Cento IX

Beat, beat, whirr, thud, in the soft turf
to the little gallery over the gate,
between the towers, making a double

arch, not a patch, not a lost shimmer
of sunlight. They never speak to each
other; for 180 years almost nothing.

Then came the seen, thus the palpable.
Hot wind came from the marshes
in scaled invention or true artistry.

The prefaces, cut clear and hard in
some Wordsworthian, false-pastoral
manner. The limbo of chopped ice &

sawdust rusteth the craft & the crafts-
man, being divided, set out from color.

 

Mark Young, 2018

Remixed work:

The Cantos, by Ezra Pound

Cento I

I slept in Circe’s ingle. Unburied, unwept,
unwrapped in sepulchre. These many
crowded about me, with shouting. & in

the water, the almond-white swimmers.
Dawn, to our waking, drifts in the green
cool light. The sunlight glitters, glitters

atop forked branch-tips, flaming as if
with lotus, the bride awaiting the god’s
touch. & beneath the jazz a cortex, a

stiffness or stillness. The angle almost
imperceptible, the calm field, the
grass quiet. The house a shade too solid,

a dryness calling for death, knocking at
empty rooms, seeking for buried beauty.

 

Mark Young, 2018

Remixed work:

The Cantos, by Ezra Pound

The Pipe Floating
in its Imagistic Heaven

by
Florence Foucault

There are two pipes. Or,
rather, two drawings of
the same pipe which are
meant both to please others
& ourselves, & to make
others pleased with us.

Do not say there is no heart
in the work here—its basis is
the human heart. The sorcery
lies in an operation rendered
invisible by the simplicity
of its result—to make

the pipe new, but floating in
a natural silence where
attention to the small details
extends it more than
it illustrates it or fills the
void. To make it legend.

Mark Young, 2015

Remixed works:
This Is Not a Pipe,
by Michel Foucault
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette,
by Florence Hartley

Enterprises of Subversion
& Destruction

by
Florence Foucault

The polished surface throws
back the arrow. Beneath it,
handwritten in a painstaking
artificial script, a script from
the convent, is “an American

may possibly know the customs
of your country better than you
do.” Visible form is excavated.
Shape dissipates. About this
ambiguity I am ambiguous.

To reproduce & to articulate; to
imitate & to signify; to look &
to read. What misleads us is the
inevitable futility of converting
the text to some glaring color

when a simple swipe of a rag
could soon erase it & reduce
phoneticism to mere gray noise or
inconspicuous article. Treasure
the pearls of what you have read.

Mark Young, 2015

Remixed works:
This Is Not a Pipe,
by Michel Foucault
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette,
by Florence Hartley

Letters stand in utter defiance to spelling-book rules

by
Florence Foucault

The lost chatter of men, the
exteriority of written &
figurative elements—very
few persons write a good
letter. In this split & drifting

space, strange bonds are knit.
Two garrulous mutes use
elegant language, yet use it
easily. A word can take the
place of an object if the paren-

thesis is avoided. Neatness is
important. The measure of
the “iron horse” is how many
missives it drags behind. No
mass, no name, form without

volume.  Word & object are
deployed in two different
dimensions. Emptiness undoes
the space. Verbal lightning
flashes come naturally to a child.

Mark Young, 2015

Remixed works:
This Is Not a Pipe,
by Michel Foucault
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette,
by Florence Hartley

A Double Cypher

by
Florence Foucault

The operation is a calligram. It
is a mark of ill-breeding to use
French phrases or words unless
they’re resting on a floor made safe
& visible by its own coarseness.

All this litter on the ground—
ask for an explanation. The
calligram has a triple role.
The vague uneasiness pro-
voked is a Cuban gentleman.

Severely censure the habit of
using sentences which admit
of a double meaning. We have
evidence of failure & its ironic
remains. Augment the alphabet.

Splintered wood, fragmented
shapes. Many men can converse
on no other subject than their
every day employment. Words
can no longer be reconstituted.

Mark Young, 2015

Remixed works:
This Is Not a Pipe, by Michel Foucault
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, by Florence Hartley