49th Parallel Blues

See me read it with Jim O’Halloran on flute:


Line breaks here are not right, but what the hell? It’s #49 in a series of 99 haibun inspired by Ramon Gomez de la Serna.

49. 49th Parallel Blues (After Nate Mackey)

The function of waves is to bring the salvage from shipwrecks.
– Ramón Gomez de la Serna

Went back to the book, had to flesh out what 49 was. Was a parallel, was a universe. A series of them. A quag was where they were headed to, a world without soul or where soul was weak or with held w/ religious zeal. Back to the book for a whiff of an old song sung new, a star-eyed babe made real again out of meat and memory. Star dust and comet stuff. A tail raised at the end of an age end of yet another yuga.
A brother lost, perhaps for a time, yet another brother made up of mud, not as mad, almost as innocent. A bother made up of blood’s memory a memento mori of sorts and still seeking sentience often lost between legs (or ahead of them), lost in the reeds as if the product of a bad shank or grief’s weight abandoned   finally shook loose how torque lost its pull, latter day Torquemadas lost their power, laughter cast its healing glance upon the mercenaries and left mercy.
Mercy’s mission mumbled in the round, widdershins. Mercy’s mumble infinite (or so it seemed) redolent, or so we saw, radiant or so the jewels in the net of Indra surmised. If it was quag to which we were headed we’d brake, we’d wrestle a wrench away from monkeys or from the late capitalist hammer squadron. We could smell the quag coming and wanted none, wd find the wealth of wet cement to lay our head on, wd listen for  dreams just this side of bricks and cayenne weapons way away from any gumbo. Where there’d be quag we’d beckon mercy w/ songs mumbled at first, right up past the gut’s obstruction then bellowed into latihan air like a bapak wd, blown like Birks fat cheeks a monk’s last remission a bird song hurled at the oncoming winds.

He’d sing it three times
and each time the word
mercy caught a wave, wd
begin to stick.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com
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