has the sky color
earth makes the sun land

DAWN AT MOURNING DOVE MOUND
for Kathleen Frumkin
doesn’t it just gust rigid
“of course it does” might by breeze of
greyer greener moon of light pink purple
principal able to articulate that some day
unknown seen not simply visualized eyed
greys & lavenders and browns & mauves

GO INTO THE COUNTING HOUSE / GOVERNMENT
& exchanges amongst themselves, banking
furniture, glass business & the fed world-wide counting
out some shillings ‘equal’ computer image shellfish bravado
oil-bearing shale at night, varmits underwater, cold, no problem
dispute over territory grievance against concept
of property, ownership, idee that sausage
words, lawyers, a National Bank can vividly summon
that a Corporation or Company could be formed
built of my blood & puritan dedication to work-product
with money that easily by people smitten
hardened to their task with vast popular support
for many years now in office, overbearing
apparently from a ‘stupid naturally’ & arrogant vagrant
brainwashed placeless raceless workhorse populace
that votes, that has been so ‘denatured’ as to
believe attend it lives in the land of the free
because it can spend its hard-earned
25c often twice a day on newspapers concrete
as if free speech with limits had anything to do with control
of the country by a soulless relentless Blue Demon capital
that creates conditions only insofar as Miles Standish
nobody can see through Al Davis
irregardless of whether AGH soothsayers
anybody knows full well what’s happening Shakespeare regalia
evil yellow metal “Yellow-Hair” vs. Black Hills
buffalo plains various fixed & warring tribes
count crop Israel & everybody fixed bad air
itself & profitable altercation, world-license
decimating & warring tribes foregrounding
perpetually threatening nuclear war
new neutron bombs Oregon comity
kill all the people, spare their homes
factories, stores, banks, streets, hydrants
for the ‘surviving’ Princes of the World

I MUST HAVE BEEN
a skeleton of a poem I knew
appeared to me ‘again’, I am
the only one to whom it mattered to

NEW MOON
the moon
will be clearly in the heavens for a discerning look

WINTER NIGHT HEARTLAND INTERIOR
for John & Eliza in Ann Arbor (March 17/18 84)
still winter burnt magpie
cold moon rising after Hamlet Henry James
chill breeze blowing red mad sets
stumps from the north across water glister
East Chicago space settled mon metal bedframe
land to the yellow south
skyscraper los day
puppets everything horizontal
on the sky line levelled spit
except charred crypts and molds
everything stands man alert
goes about his business loudly
as though skyscrapers vomit
nothing had happened had submissive
men nothing ever would except lip
everything kept on happening
business just as if it had been daily happening
skyrocketing in fact example anything skyrocketing
depletion into which desolate hickory missile
looking bacon southern Indiana lampposts Evanston groves

ROCKS UPON INCOMING TIDE
those that can read character
from aspect might as well be rocks

FOR ALICE
squall that’s operationability scouring leaves sundering
death so they can grow apart instead of being one big lead leaf
morning & aided in this by the wind & raining sky that’s blowing
from the West wildwood children in wool red in life no matter
leave them behind as everything grows & skyblue walnuts sour everything
by bowling ball you try to knock them all over by dying, right?

AMONGST OURSELVES
pages flapping
more winter beauties
feels like fall
silver side of light off the waves
from the horizon abeyance
still permitted to think of a page
set to & allowed to progress through from the left to the right
across the page is tops these times
& to keep it up horizontally
toward a total limit our by
now well publicized measures in Central America
your perhaps marching against Afghanistan or Arabia
like a small field of spears
perhaps across horizon Africa &/or into space to war
awful feeling of inevitability of horrible destructive contacts
presage already everyday in the workplace hate
o Boom it’s a big high tide at the no moon
o Boom it’s a big high tide at the no moon