Issue 30: Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Preface to an anti-Psalm
We are marked by traces, saturated in our own striations
one cell to another cell. Skin. We share our bacteria.
The fact of them! of “everything”! of “mythologies”!
microbes! the fact that evanescence exists.
That we can discuss “tone.” The ways of other people –
clumped! different! odd, even.
The fact “we” build and make.
This does not seek to be poetic, just true.
And don’t give me that obsessive punctilious framework
that has us constantly reassuring The Patriarch
“No, we haven’t turned sway, turned away,
Au bout des levres
we wing this, sing this
somg. Psalmg. psoulfully
eyes cast down
“We have always adored your
brilliance.” “or Power.” “Why would we
It seems we are a particular form
including dark matter, electrical hum,
clitoral charge, hmmmHrrrr
soon permanently absorbed
in further dark; transfixed by matters
definitive to us, but broadly non-negotiable:
sheer matter, physics piecing together our responses
to questions that sometimes
are too exorbitant to articulate, but sometimes
we do examine what is that
“What” with which we bargained.
We bargained with that! Maybe not.
That Patriarch was too self-important
to bother with.
Recent books by Rachel Blau DuPlessis are Selected Poems 1980-2020 from CHAX Press, 2022 and A Long Essay on the Long Poem from University of Alabama Press, 2023. These are now joined by the collage poem Life in Handkerchiefs (Materialist Press, 2023). Forthcoming are Daykeeping (Selva Oscura, 2023), meditating some events of 2020 and Eurydics (Shearsman 2024?), investigating poetics, some literary history, and myth.
Copyright © 2023 by Rachel Blau DuPlessis, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author