Scheduled outage

For those who know me a bit better than I would like, it's no news that I do not care much for the Blogger platform. I've been a Livejournal attention monger for years and long resisted the pull to commence "professional" blogging. I resisted the compartmentalization of self and work, but have since come to my senses, realizing that the theme of personal mythology is much reprised in contemporary poetry. I prefer academic mythology, as it allows me to remain a hermit. Yet, this is a personal mythology in itself. See how the postmodern haunts me?

Posting has been delayed because I drew myself into a corner on the old abecedarius. I attempted no less than three times, and probably more in my head. Instead, I decided to write some poems about serial killers. One:

The Strangler

A soft plane carried him
from the bathtub,
claw-footed, crawling
with silverfish, his wife
who wore a silver ring
on her pinky toe. It caught
in his ankle hairs during
their conjugal embrace.
He's caught in those cross-hairs
mid-Atlantic, a journey
shimmying out of a nightgown.
Everything can be seen
over the propeller
with the proper proportion
of water and brown liquor.
Seen but not solved:
take the split the good Lord made,
the mercy of traveling;
this snake oil savior
no less sneers into his bourbon
than remembers with fondness
her cracking lips.

The intellectual strand connecting CSI and Chaucer is the awe of the digusting, the despicable that permeates every detail. Are we really that interested in the logisitics of a harrowing sexual escapade involving a cleric and a young married woman? Are we interested in the cuckolding of Januarie? I would venture that the true fascination in this anti-social behavior is the fact that we must document it so rigorously. Is the point really about developing and cementing mores through the proverbial cautionary tale? For some audiences, perhaps it is enough to gape and enjoy the vicarious thrill of anti-social behavior without the consequences of actually committing such acts. I often write from the thrill of the paper cut, but more for the purpose of prodding at why on earth we subject ourselves to such perceptual violence. I cannot assent that our fascination with the deadly and the sinful can be reduced to a few choice chemical impulses.

It would be nice to read some more commentary on such matters. I should dig up a psychology text. Any suggestions?


mikey said…
kraft-ebbing?. i thought of patricia highsmith while reading the poem.
thanks for the recommendation!

Popular Posts