Issue 18: Louis Armand
(Tom Raworth Memorial)

Tom Raworth's Blues

Does the poem bypass the Organization of Meaning? Swiftly,

in the second line, comes “introspection” – which is the idea

of an entered mind, apparently. An inner-ear speleologist.

At a cursory glance it resembles Henry James’ rug

thrown over a garble of mis-penned verbiage. Then

there’s the sinister windmill burning outside the window.

Quixotes in toy fire trucks weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Primitive as these literal pleasures are they’re no mind-readers.

Hiding the not-yet-perished cell-motes in a jar, in a drawer,

on the off-chance. Not all keep their ugly lexicons stashed.

In the meantime one travelled – a summary of forceful

quizzical luddites, senescent out of boredom. Money-curse

not diversified refusal. A difficult adagio. Bert Brecht also died,

decrying the Organization Man’s flagrantly hacked sub-ego.

It keeps things afloat that don’t exist. Or they do

but underwhelm initially like the opposite of hypochondria.

Consolation was missionary grift.

Louis Armand is the author of the novels The Combinations (2016), Cairo (2014), and Breakfast at Midnight (2012). In addition, he has published several recent collections of poetry – including East Broadway Rundown (2015) & The Rube Goldberg Variations (2015) – & is the author of Videology (2015) & The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture after the Avantgarde (2013). He lives in Prague.