Ether Sea Projects

About the Book

ScalapinoWay

Leslie Scalapino

1988 • 148 pp. • $12.00
ISBN: 9780865473201
Poetry
(North Point Press)

Purchase

“…she makes everything take place in real time, in the light and air and night where all of us live, everything happening at once.”
—Philip Whalen

“This window – of displacement, of alterity – is the way things are seen through language. It’s not the sense of having been there, even though you always were. The ‘anti-perspective’ of Scalapino’s poetics is realism in its contemporary manifestation.”
—Barrett Watten

“Leslie Scalapino has developed great expertise in presenting a hard-edged picture of the world. We are constantly made to realize that what she’s showing us is the world as we have constructed it: we’re the responsible parties; we’re the policemen, bums, burning automobiles upside down, pond lilies, men ‘in new wave attire.’ Sometimes her words look vacant and many of her statements are outrageous, but she makes everything take place in real time, in the light and air and night where all of us live, everything happening at once.”
—Philip Whalen

About the Author

Leslie ScalapinoLeslie Scalapino (1944 – 2010) is the author of thirty books of poetry, prose inter-genre-fiction, plays, and essays. Granary Book just published a collaborative book by artist Kiki Smith and Leslie Scalapino, titled The Animal is in the World like Water in Water. Scalapino’s It’s go in horizontal/Selected Poems, 1974-2006 was published by University of California Press at Berkeley in 2008. Other books of Scalapino’s poetry include Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night (Green Integer), a collection of eight years; Zither & Autobiography (Wesleyan University Press), The Tango (Granary Press), Orchid Jetsam (Tuumba), Dahlia’s Iris—Secret Autobiography and Fiction (FC2 Publishers); a reprint of the prose work Defoe (Green Integer); and It’s Go In Quiet Illumined Grass Land (The Post-Apollo Press).

More from Leslie Scalapino:
Considering how exaggerated music is (North Point Press)
Crowd and not evening or light
Defoe (Sun & Moon Press)
Enough
The Front Matter, Dead Souls (Wesleyan University Press)
How Phenomena Appear to Unfold
How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (Litmus Press)
New Time (Wesleyan University Press)
Objects in the Terrifying Tense / Longing from Taking Place (Poets and Poets Press Publications)
O One: An Anthology
O Two: An Anthology
The Public World/Syntactically Impermanence (Wesleyan University Press)
R-hu (Atelos Press)
That They Were at the Beach (North Point Press)
War and Peace
War and Peace 2: Poetry & Essays
War and Peace 3: The Future
Way (North Point Press)

Excerpt

from bum series
the men––when I’d
been out in the cold weather––were
found lying on the street, having
died––from the weather; though
usually being there when it’s warmer
the men
on the street who’d
died––in the weather––who’re bums
observing it, that instance
of where they are––not my
seeing that

*

cranes are on the
skyline––which are accustomed
to lift the containers to or from
the freighters––as the new
wave attire of the man
though not muscular
––but young––with
the new wave dyed blonde
hair––seeming to
wait at the bus stop, but
always outside of the
hair salon

*

the bums––the men––having
died––from
the weather––though their
doing that, seeing things from their view when
they were alive
so not to
be upper class––the new
wave baggy pants––the
man with the dyed blonde
hair––who’s always standing in
front of the hair salon on
the corner

*

the public
figure––as gentle––as
the freighter and
their relation
that
of the man with the dyed
blonde hair and
new wave attire––and
the freighter

*

of our present
president––who doesn’t
know of the foreign
environs––as vacant––and
to the freighter and
his and its relation
when our present
president is in an inverse
relation to them––when there’s
a social struggle in their
whole setting, which is
abroad
the bums––who’ve
died––but could be only when
they’re living––though it
doesn’t have desire, so inverse in
that one setting

*

to their
social struggle in their
whole setting, which is
abroad and its
relation to the freighter
to the person of
new wave attire––that
person’s relation to
the freighter
when the bums are not
alive––at this time––though
were here, not abroad––and
not aware in being so of a
social struggle

*

the man in the new
wave attire––as the relation
of him
being another person––as
the freighter and
his and its relation
the inverse
relation to the freighter
only occurring when that
person is living
the man––who’s
accustomed to
working in the garage––
as having
that relation to
their whole setting

*

I have been––am––
dumb––as the way
in which that would occur––the
bums––not their existence or
dying from the weather––though
the effect of that
for me to
be dumb––to have
been actually stupid––so that
really could occur––the
bums––in an event
so––dumb as an
active relation to
the bums or to the freighter and
the still oil
rigs––on the ocean

*

to the repair of
the car––so inverse in that
setting––though
it doesn’t have desire––of
the present
as the oil rigs––which
are the freighter––on the ocean––pushed
up to be the relation
with me, by my being––am––dumb––their
to have that occurrence

