[ilds] particularly that Black Book

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Wed Apr 30 17:01:09 PDT 2008

Henry Treece
-- from /The Black Seasons/, 1945

"The Black Book"

for Conroy Maddox

Pacing the pages of the midnight book
I see the pale man fingering a skull,
And the old dog snuffling at his heels.

A bleeding hand probes underneath the vetch,
Violates the garb of gothic for a prize,
And comes to light clutching five black eggs.

A sneering eye is staring through the pane:
It is a future come to mock a past;
The Landseer turns towards the wall for shame.

Under the roof a cripple carves a bowl;
No cough can keep him from swarming roads,
Touching his cap for alms from riding lords.

Beneath the floor a lime-dried corpse sits up
And, listening to the after-dinner talk,
Fumbles the dagger in his linen cloak.

Hidden by trees, the boy engraves a stone
With threats as old as mountains in the West.
He sees the white head crumble from his wrath.

Where the grey monuments are set in rows
A faceless figure chuckles in no hand.
No cock shall crow before this deed is done!

Orgiastic emblems flute across the winds,
Seven seasons wind the tired globe along:
The page blows over -- and the poem ends.

Ilyas wrote:
> Charles, as you know, I have the distinct pleasure of owning THE 
> typescript of the Black Book. I think you saw it when you were in London 
> last year.
> On 30/04/2008 17:21, "slighcl" <slighcl at wfu.edu> wrote:
>     William Carlos Williams
>     [from /The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams/ Volume II
>     1939-1962 (1986)]
>     What should I say of Henry Miller:
>     a fantastic true-story of Dijon remembered,
>     black palaces, warted, on streets
>     of three levels, tilted, winding through
>     the full moon and out and
>     down again, worn-casts of men: Chambertin---
>     This for a head
>     The feet riding a ferry
>     waiting under the river side by side
>     and between. No body. The feet
>     dogging the head, the head bombing the feet
>     while food drops into and
>     through the severed gullet, makes clouds
>     and women gabbling and smoking, throwing
>     lighted butts on carpets in department stores,
>     sweating and going to it like men
>     Miller, Miller, Miller, Miller
>     I like those who like you and dislike
>     nothing that imitates you, I like
>     particularly that Black Book with its
>     red sporran by the Englishman that does you
>     so much honor. I think we should
>     all be praising you, you are a very good
>     influence.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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