Posts Tagged ‘Aristophanes’

Pre-Socratics

November 21, 2009

Surely mankind’s greatest invention is the sentence.

—John Banville

Since Aristophanes and Socrates

Are talking poetry—with the gods’ blessing—

With a whisper about a parchment—call

It a ‘sur-fact’, a secret, or maybe

A surface—just a simple white canvas,

Really, a talented tabula rasa,

A prime mover—prima facie—the desert.

Say poetry is like that too, just before—

Before the spacial silence like

—like, it’s like the desert—

And then when rain begins—a kind of Brain

Rain—it draws the oil up, surfaces it,

So it’s slick, the mind is, his daemon. Still…

*

The lamps are lit, so Socrates can see

That Aristophanes is pouring his

Particular oil into open ears,

Into everyone’s evening ears and eyes.

And Aristophanes goes for the joke too.

He farts. Real funny. He farts and pretends

It’s a hiccup out the wrong end. Stand on

Your head, why don’t you, Aristophanes?

…For its Aristophanes

Who is about to give an encomium

To Eros. Too sophisticated

To offer praise for a dead god, he

Will spin a tale of sun and earth and moon,

Of round bodies and moieties in search

Of themselves—this same Aristophanes

Is stinking up the stage right now…

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