Mark Young

from THE POUND CENTOS

 

CENTO III

The hooves, moving in
heavy air, clink & slick
on the cobbles. Palace in

smoky light. Hard night, &
parting at morning. Not a ray,
not a slivver, not a spare disc

of sunlight. Thin husks I had
known as men, weaving an
endless sentence, propped

between chairs & table. &
then went down to the
ship, mad for a little slave

money, winds stretching out,
seas pulling to eastward.

CENTO VII

Cast on a natal paper, set with
an exegesis, told, our pact
stands firm, from half-dark

to half-dark. Goat bells tinkled
all night. Beaten from flesh
into light, dark shoulders have

stirred the lightning. The air
was full of women, flitting
& fading at will. Honey at the

start & then acorns, passion
to breed a form of things, of
men, in shimmer of rain-blur.

Been to hell in a boat yet? The
words woven in wind-wrack.

CENTO XI

He took it up to Manhattan, to
the big company, & they said:
“The answer to that is they’re

solid bone. You can amputate
from just above the medulla.”
He never could get it to work.

The slick guy, decked all in green,
with sleeves of yellow silk &
holding his golden wand, looked

out of the window. He knew me
& spoke first. “They came & cut
holes in rock for sacrifice, heap-

ing the pyre with goods. Sparse
chimneys smoke in the cross light.”

 


Source & Method: All four poems are shaped from phrases & sentences taken from Ezra Pound’s Cantos. The first couple I did fell out as 14-liners, so I have kept that form throughout.

Mark Young‘s most recent book is les échiquiers effrontés, a collection of surrealist visual poems laid out on chessboard grids, recently published by Luna Bisonte Prods.