Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman Deborah Stratman


For Pier Paolo Pasolini: Writing on Burning Paper
Purchase from Fireflies Press

In the name of a father, a son and the holy crow.
I'll be a poet of things, he said, and predicate a bobby pin on a plaid headband across the hair of a fledgling corpse.
Conjugate oil drums with angel wings.
Cast an unfinished overpass as future tense.
An aqueduct whose tense has passed, runway for a body hurled into ellipsis.
You look like an airplane, says the acolyte to the messenger before she ascends.
Heretic grammars.

Everything here is unceasing periphery.
An extra-urban fringe whose services haven't yet arrived.
New Rome's on the horizon, cleaved by distance.
Across the plowed field, Palazzo della Civiltà—that building that looks like a sign for a building.
Il Duce's set for empire rendered in the key of de Chirico, now fashion house Fendi.
Fascism metabolized.
Closer in, it's a face that gets halved, eclipsed by a hat.

Here's to lunar tides of garbage. Credits sung in rhyming couplets. Morricone's dance school in the sun with its stiff house on the plain and the dancer so close he's a smear of momentum. For the machine that shoots. Reality Eater. Eye Mouth.1

Thought isn't the only mode to grasp a thing.
Words aren't the only path to thinking.
The body, both inside and outside the sentence.2
To every object a right to citizenship.

And who speaks, and what is language
A hundred thousand mourners make the sign of the cross and raise fists in solidarity.
Gestural contractions.
The pressing crowd at Togliatti's wake, an index lodged in a fable's intestines.
The thirteenth century born out of the crow's throat.
Words descend into matter.
Ingest the tutor.
Depose the nouns.
To be a field. To be a hill. To be a sparrow. To be a bay.3
Be infected by another perspective.
One day I went, like a fish escaped from its net, into the dry air,4
Speaking hawk
Nel mezzo del cammin
Try the dance. Fuck in the weeds. Run for the bus.

The best way to write this would be to eat the words and start walking.

in response to Uccellacci e Uccallini (1966)
and for the language of the non-I that expresses itself with equal right and equal force as the I.5

1 Res Sunt Nomina by Pier Paolo Pasolini, in Blanco e Nero, No. 3-4 (March-April 1971), republished in Heretical Empiricism, edited by Louise K. Barnett, Indiana University Press, 1988. English translation Ben Lawton and Louise K. Barnett.

2 Renee Gladman and Kate Briggs Talk Translation and Form by Renee Gladman and Kate Briggs, The Yale Review, Dec 1, 2021

3 The Democracy of Species by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Penguin Classics, 2021
"A bay is a noun only if water is dead. When bay is a noun, it's defined by humans, trapped between its shores and contained by the word. But the verb wiikwegamaa—to be a bay—releases the water from bondage and lets it live."

4 The Poet of Ashes by Pier Paolo Pasolini, in Tutte le poesie, Vol II. Mondadori: i Meridiani, 2003, 3rd ed. 2015, republished in, July 2020. English translation André Naffis-Sahel.

5 The Poet of the Ashes by Pier Paolo Pasolini. English translation Stephen Sartarelli.

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