Monday, April 15, 2013

Huuklyeand Cinquor on A. Figwitt Cye-Cophant's Introspection: Examining a Postmodern Mythopoetic (in Blank Verse)*

*The Laistrygonian Press, Homer Loomis, Idaho, 2012.

Let us marvel at how 
A. Figwitt Cye-Cophant created 

An incredible myth by doing nothing 
But gazing at his navel: 

No people, 
No tradition, 
No story, 
No history, 
No world view, 
No explanation, 
No wonder 

His lackeys are lapping it up— 
It’s unbelievable, lacking all imagination.

Moderator’s comments: It would have helped immensely if Cinquor had quoted some lines from Mr. Cye-Cophant’s book of poems to give us an idea of just how he was able to create a myth without incorporating any of the ingredients that make up one; as it is, Huuk’s throwaway middle stanza does nothing but summarize what’s missing and we are left to fill in the empty spaces of Figwitt’s waste land with the detritus left behind in the wake of his “earth-shaking” effort. Nor does the reference to Mr. Cye-Cophant’s omphaloskepsis assist us in delving further into the recesses of what Cinquor describes as the poet’s non-imagination. Huuk knows better than to leave us dangling like this—the least he could have done was throw us an umbilical cord. Unfortunately, it remains but a shallow effort leading us to re-examine the criteria for permitting him to use this platform as a sounding line. 

NB: Huuk’s reference to Cye-Cophant’s lack of a “world view” reminds me of what George Seferis once said in an interview in The Paris Review #50: ” . . .I have no idea about philosophical positions and world views. You know, whenever world views begin interfering with writing—I don’t know. I prefer world views in the sort of dry, repulsive, and (I don’t know how to put it) prosaic way. I don’t like people who try to express world views in writing poetry. I remember once I had a reading in Thessalonike, and a philosopher stood up and asked: ‘But what, after all, Mr. Seferis, is your world view?’ And I said: ‘My dear friend, I’m sorry to say that I have no world view. I have to make this public confession to you that I am writing without having any world view. I don’t know, perhaps you find that scandalous, sir, but may I ask you to tell me what Homer’s world view is?’ And I didn’t get an answer.” 

NBB: Also in that issue, right after the Seferis interview, there is a long excerpt from Jim Carroll’s manuscript-in-progress of his book The Basketball Diaries and I don’t have to tell you who the poetry editor of The Paris Review was back then, do I?


  1. Abandoned in the wine-dark drink with a thread as frail as Leuconoe's bikini for a sounding line, we're sure to be on the rocks by morning.

    And before rosyfingered dawn tickles Harriet you will be able to hear our shipwrecked lamentations in the form of a Pensive Sound Poem Talk at Lifejacket 2.

  2. Aye, mate, surely it must be
    Of late you're reading too much

    Charles Stuart Calverly!

  3. O my that Leuconoe with her flimsy string bikini seems to have driven Huuk to distraction, if not to his leaky rowboat.

    Perhaps salvation beckons in this timely citation from Straightjacket3.

    Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi
    finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
    temptaris numeros.

    (You should not ask, it is wrong to know impious things, what end the gods will have given to me, to you, O Leuconoe, and do not try
    Babylonian calculations.)

    Horace: Odes I.11

    Hook, line and sink or swim! It's those Babylonian calculations that confuse the old shipwrecked deconstructionist every time!


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