Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chronopathetic, part 2


Jerome Rothenberg continues the retrospective project of posting his oeuvre as a blog. This particular entry reprints a collectively written poets' manifesto from 1968 which explains, among much else,

that Black Power is an ideal vision of African Divinity resurrected to save the white rational races from suffocating the entire planet in dung colored gas—We ask return to true tribal structure in which men use society rather than be used. ([Joel] Oppenheimer)

Forty years on, the word "tribal" evokes Waziristan and South Carolina. But you know the line about those who do not remember history. The first 21st-century comment reprinted below the manifesto comes from someone who lists his occupation, in 1968 language, as "Head." The comment begins:

As a poet of some merit, I have come to believe, the universe has only existed to give birth to the poem / stucture called

'a cup of coffee'.

But the second comment is a spam from a florist who delivers a wide range of flowers, cakes, and gifts. Fun bit of rationality for the 21st century: the florist and his delivery area are in India.

Eastward the course of empire takes its way.