The needle and the haystack
by Christos Polydorou
Ambition just slit my neck And my blood
is scoring letters as it slants and slashes
down my whitest shirt Shirt I wore to this of
course commute On London Underground
as I hold a book in my inverted commas By a lady
who to my mind To me A goddess amongst us :
Why do thine dearest darling darest to write :
Because reading is nature and everything else :
second nature : in second degree : in the frame the :
relevant frame : is within : in London
there are words Everywhere :
I am reading (and being read) not just Books :
constantly: but Signs Symbols lies
some less mis-leading
than others all less attractive
than the last And words
scattered like ex-cannon
muses on oak leaves tiger-lily
petals and naturally in miniature stitched perfectly
with luminous thread So expertly you can look closely
The needle :
The book I hold in my inverted commas
has a plastic cover And is basically a file folder
For twenty-two chapbooks Like magazines In Prussian
blues and teal Anne Carson has a suggested list of contents
But you can pick and choose whichever chapbook you’d
like to read as it floats your boat The book is called Float
a word whose noun manifestation is the one she uses,
* * *
as in the book reaches us in fragments, in parts,
in sections, in twenty-two books making a not quite whole
big one. A few years ago when Anne Carson was given
A MacArthur genius grant for her work in literature
she said in an interview the first thing she bought was socks.
She didn’t really publish anything until her early forties.
Until then she was an aspiring artist, a painter.
All the chapbooks contain a single artfully drawn upward facing curve.
Which would explain why she shines so originally as a poet
bringing in elements rules and idiosyncrasies of fine art into writing.