Sunday, October 23, 2016

NW x NW: Antiode to Alfred Hitchcock

                                      "In Riemann, Hilbert or in Banach space
                                      Let superscripts and subscripts go their ways.
                                      Our asymptotes no longer out of phase,
                                      We shall encounter, counting, face to face...."

                                                                                 Stanislaw Lem

Every image arises from a field
of possibility and having risen,
rises another field between
meaning and unmeaning:

       Two in and out of twilight
       hand in hand, dark and bright
       in the ballet of left and right...

               tragedy & comedy

               laughing and crying chiasmically.

Is the fruited field polysemous?

                               jupe de jeter

                              à travers de l'espace  

                              jupe à jeter


As things stand aren't all worlds
AMBIGUONS winging through two
or more images at the same time?

What a post-predicament:

               flying planes can be dangerous: rat-tat-tat

              the jet strafes North by Northwest: pan-pan cul-cul

              it is a Naval Factory N3N Canary crop sprayer

              with four on the floor by Rolls Royce

              Cary escapes with a prayer and a little shrapnel

              in the κεῖσθαι of his featherduster

              the pilot a marine from Quantico

              is convicted of being viciously orange

              locust run amok

              no wheat or maize are sown or grown

              what can a poor poet do except plant potatoes?


E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa       October 23, 2016     Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: κεῖσθαι: the lie, being in a position (Aristotle)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dreams Of War Among Orangutans

                             “En ces temps difficiles, il convient d'accorder notre mépris
                             avec parcimonie, tant nombreux sont les nécessiteux.”


Let scientists tell in precisest terms where
reside dreams of war among Orangutans
and what kind of war it is:

Is it war to control bananas,
food of the wise, by the likes
of Great Ape United Fruit?

Is it war to monopolize the best routes
for brachiating through branches
of jungle and over the shortest airlanes
between trees to trapeze across?

Is it religious war or war to colonize and exploit?

Is it nuclear war, chemical war, economic war?

Is it a war of terror? Is it racist or genocidal?

Is it war for profit or war for the sake of war?

Is it no war at all but a still sullen nightmare
of a long-armed guerilla blowing strawberries
at under and over men logging, mining, and burning
the small green planet of just another less than human,
more than human forest kind?

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa   October 11, 2016  Granada, Nicaragua

Monday, October 3, 2016

Haiku Informaticus/ Haikú informático

This is no window.

This is a computer screen.

Behind you—the world.

E. A. Costa

Haikú informático

Esto no es ninguna ventana.

Esto es el monitor del ordenador.

Detrás tuyo—está el mundo.


E. A. Costa     October 13, 2016    Granada, Nicaragua

Saturday, October 1, 2016


                             "Qué es un antipoeta...
                                     un pequeño burgués?
                                     un charlatán?
                                     un dios?
                                     un inocente?
                                     un aldeano de Santiago de Chile?"*

                                                                 Nicanor Parra

I do not say that Nicanor Parra is not my mistress
or that when he walks, alive or dead, he treads not on earth
but in an otherwise empty set of air.

I do not say he is not a venomed dyssocratic serpent of wily irony,
like Kierkegaard, slithering on null feet and zero reason.

I do not say that he is not a poet nor antipoet, nor bard nor antibard,
nor self-styled porcupine from inner space.

I do not say that he is not an ersatz and belated Marcel Duchamp--
blind, retarded, and at least a hundred years behind the times.

I do not say that he is not an imbecile or that he had nothing more to say
after poetry or antipoetry or unpoetry left him uninspired in 1962.

I do not say that his Ars Poetique is not a Reader's Digest abridgment
mocking Paul Verlaine, ignorant of Horace and envious of Vicente Huidobro.

I do not say his antiverses or unverses or contraverses do not equal
pettier ones of Jorge Luis Borges or that physics by rote does not match the other's fiction.

I do not say he is not an adolescent poet advising himself that
in poetry null and void and not at all anything goes.

I do not say that he never leaves a blank page better off from having soiled it
or that he was not unutterably persevering and reactionary in his beshitting.

I do not say he is innumerate and cannot multiply the word imaginary
times 25 in 27 lines to the unplayed melody of the Beatles' Nowhere Man.

I do not say that he is not too bright nor excessively stupid nor that he did not
get on well with Mrs. Nixon.

I do not say that he does not consider Augusto Pinochet, 
taking tea with Margaret Thatcher, the savior of his country.

I do not say that, strictly logically, an ironic double-dealing retraction
cannot not be, like papal infallibility, retracted or unretracted.

I do not say that he is not the Chile that has fallen and still can't get up.

Yet his lips are not lascivious coral nor does he reek of finest balsamic
vinegar, nor is he Ezra Pound.

After all, he was on the so-called winning side.

Is he not then merely a traducer of Shakespeare and his life's lazy antioutput,
fat and apophatic, no more than the down and dirty mimesis of Sonnet 130?

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa October 1, 2016 Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.: *"What is an antipoet? A petit bourgeois?A charlatan?
A god? A naïfA villager of Santiago de Chile?"

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The New Phorcydes

                                     τυρὸς δ᾽ οὐ λείπει μ᾽ οὔτ᾽ ἐν θέρει οὔτ᾽ ἐν ὀπώρᾳ,
                                     ὐ χειμῶνος ἄκρω: ταρσοὶ δ᾽ ὑπεραχθέες αἰεί.*

You sit in a hall
of columns and arcades
sunlight streaming
from an open garden
to one side.

Close an eye.

You no longer sit
in a hall, now become
but a point of view.

