The Idumean Cantos 1-12

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I gave America
The locust in the jar
Which only a brass key
Could open into
The blasted Wormwood land.
America, grateful,
Accepted my poor gift
And gave me Van Gogh’s dead
Sunflowers to eat up
While driving over
Ohio’s sepia
Cornfields, seeing chicken
Willy Lomans selling
Aristophanes frogs.
I see grazing bovines
Going Moo-ooo-ooo-ooo-
A drawn out Beat howl:
Sound bacchanalian.
Seven angels sit  in
My cup holder, puffing
Through Clinton’s brass trombone.

I gave America
All I had, blowing holes
In the spacetime fabric
While pleasing Toohey:
Now I drive down southward
On Easter pilgrimage
Accompanied only
By those seven angels,
A cup holder jazz band
Who casts plagues out the car
Through the window-KERSPLAT!

I see Chaucer in his
Volvo, puttering forth
Towards Canterbury
Crossing the Atlantic void
Into our martyrdom
Which comes when the Pan Man
Blasts his Panacea
Across Cincinnati
(The city that left its plow!)
As I leave the border
Chanting like the Beat Cows:
Shantih shantih shantih.
I cross the River
Parted by a Moses
Leading Israel forward
By a secret Taggert
Transcontinental Rail.

I am Billy Pilgrim
In my car of angels
Making sonorous noise;
I am unstuck in time
Where Thoreau is fishing
While Hobbes is taming
The great Leviathan
Threatening Kentucky
With huge brass tentacles
Reaching for TVA.

Along the bridge corpulence
In the form of great pigs
Hopping on pogo-sticks
Is headed for their own
Pilgrimage down Southward.

And I, through  American
Thames, bleeding all its tar,
Head for N. Carolina.
You and I! Let us go
To the small gas station
Off Exit 36.

The car, like some Orlok
Fills itself with great speed.
Nosferatu lurks as
A bald cashier below
Living wage:  Darn Hoover!
He drinks some red Kool-Aid
While outside Olson
Dreams of his Maximus.

I buy a Tarot deck
To play with my dear friend
Thomas S Eliot
In a near McDonalds,
Far from the madding crowd
Of a Metropolis
Which bustles and guzzles
Filling America
With the Moloch music.

(Before I left my house
I backmasked some JZ
And received the tidings:
Babylon is fallen,
So pack your bags and go!
Skedaddle!  Spray UBIK
On all your furniture!”)

Thomas plays his “Justice”-
A card which appears as
Judge Marshall, the chief judge
Who defended cashiers
And ferryman Charon.
The expatriate says:

“????????? ????
????, ????????? ??????? ???.”

I tried then to explain
That lilacs bloomed last
In 1965
For him; January
Had been cruel to him once.
And suddenly it dawned-
I was all surrounded
By the American dead.
America!  You are
Magic and dread balled up
In some enormous sphere
With center everywhere
And circumference nowhere,
Weighing down on millions
As they watch for Masons
To descend in saucers,
Blowing kazoo dirges.

I turn east at Frankfurt,
Charleston beckoning
Like Jesus on water
As he thinks, aqueous.

What was he thinking then?
What is he thinking now?

I pull in to rest stops
Along the way, leafing
Through cheerful Baedekers
Vying for attention-
Some “Lo here” and “Lo there”
Others are reticent,
Bright tourist attractions:
We are all pluralists.
Le grand perte las que feront les lettres
Auant le cicle de Latona parfaict
Feu grand deluge plus par ignares fcepteres
Que de long fiecle ne fe verra refaict.
-Nostradamus, prophet

Pax Americana !
No more pax vobiscum
As Friar Lawrence sits
Perched atop Laus Deo-
The sun also rises
Lighting aluminum
So the complete canvas
Of the Hudson River School
Is illuminated.
Such light is impinging
From conglomerations
Of the Northern cities
To the plantation wrecks,
Vestiges of John Calhoun;
Pharaoh who after plagues
Let Israel go across
The River to PIGLAND.

No one see this great(?) light.
An American God
Has yet to be found now
By his squabbling children
Who fight in the sandbox
Searching for Cheney’s myths
Among the destitute.

The cup holder trombones
Play Mad Martin’s music
In oils across hide
Of Benjamin donkey.

Vne autre exique mezopotamie.
-Michel of St. Remy

Emerson preaches atop
The high Appalachians
Waving to the pilgrims
As they follow the path
Of the Easter Bunny
On his march to the South.
I follow old Chaucer,
Who took in his Volvo
Twenty nine passengers,
Spinning yarns, making quilts
Guiding Israel up North
Where concrete trees grow best;
Where Upton Sinclair eats
Beef churned from factories;
Where hobos sleep on rocks
In Central Park’s green fields;
Where Checyans blow up peace.

Iardin du monde aupres du cite neufe
Dans le chemin des montaignes cauees
Sera faifi & plonge dans la Cuue
Beuuant par force eaux foulfre enuenimees.
-The 49th Quatrain
I flip through the channels
On my car stereo
Hearing a multitude
Of discordant voices.
The ram is overhead
As I enter into
Sprawling great Charleston
With its high golden dome.
I am struck by vastness
Of the unreal city.

Vovala barchin heman, la lavolvola dramme pagloni!
=St Thomas More (deceased)

I notice it spreads out
Rather than stretching up
In a concrete forest
With adorning glass leaves.
It is a trapped city
Frozen in time’s voodoo.
This  petrification
In unreality
Is almost quite charming.

