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Robert Grenier

For David Bromige

From As In T as in Tether

This piece is about two printed pages long.

From Dream-time forward (long ago) there’s been desire to free oneself from all and sundray ‘constraints’ of what those most dear to one all around ‘want & expect me to do’ — I WON’T! Why? Because elsewise, I MUST DIE! (& they die, too — although, particularly here, they don’t know it — they don’t know they depend on ME! — to destroy us!) Hard to do, without rewriting the language itself down to its BONES/ CRACKS/ GRIMACES/ SLIPPAGES/ WELTS — BECAUSE IT’S STUPID AND WRONG! — tiger writhing in its chains (skin), like figure of Robert T.S. Lowell (on cover of Life Studies) in life, except worse (D.B. himself makes them up, bounds, then sets out to destroy them, by using ‘them’ against themselves) (agent of the English language itself?) — all in the name of a possible human life (‘the metamorphoses of many organs show what wonderful changes in function are at least possible’ — Darwin), e.g. in Sebastopol — which he herein demonstrates (as in ‘ ‘T’ as in ‘Tethered’’) — with more sense/ result and good humor than that other Hippocratic gallstone/ sticker fellow Tristam-Gulliver-Beckett-Quixote-Lawrence-Alec Guinness?, I don’t know. (D.B. lives in part to ‘poke fun’ at figure of Alec Guinness in Bridge On The River Kwai.) So the ‘New World’ is another writing in words — at least potentially — though these words must (equally) now be attacked as FALSE from Day One (and true).

Like being in jail, except — through the ‘glissement des signes’ (‘play’ of languages) — something?

How this GOOD WRITING changes the oncoming catastrophe, I’m not sure (can’t say).

Doesn’t ‘profit them’ to grille me!

A sheaf of fresh red-brown white-washed (‘Norwegian’) hair & beard grizzled eyeing you quizzically blue-eyed affectionately lang-po death-of-the-author freethinking people declare yourself — an off-rhyme — working class, germane to the situation, to wit — a box (why not, you put it together?) — you make it yourself, then walk round inside itl (it is ‘The World’!) — you revile the box, & spit upon it! ! — with a lyrical instinct wont to destroy the Avant Garde along with it — un grand «blaze» des grizzled (signatures) signes — results in (both) a certain dissatisfaction with humans (& the ‘world’) & yet (well-established/ superior / separate) says what it is, anyway, for it. How else could it be ‘better represented1?

As much the face as the sink!

A serious poet, after all these years of seeming fun!

What words do, each does — how to begin to ‘see through’ their ‘fundamental undertaking’??

It is a (seeming) prison one flees — Life Itself- by Imagination (spellbound) returned to and enacted (anewed).

— Robert Grenier (November 11–12/ 98)

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