Robin Blaser
from Exody
from The Holy Forest
(C) 2009 Estate of Robin Blaser. Used by permission.
Even On Sunday

I don't know anything about God but what the human record tells
me—in whatever languages I can muster—or by turning to
translators—or the centuries—of that blasphemy which defines god's
nature by our own hatred and prayers for vengeance and dominance—
that he (lower case and questionable pronoun) would destroy by a
hideous disease one lover of another     or by war, a nation for what
uprightness and economic hide-and-seek—and he (lower case and
questionable pronoun) is on the side of the always-ignorance of politics
in which we trust—the polis is at the 'bottom of the sea,' as Hannah
Arendt noticed—and he (lower case and interrogated pronoun) walks
among the manipulated incompetences of public thought

where I had hoped to find myself ordinary among others in the
a 'murmuring voice of societies'

and so one thinks them over—blasphemies all, against multiplicity,
which is all anyone knows about god—and one can only hate them
so much without becoming halt and lame in their kingdom of single­
—their having taken a book to have been once and forever,
the language behind language that no one has ever spoken           god's
what-knot and mystical rags we call flags

as a friend said, 'I'm going to become fundamentalist and call
everybody asshole'

and what would the gods be if I asked them—our nakedness didn't
quite fit—out, as it is, of nature—yet, there is a sentiment at the
intersection between life and thought
—streaks of beyondness in that
careless relation

                               October came in August and petunias straggled,
sprawling white faces one at a time, lobelia browned and continued
blue    the neighbours cut down the sexual cottonwood which kept the
whole block from repainting door-steps for over a month—by the
fluffs of its happiness—

so we are in the midst of a metaphysical washout—take for example,
Verlaine and Rimbaud—as Hans Mayer says: Being shut out of the
social order, they sought to heighten their condition by, say, publicly embracing
in Brussels and thus providing the formula for a new 'condition humaine'
that called out to be created
—both failed—both remained in outsiderdom
—one continued to rhyme, the other gave up the whole damned
creation     behind this, an Enlightenment, which I'll return to
               and Sylvie asked,
'But what became of the Man?'
Well, the Lion springed at him. But it came so slow, it were
three weeks in the air—'
'Did the Man wait for it all that time?'
I asked.
'Course he didn't!' Bruno replied, gliding head-first down the
stem of a fox-glove, for the story was evidently close to its end.
'He sold his house, and he packed up his things, while the Lion were coming
And he went and lived in another town. So the Lion ate the wrong man.'
This was evidently the Moral
. . . said Lewis Carroll

the moral is that something does devour the existential given
Rimbaud, Mayer writes, does not intertwine with visions of Sodom in order
to provoke heaven's fire; it is simply the sole possibility of his own self-acceptance

being shut out of the social order     Rimbaud writes de posséder la verité
dans une âme et un corps
, which Mayer interprets to say being alive
in the full sense of body and soul
    the truth is being alive, until you break
on it

ah, Laius, when you ran off with the youth Chryssipus, the Sphinx
flew to a whistling stop in Thebes—and fire fell on Sodomites, on
each one of them, and, I'll be damned, almost everybody—tell me a
tale to explain sublime biology—then, tell me another to explain
sublime human nature—and murder; unmythologized, fell on 20th­
century outsiders      pollution of what in the momentary hangup of
the vast biology of things, desiring?      a covenant with whom?
    androsphinx, recumbent lion with the head of a man, answer me—
that is to say, each one of us

the sublime, dear everybody and everyday, is not so simply human—
overwhelms—uncanny is Hannah Arendt's word for the face of it—
dangerous—severe, as a blow—mysterious—on which the existential
floats—the passions of