I now leave Charleston.
I met George Washington
Standing by a park bench
Playing with his dentures.
I asked his for his thoughts
On West Virginia’s break
From its mother slave state.
Evening was setting in
Venus was in the sky-
Somewhere someone mistook
Aphrodite for some
Alien UFO.
He was equivocal
Saying the government
Should stay out of that fight
While claiming rights to
Regulate Virginia.

Shay, resentment flowing
Out onto walking dogs
Causing them to make their
Best Ginsberg impressions,
Poked his seditious head
Through a car’s closed window
Appearing like Orlok:

Vampires will always
Be necessary for
The American dream.
Think of Edward Cullen,
Sparkling through vain Wall Street.
Think of the vampire
James Taggert, knowing at
The railroad lines for food.
Think of English Varney
And his great feast of blood.

I remember little
Of my one-time meeting
With the dancing leader
Of American pride.
He did not shake my hand,
And his speech was quite slow-
Mosaic lingual snail.

I departed from him
To continue my voyage
From the North to the South
The seraphim trombones
Become louder, urgent
When we enter the grim
Dark vast fearful tunnel.

WOOSH!  Away goes the light
And into Jung’s substratum
We fall, falling nine days
While Satan’s sedan
Hurtles through the tunnel,
Cast out from the flashlight
Of God’s patent design
And its over wonder.
Dante tumbles about,
Virgil too busy being
An AP official
Who sliced up his own work
Into mere gibberish
To be flung over to
Students taught by teachers
That prefer to hunt ducks.
Ceasare somnambulates
Under tons of boulders
Thrown by thumb-less Fingal
At the drunk Finn McCool
Lazing at Central Park.

Then I am out of there
Back towards the paradise
Of my Easter voyage.

The seraphim trombones
Become quiet, placid
When we leave the confines
Of the maddening tunnel.
Remember, USA?
Remember the locust?>
Remember how you slit
The throat of the islands
In the far Philippines?
Remember how you stole
The land of the Japanese
Because Dr. Seuss’s lies
Printed in cartoon strips?
Remember the deaths
Of four Kent State students
Who denied you power
To bomb Cambodia
To your heart’s deep content?
Remember, Pres. Reagan
How to fight a dead war
You allowed the urban
To go poor, all dying
At the hands of a freak
Cocaine monster lurking?
Remember, Dubya Bush
When in the name of tales
Spread by your pet Richard
You fought a costly war,
Plunged your hands into filth
Then claimed you knew what’s best
For your America.

Remember, USA?
Remember the glass jar?
Remember how you broke
Into two fragment states
And then reunited?
Remember MLK
Who shared his wondrous dream
Under Lincoln’s gazing
And tamed the KKK?
Remember the other
War on poverty fought
By Johnson, almost won
That gave us Medicare
And a hope for Zion?
Remember the pocked moon
Which we conquered at last
By flinging our machines
On Galileo’s dream
And became far more than
We were before all that?
Remember how Clinton
(Ignorant offender [?])
Became the seer Daniel
And closed the hungry maw
Of the mad lion Debt,
If but for a short time
Proving all could happen?

Remember, USA?
Remember all we did?
Bebeorh pe done bealo-nio, Beowulf leofa
Secg betsa, ond pe paet selne geceos
Ece raedas.
-Beowulf(Seamus Heaney)

Esse es percepi
From swerve of shore to bend
Of bay God is watching
From his high Goodyear blimp
Cruising over Rockland
Where the obscene rot by
In a slow ticking motion
As poetic time bombs
That measure the army
Of rooftop king David.

All is being watched now,
From swerve of shore to bend
Of bay all’s collated
Into one enormous sphere
Which like King’s dome consumes
The small, hunts all the weak,
Connecting everyone
In some Reptoid silk web
With Icke at the center,
Shouting for attention.

I am being watched now
As I drive down Southward
From swerve of shore to bend
Of bay I feel George Bush
Eyeing me from Texas
With a great telescope
(HST!) Which does not
Work half the time, spying
Like our rooftop king Jew
On the Martian canals.
1619 and Rome
Was all abuzz with news
Of Greco the Master
Who embodied Abiff
Against Master Luhzin.
He made his move around
Wise Solomon’s temple.
The great insane Luhzin
Sees in fourteen quick moves
Winston’s truth shall prevail:
White always mates
So he plays the chess game:
Silbermann, years later
Will sell fifteen pianos
To King Fredrick the Great (?)
Not so great as the grand
Giuoco Piano!
Four hundred years later
A Virginian crowd burns
Ezra Pound effigies
As I pass by en route
To my relation’s ranch.
Three hundred years later,
Spielman shall overthrow
The Black Man, Tom Walker
In the city of Mannheim,
As we join the Great War.
Greco, for his genius,
Is not aware of this.
I ask the darkening crowd
What they have against Pound.
One of them, Anne Charters (?)
Brandishes the Cantos
And hands me a Pound doll
Drowned like Phoenicians
In flaming gasoline.
I hand it back (why not?)
And head away from flames
Of the expatriate
Malachi “Unk” Constant
8.  Bg5-h4
What was he thinking then?
What is he thinking now?
9. Nf3xg5!
Behold the sacrifice
Of our Hiram Abiff!
10.  Qd1-h5+
The Footman calls at night
From Mabbot Town entrance
To Central Park, where men
In dark cloaks burn Ezra.
Greco the Master sees
Only the next two great moves.
13.  Qh5-e8+
Moral:  “”All of us are more or less pawns.  We’re moved about like chessmen by circumstances over which we have no control.”-Theodore Dreiser

© Basilio Ponce de Leon