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Pierre Joris

3 Pages from Canto Diurno #4: The Tang Extending from the Blade


If you are using special sharpeners like water stones,

you may not be able to count the twelve different Calvinist directions

that exist in Holland — though they fight them bitterly.

Yet at night I dream in sentences and words, always.

That is work best left to a specialist, since improper use of stones

can damage a blade, and diminish her chances of resuming

a record of treating environmental degradation

as a human rights matter.  Nothing characterizes life in Warmond

more accurately then the confessions of her to be taken very seriously

demarcations. Faith shares no common border

with that relativistic culture-Protestantism that has sucked

all heat from Last Things. Romeo and Juliet don’t

live here anymore, and upon waking up in the early dawn

I remember nothing.


No, the world has never disgusted me.

That would kill individuals yet it would not be the final

blow to a sturdy but suffering culture.

On this Wednesday the last stela is planted (if that’s the right word)

in the Southeast corner of the area bordering on the ministerial gardens,

a small festive event. The paving

between the more than 2700 concrete ashlars is nearing completion.

The shell of the underground “information place” that will eventually house

an instructive, if harrowing mass of documents is nearly ready.

The outwork serves life, which happens specifically not there,

as otherwise we all would clearly not be in the middle of it, in its fullness,

in the fullness of human life, and it serves to observe

of life, which always happens elsewhere.

It is easy to slow that process with daily strokes on a honing steel



Some of us have dozen's of knives. Maybe you have hundreds.

Perhaps they are a collector's item? Maybe to one man, a badge of honor: "He who dies with the most knives wins!"

It lies between the showplaces of the German nation state, the waxing and waning of the Prussian State and the Weimar democracy. Around its site roars

inner city traffic, stand in part facades of a better GDR facture, in part the ambitious

cubes of embassies, the backside

of the Hotel Adlon and the green tresses of the trees in the Tiergarten.

Something is bound to give, and it's starting to give in the Arctic,

there where one is not.

I am afraid, if I have to turn myself to the outside,

yes, it is truly an turning oneself inside-out.

Now go to, and

to figure out whom to eat next.



The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
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