A Chorus Fosse

                  “…their whole as bodies in the underground petroleum ... holes spurting here and there in the sky-turned-indigo as did the ocean, now petroleum.”
—Leslie Scalapino, February 14, 2010

'Please come back and finish your story!' Argh—[lss]
called after it; and the
others all joined in chorus: roughly,

Wow! Wow! Wow!
One!—singular sensation—every little sap
pacified by

famished enormity
through the infrastructure of tragedy—which is the infrastructure of

abundance spreading vis-à-vis
liquidity and boom! Horizon as cutting edge

in Transocean’s leas’d “controlled
burn” baby burn [rated BBB] within local booms awash in slick
tidings of BP-to-be Mississippi black

was 200 million gallons & counting, so to speak,
“of national significance,” & always attritional spikes
in employment—remember that?

like the mine, that is a made place
& extension of the metropolis, Coketown
whose inverse citizens were so darkling they were overpassed

by rail pretzel the day
of a presidential post-Easter prayer breakfast from Jo’burg
to Montcoal “clean”

—remember that?

Pulses the fuel Justice layeth on
a Blank “more creative in the area of safety than
any other corporation” inventing the ship & the wreck

Horizoncracking record of a well dubbed Tiber
going now (then) for further belches and “kicks” in the case
of nitrogen mousse to wit the wistful

hundred-ton containment dome
for surface all rainbows poking six miles down
driving a vertical Rome into crusts 24-65 million years old

“in the emerging lower tertiary play”:
Ocean, the deep frontier, far-shooting
Eye-in-the-Sea Apollowing it, that

2/3 of the planet still unexplored
bailed out by a junk shot of tire, golf
ball, & mud: the whole

heavyweight top hat (top kill & Tooling
Package) sucking “if you don’t have tunnel
vision” for the continual state of violation

through the vomitorium, particulate, SWAT

—remember that?


                             *            *             *



IŌ some years ago
found upon return to the nubile coast
a macron—in mine throat—
raw Ronzonilike chock to the liege blowhole—
illegitimate stroke of the o
in the life sentenced and its accidence
a tumble-toy |
down the slow settling of the sludge
in public toke whilst
a proparaxytone heart that is
rebel hustles reserve
alases endlessly caulking,
Maybe You’ll go through the Little Door into the Garden!
into each hamnet off an exit ramp
of our oil palace parkway Peaked and Pined
with a gradual wane!
so the Father returning East daily along the daisy-chain
of blots may shut
up like a telescope nightly
preferring not
to the proprietor of the face
boxing his papers….
—and she at home botflied daily while learning to
plug & plié like clockwork, stuckt,
Till the doctor Says, quite
solemn: “She must roam And play
amidst other Epic Curiosities
stringing together feet in interesting ways….”
Would the Fall never come to an end?
Scanning the walls of the well lined with
cupboards of a gaping wound
((fancy curtseying as you’re falling
to stalk the saucer of milk laid out low
not much larger than a rat-hole!)
the billionairess on high
with her sack of Xmas coals
researching the history of a pursey employee
(‘short of breath’))
who is being recorded?



                              *            *             *


An Open Feed

mr blitzker of h0gbutchertown
we Peter long gone at 19 and m@m and the cluster
benzened fruit by fruit
of your distant laborers
selling far below book value
while prising itself from your believing
charitable fingers
drifting from the banks—
your sludge relations ;}
interests & “what’s known
in the business as #‘toxicwaste’”
of a muck virtually
afar—the smoking stack
that cementeth your family eleven ways and maketh us one
riches to ragpickers
the accidental ingesters
of #gasvapormigration—we’ve
been dying to meet you
evolved and common gawkers of your
prized @rchitectures #gardenszoosandlibraries of w@r
and the schooling of medicine at my universe [redacted]
of employment
in your town nostalgic of h0gs
fancy that
you healeth the sick
of cancer, the lifestyle disease
preventable as it is to breathe the air that swallows you
on spec
fecklessly as you taketh away
and have bejeweled our #postnubility
of a Lot remote from home
and from your hustled palace and Superior bank
appraised with floundering
gimmicks and hogs mr spitzker
with prIzes
we were the shipwreck,
eating, shitting, breathing—
we couldn’t help it—the accident
of your most successful acquisition of the ‘70s
as sponges of 700 to 1080 tons
of sludge annually
and over a million gallons of toxic wastewater
since “loosening it up will make people there feel better
and perform better, too” stated you
over the b0dies of we—we
the monitored for 40-50 years at least
too wise for our own goods
gasping pixels and gas at the port (60637)
leaching /ghastly/ thanks for your slitzker priorities
you the publicity-shy
who since the ‘20s don’t believe in public companies
& “can kill a deal revealing information”
Oh-ho the sicknesses come to work to roost
vs. a ho-hum 0z hemmed by phantom hogs
whilst the band Shells with tintinnadulations
a new heifer’s garth
where the rod mill sludge mothered with garbage
soundlessly financial
was host to sliding schoolchildren
arrogated dogs and the workers
mess of smidgeons of your fortune
in troubled companies on the cheap
written up as blots in the documents (c@pped)
to sell to #Sy and the Tribune
who steereths the ship mr splitzker who invented the shipwrecks
that made your fortune split eleven ways

remember that?




[Jennifer Scappettone is the author of From Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009) and of Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice (forthcoming from Columbia University Press). Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), which she edited and translated, was awarded the Raiziss/De Palchi Book Prize from the Academy of American Poets. The lines above come from a multimedia archaeology of the landfill and opera of pop-up pastorals called Exit 43 (forthcoming from Atelos Press, with a letterpress fragment coming from Compline). She is associate professor at the University of Chicago.]

Copyright © 2013 by Jennifer Scappettone, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.