*

to have that––for them, some
people who’d had an attitude
of snobbery––always––so that they’re dumb––when it’s
senseless––that relation with
them
I almost
froze––and realized I
could die from it––when the bums
were in the situation––and then not
caring, though that’s not possible
which had been repaired
––to the car––as I
am––when that’s
senseless––though
it doesn’t have desire––of
the present

*

the bums––
found later––in the whole setting
––though when the car
hadn’t been repaired––and so
their grinding and
movement in relation to it
The floating series
Floating Series I
the
women–not in
the immediate
setting
–putting the
lily pads or
bud of it
in themselves
a man entering
after
having
come on her–that
and the memory of putting
in
the lily pad or the
bud of it first
made her come
having put
the
lily pad in
herself–
encouraging the man
to
come inside
her
a man to
come on the woman
gently–her
having
put the lily pad in
herself
with him not
having entered
her yet
people who’re
there
already–though
the other
people aren’t
aware of that
not
being able to
see the
other people–and
to be sticking the
lily pad
in
themselves
the man–though
the woman had
come
with
the bud of it
in her
–not having done
so on
that time
or her not
having
put it in–and
the man
coming on her
gently
lying on her
in that
situation
people having
been
there–being
from
the city–already
–and
others not
aware of them
or
having
put in the bud of
it
and
the man not
having
entered her
coming first
that in
the city as in
the middle–to
someone who’s
death comes from
age
having
nothing to
do in
a place
–as having
been crazed in
his life–
time
and
having been
aware
before
of others
–who’d
been in
the setting
all along
a man
putting
the lily pad
in her–
after he’d
come–and
she hadn’t
on that time
that in
the city as in
the middle–to
someone
the thought
that
they–should be
treated
well–if they’d
paid
their money–or
not
a man’s
sense–of–when
he’d come and
she had
the lily pad in her
and
hadn’t come then
the man–on
whom the boy
spit–from him riding his
bicycle by over and
over–was lying on
the sidewalk
not
having
anything to do
as
his having a blockage
with others around
in
the setting
having the
high rents
with
an attitude that
they
shouldn’t live in
this
place–who’re poor
Floating Series 2
to foresee
the man’s
response–when
the woman had
come–him not
having
done so–and
had
the bud of it in her still
the relation
of the public
figure
and
the death at
some time of
the person who dies from
age
and–
–an attitude that
they
should have
a job–
whether they’ve
means
or not
and
their–or one’s–
having the means
to take care of
oneself or
someone–as
what should
be done
told of
someone being
lower in social
value–that
and in
a setting which defined
us all–when
at that point
their not
to have
a child
–as it happens
–and the bud of
the water lily
in her–when
they’d
been doing it
her having
had
the lily
pad in her still–after
she’d
come–and when there
wasn’t
that from it
the crowd
returning when
the man–of their race, though
in the police–he’d
left the van
was immolated by them–on
a field
myself or
a person
aging and dying when
that’s seen by
a setting
from–that
of–when
we were young
our
being
that
–as in
the middle
the man–who’d
come
and
with the bud of it
in
her still–when
she had
and–their
sense of the
city–as some
ideal spot
and–where
we’re
not going to
be able to live
Third Part
having
swallowed the
water
lily bud–so having
it in
him–when he’d
come on some
time with her
a man’d
swallowed
the bud
of the water lily–and
had
it in
him that way
there
being an
aftermath to and–
something a public
occurring figure–and
their–not
based
in that
the attitude
that
someone–should
be
in
an army–to
democratize that
–her
coming
when with him–the
lily bud’s
being in
the man from
his earlier swallowing
it–him not coming
so that–
with
him
not coming–but
had the
lily’s bud in him
as in
other instances
the attitude of
in a setting
aging and dying at
some time
as–that
we
should be
that
–and–a
break through from
a state–of being
crazed–but
which someone
was in
to’ve gotten
through the
sense–of
being crazed–and
which occurred
and–they
should–be
able
to find some
livelihood–when
they’d been
here awhile
Later Floating Series 1
as
then–what
would be sought after
as valued
by
so many
people–there’s
not enough
in
the middle–no
matter–what
the age of
someone–or
if close
to their death–from
age
–and–their
not to be
in it–by virtue
of the
small store–the
setting
Later Floating Series 2
someone–
as
choosing the
means–
in starting–the
small store
–and–
the attitude of
the people frequenting
the shops–as their
a livelihood
for them–the
others
their–wanting
that–the
people frequenting them–for
those
who’d opened the
small stores
his
being
depressed–and to
have
some release from
that–as what
occurs
a break in
–someone’s being
depressed–for
him–so
at the time to
have release
from it
in the state that’s
his being depressed–and
getting
some charge from inside–that
would get some
release
from that state
–and–the
opening of the
shops–when
many of them
haven’t
means–as
for that
situation