and Hans Mayer notes the tying and untying that confines things:
At the height of the Victorian era, the Bible is once again, as in Cromwell's
time. . . . the spiritual and social foundation of everyday life
—O, the once­
again in which we trust—Declaration is made in the Bible of what is
proper for woman and what is not. The Bible depicts that which God punished
in Sodom. St. Paul only confirmed the curse
one's mind may have a
certain affinity with Christopher Marlowe's, if it is true, as his
Thomas Kyd tells us, that he thought the apostle Paul a swindler—
who taught a curdled godhead and a curdling view of the existential
given—and the black milk of it is blasphemy, so to revile existence

in the midst of this, an Enlightenment which first and foremost posited
an equality of men and women, including homosexuals—religion and
sexuality go hand in hand in the apple-light

it was not to be merely law, like free speech, but a mental practice
    what developed, in the guise of a Darwinian terror advancing in
evolutionary form, was the lion body with a man's head, walking in
the garden, so that the underlying principles of liberty and equality, not
even taking fraternity into account, inordinately encouraged combatting all
forms of outsiderdom in favour of what Ihab Hassan calls 'quantities of normed
—normed existence excludes the existential given, not being
alive in the full sense of body and soul—and extends, not merely perverts
that which calls itself normality into political form but Mayer asks, what
is it then if the precipitating step outside, into the margins, is a condition of
birth, a result of one's sex, parentage, physical or spiritual makeup?
one's existence itself becomes a breaking of boundaries

we can thereby return to ourselves a measure of freedom, and take form
the work of a lifetime—in this breaking of boundaries—
as Mayer says, a global disposition of thought toward annihilation, which
thinks to admit only majorities in the future and is determined to equate
minorities with 'worthless life'     Worthless are the Jews, there the blacks [and
aboriginals], somewhere else (and everywhere) the homosexuals, women
of the type of Judith and Delilah, not least the intellectuals keen on individuation . .

'They should all be gassed': the expression has crept into everyday language
Woman is not equal to man. Man is manly man, whatever is to be understood
by that: the feminine man stands out from the race and thereby becomes worthless
life. Shylock must be exterminated: the only final solutions are fire and gas

extreme remedies—pharmakons—Mayer reminds us, have been
proposed: for example, Klaus Mann writing in 1949—remember
when that was!—calls for. . . the concerted mass suicide of intellectuals: to
bring public opinion in the world, in the integrity and autonomy of which he
quite clearly still believed, to its right senses

well, we know now that this would disappear with a headline in the
Entertainment pages, or it might make the Arts and Books section
along with obituaries and sportsmanship, in The Globe & Mail—and
intellectuals?—Mann had not noticed that point in the space of
intelligence where they join the system, higgledy-piggledy—I think
of that recent hustle in the United States, offering the end of history
like a dinky-toy, democracy, pinking, blueing, and off-whiting in plastic
—'My goodness!' everyone said, 'They've discovered Hegel!' and Time
Magazine thought he was little known—and I said, 'My goodness!
Francis Fukuyama, so we finally got here, there, anywhere'

so to be reminded once again of Puddin'head Wilson: It was wonderful
to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it

this unified mankind—for that's who's there, quantity or lump, at the
end of a materialist's or an idealist's history—conceived, Mayer writes
as a homogenized humanity. Woe to outsiders

so that was it, was it? an Enlightenment that promised equality to men and
women, including homosexuals!
       an age in the hole, running three
centuries, surely allows one to say, 'Listen, you assholes, a metaphysical
means you've lost your top soil'

and this system aims exactly—at the heart of our social existence    to
be an outsider by virtue of our existence—like statues come to life by
moonlight in the child's desiring mind—has the advantage of voices,
and their attentions, each to each, among quantified multitudes who
wander the computations and rationalities that belong to no one—also going,
going, gone into the corpus Christianum with its sadly separated body
and soul

among these voices, I think of Montaigne: Embraces remembered (or still vaguely hoped far) are 'our final accolades'

                                                in whose arms

even on Sunday



                            With considered use of Hans Mayer's
                             Outsiders (MIT, 19 82). Mark Twain's
                                    aptness is cited in Ihab Hassan's
                            'Foreword.' Written for Gay Games III,
                                                 Vancouver, August 1990.