So the world of photographs
and film and video and cell-phone

half of you disappears
and the other half becomes Cyclops
and shares the world with others
as the Graeae share one tooth and one eye.

Aye, pass the tooth, please,
smile and blindly have at Cyclopean cheese.

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa  September 24, 2016  Granada, Nicaragua
N.B.:*Theocritus , Idylls. 11.36"I never lack cheese, Summer or
Fall, and even in the dead of Winter--the  racks are always

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lay From The Cleopatra Planet

                                Érase un espolón de una galera,
                                érase una piramide de Egito... .
                                                  Francisco de Quevedo

                            Le nez de Cléopâtre, s'il eût été plus court,

                                  toute la face de la terre aurait changé.

                                                    Blaise Pascal

A woman without a nose
is a missing person
disappeared without a trace

is a firetruck without a hose

is a bust without a face

is hair without a trigger

(the bigger the better)

like a starter's pistol
setting off a hundred yard dash

up or down doesn't matter

let it match
or let it clash

let it fly
or let it crash

let it angle heavenward
let it wink in orbit
let it soar on flapping wings
surveying the netherlands below
let it be waterproof
let it be absorbent

let it dangle
let it honk
let it sneeze
let it be an Amazon of olfaction

let it be numb
let it be smooth
let it be sensitive and hairy
let it be in traction

let it be a pendulum swinging with every nod

let it be even

let it be odd

let it have a headache
let it be the wrong time of the week or month or year

let it be a real pain in the ass
let it be a dear

forget Trista
sister of Mr. Shandy

let it be a dandy

let it be Cleopatra's
rowing with Antony or Caesar

let be a booted daughter of Sinatra's

call it
beauty or beauty spot
just let it be a lot.

E. A. Costa

E. A. Costa   September 13,  2016       Granada, Nicaragua

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Humpty Dumpty Or: Maestría poética ( A Lucianesque)

A: It is merely a matter of deciding who is master, poem or poet.

B: That sounds a bit Humpty Dumpty.

A: Do you mean upside-down or are you referring to Alice?

B: Upside down—isn't that Topsy Turvy? But I refer to Alice of course and her Humpty Dumpty--"When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." 

A: You approve what was said, then—clearly the poem is master.

B: Approve? How do you come to that conclusion? Alice's Humpty claims complete mastery of the meaning of  language. How does that translate into supporting what was said--that the poem is the master of the poet and not the other way round?

A: My dear fellow, you are widely read but you seem to pay very little attention to what you read.

B: How is that?

A: Who is Humpty Dumpty?

B: I don't follow.

A: Of course, you don't. You don't ask the right questions.

B: Who is Humpty Dumpty then?

A: Humpty Dumpty is a nursery rhyme, thus a poetic form, thus a poem and is in complete mastery of all surveyed.

B: Including the poet who composed the rhyme, whoever that may have been?

A: Yes, but the composer may not have been a poet in the first place. Indeed, probably wasn't.

B: You seem to be saying that Humpty Dumpty composed some anonymous poet, not the reverse.

A: In a way, yes. But you beg the question. The authorship of the rhyme is completely unknown. Or do you prefer a goose?

B: Well, certainly the rhyme did not compose itself, did it?

A: No, but that is not the same as saying that the rhyme is master of the author or authors, whoever that may have been. Authorship is completely inconsequential.

B: I don't follow.

A: Of course not. As was said, you don't ask the right questions.

B: Let me ask—does this seemingly topsy-turvy view apply to more than poetry? To film or not, for example?

A: Sometimes.

B: Sometimes?

A: If the director is considered the main author of a film, with great films it is clearly the film who is master, not the director.

B: Are you serious?

A: Of course.

B: An example please.

A: That is easy—Carol Reed's The Third Man. Is there really any doubt that inarguably great film is master of a competent if otherwise undistinguished director and not the reverse.

B: That is intriguing. Orson Welles was in that film.

A: At least as much in the breach as in the observance. He is not onscreen at all for more than half the film as I recall.

B: Be that as it may—would you say the same about Welles' own Citizen Kane?

A: It almost goes without saying. Welles knew when and how to be mastered. In the making of The Third Man perhaps he was contagious. But this is a distraction. The subject is poetic mastery, not film mastery.

B: And?

A: You are well read. Have you read much ancient poetry—ancient Greek poetry for example? Homer?

B: A bit of Homer of course--in translation.

A: Translation is often a problem. But let me do the asking in regard to Homer and other ancients.

B: Yes?

A: Is there recorded any instance among the Greeks in which the Muse calls on the poet rather than the poet upon the Muse?

B: Muses now—what nonsense is this? Next you will be counting Beatrice or Virgil or The Divine Comedy itself the master of Dante and not the reverse.

A: Naturally. By the way, have you ever asked yourself why it is called “Comedy”? Bocaccio added the "Divina."

B: No. What a strange question.

A: And also by the way, why do you fall into thinking Humpty Dumpty masculine? It was an egg after all, wasn't it?

B: Even stranger and more Humpty Dumpty.  May I ask who is Alice?

A: Alice, it again almost goes without saying, is prose in conversation with poetry, that is, Humpty Dumpty.

B: Ah, then--an allegory?

A: May I remind you, dear fellow, that Lewis Carroll was weaned on Pilgrim's Progress?  Through The Looking Glass might be considered a comic version--or even a mirror image. Something, say, that might dream up a Christian mathematician.

B: Thoroughly new and intriguing. One has never heard or thought any of that.

A: I rest my case.

E. A. Costa   September 11, 2016   Granada, Nicaragua