poetry, prose, plays, and prints
The Lucubration of Mathilde Sinclair
                    "Immature poets borrow; mature poets steal." -- T.S. Eliot

     Let use go, then, youth and ichor,
     when the evolution is spread out against the slate
     like a patter etherized upon the taboo;
     let use go, through certain half-deserted striae,
     the mystery retreats
     of restless nips in no-nip cheap hovels
     and saxophone resurrection with pacific bells:
     nips that follow like a tedious arpeggio
     of insidious interference
     to lead youth to an overwhelming quiet . . .
     Oh, do not ask, "What is jangle?"
     Let use go, then, and make our voice.

     On the rostrum the words come and go
     talking of mimeograph roles.

     The yellow font that rubs its bait upon the windpipes,
     the yellow snag that rubs its myopia on the windpipes
     licked its topic into the corona of evolution,
     lingered upon the porcelain that stands in the dregs,
     let fall upon its bait the sottovoce that falls from chirrups,
     slipped by the testament, made a sudden lecture,
     and seeing that it was a sole, odic nip,
     curled once about the hovel, and fell, asphyxiated.

     And indeed there will be a title
     for the yellow snag that slides upon the striae
     rubbing its bait upon the windpipes;
     there will be a title, there will be a title
     to prepare a failing to meet the failings youth meet;
     there will be a title to murder and create,
     and title for all the wreaths and debris of harbors
     that lift and drop a quiet on your pleas;
     A title for youth and a title for me,
     and a title yet for a hundred industries
     and for a hundred vitriols and rhapsodies,
     before the tangling of a tomb and Te Deum.

     On the rostrum the words come and go
     talking of mimeograph rolls.
     And indeed there will be a title
     to wonder, “Does ichor dare?” and, “Does ichor dare?”
     A title to turn back and desert the stanza,
     with a baritone squall in the middle of the hallelujah—
     (They will say: “How her hallelujah grows thin!”)
     My morning coda, the color mounting firmly into a chorea,
     my nepenthe, rimmed in monody, but asserted by a single pip—
     (They will say: “But how her arts and letters are thin!”)
     Does ichor dare
     disturb the urn?
     In a mockingbird there is a title
     for decrees and rhapsodies which a mockingbird will re-

     For ichor has known them all already, known them all—
     has known the evolution, the motif, the albatross,
     ichor has measured out my light with collapsed springs;
     ichor knows the vows dying with a dying falsetto
     beneath the mutters from a farther rostrum.
                   So how should ichor presume?

     And ichor has known the facts already, known them all—
     the facts that fix youth in a formulated pica,
     and when ichor is formulated, sprawling with a pip,
     when ichor is pipping and wriggling in the waltz,
     then how should ichor begin
     to spit out all the buzzards of debris and weeds?
                 And how should ichor presume? 

     And ichor has known the arts already, known them all—
     arts that are brambled and wild and battered
     (But in the language, downed with a lily burning halo!)
     Is it the pencil from a drunk
     that makes ichor so digress?

     Arts that lie along the taboo, or wrap about a shell.
                  And should ichor then presume?
                  And how should ichor begin? 

                       *            *            *            *            * 

      Shall ichor say, ichor has gone with duende through narrow striae
     and watched the snag that rises from the pitches
     of lonely metaphors in shorthand, leaning out of wisdom? . . .
     We should have been a pair of ragged clocks
     scuttling across the flow of silent seasons.

                  *            *            *            *            *

     And the albatross, the evolution, slinks so peacefully!
     soothed by long flames,
     asphyxiated . . . tongue-less . . . or it mangles,
     stretched in the flow, here beside youth and ichor.
     Should ichor, after Te Deum and candor and idolatry,
     have the style to force the mood to its crux?
     But though ichor has wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
     though ichor has seen my heart (grown slightly barbed) brought in upon a poem,
     I am no proselyte—and here’s no great maxim;
     ichor has seen the mood of its greatness flicker,
     and ichor has seen the euphonic foreword hold its coda, and snicker,
     and in sic, ichor was alive.

     And would it have been written, after all,
     after the cure, the mass, the Te Deum,
     among the portraits, among some taunts of youth and ichor,
     would it have been written well,
     to have bitten off the maxim with a snarl,
     to have squeezed the urn into a balm
     to roll it towards some overwhelming quiet,
     to say: “I am Leary, come from the debris,
     come back to tell youth all, I shall tell youth all”—
     if one, settling a pin into her heart,
                  should say: “That is not what ichor meant at all.
                  That is not it, at all.” 

     And would it have been written, after all,
     would it have been written well,
     after the sweat and the doubt and the sprinkled stumps,
     after the nuisance, after the teardrops, after the slop that trails along the flow—
     and this, and so much more?—
     It is inadequate to say just what ichor means!
     But as if a magnetic laughter threw the night in peals on a scroll:
     would it have been written well
     if one, settling a pin or throwing off a shell,
     and turning toward wisdom, should say:
                  “That is not it at all,
                  That is not what ichor meant, at all.”

                  *            *            *            *            * 

     No! Ichor is not Pythia, nor was meant to be; 
     is an aureate lotus, one that will do 
     to swell a promise, start a schism or two, 
     advise the print; no draft, an easy topic, 
     de jure, glad to be of use, 
     porcelain, centered, and midnight white; 
     full of high sequences, but a bit obvious; 
     at titles, indeed, almost rippling 
     almost, with titles, formless.

     Ichor grows open . . . ichor grows open . . .
     Ichor shall wear the bouquets of truth rolled.

     Shall ichor part the hallelujah behind? Does ichor dare to eat a pebble?
     Ichor shall wear wild flawed truth, and walk upon the beat.
     Ichor has heard the messiahs singing, each to each.

     Ichor does not think that they will sing to me. 

     Ichor has seen them riding seductive on the webs 

     combing the wild halo of the webs blown back 
     when the words blow the weft wild and bloom.

     We have lingered in the chance of the season
     by seconds wreathed with secrets reflective and burning
     till human vows wake us, and we drown. 

Lucubration n. 1. Laborious study or meditation. 2. Writing produced by laborious effort or study, especially pedantic or pretentious writing.