When She’s High (letting out Stein)

Hello, do you have Alberta in a can?
in a can Albert in a can in a
Alberta in a can?

Who was first? Albert the IInd was first
albeit another Albert not the Ist
and not an Alberta

Alberts in succession
not an Alberta, Alberts
in succession the IInd not the Ist

I II III and IV Alberts in succession
Alberts in a can in cans Alberts canned
Alberts in succession Alberts canned

From the forests green Alberts
in succession Alberts from the forest
to silver trembling hands

From the forest mother shooting out
shooting out shoots out from the forest mother
out shooting out out from the forest out out

Silver darkness trembling trembling out
shoots out shooting out silver darkness
trembling out shooting out shoots out shoots

Mother out shooting out mother
forest shooting shooting mother out
forest let her out mother let her out

The difference out let her out
the difference out let her out is
the difference out the difference

Is spreading is out the can
is the can the difference out
spreading out the difference is


My apologies to Gertrude Stein, The Flaming Lips, and anyone else I may have offended

Join me at dVerse Poets Pub for poetry

This entry was posted in mockingbird poem, poem and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to When She’s High (letting out Stein)

  1. I’m not done kicking this can; let’s call this a first draft.

  2. brian miller says:

    haha….it is fun, so very fun how you bend the phrases and play with the words mark…the progression of each stanza alone…but also the whole as well…its a treat…fun stuff…if there is deeper meaning i am too shallow to find it other than to just appreciate the articism…lol

  3. kelly says:

    i love the word play, tripping in and over itself… very cool.

  4. hedgewitch says:

    I can see I need to be keeping up with the course material a bit better(my back has kept me busy gelling for the last week and a half)–This is irritating in the extreme to my left brain, but my right brain kind of digs it–there is no doubt you’ve gotten to areas of these words and phrases that don’t normally show their faces in casual usage–you’ve undressed them down to their nude-est meanings, and then recombined them like totem animals in a stacked tower as something utterly other than any one of them—there’s a real sense of the words having a life of their own, as if they’re barely under your control, and you might not be able to stop them from doing something violent and bizarre. Keep kicking, I say.

    • Joy, there are some pretty knotty language problems being hammered out in the forums. I’d love to see your mind at work there. You have an uncommon ability to make pithy incisive observations, and I suspect you’d be good at cutting through some of the pseudo-intellectual bull going on. There’s some good stuff coming up: the New York poets (Ashbery and Frank O’Hara), and then some weird contemporary poetry inspired by John Cage and conceptual art.

      • hedgewitch says:

        Susan kindly left me a link to the Stevens thread over at my blog–I read a bit last night, but that sort of discussion is way above my pay grade, and to me makes your Stein poem look like an instruction manual in linguistic clarity. ;_). My problem with the sort of dissection in that thread is that when you take a poem apart and disassemble all its working parts, stick the jeweler’s loupe in your eye and scrutinize them, like a watch, it no longer ticks. No doubt it’s instructive, though, but it often just enables a lot of intellectual bombast as well–not that I’m saying that’s happening here, but seeing Stevens on the autopsy slab is not the way I want to remember him.
        I do mean to pay a bit more attention than I’ve been able to so far though. I’m looking forward to what Filreis has to say about the New York School–he’s a very sympathetic and adroit mentor who really seems to love his work and be able to communicate that in his teaching. It’s also been great to see the effect this course has had on stimulating your own work, Mark. That’s the ultimate test of its value, I think, how it can inspire and inform others.

      • I didn’t have the patience for that Stevens thread. And I do know what you mean. There’s been a fair amount of bombast and one poem in particular by Williams is being torn up so completely I want to rush out to libraries across the country and make sure it still exists. Williams is a favorite of mine and not much of what I admire about him is coming out in this course.

        On the other hand, I’ve seen some razor sharp readings of poems that have opened my eyes and I’m learning a lot. I had fun playing with Stein.

  5. I can’t imagine any version being any better. Very well done.

  6. Susan Scheid says:

    Oh, gawd, priceless. A wee stretch from minimalism as a referent, would you agree? Stein may not have out Picasso’d Picasso (IMHO), but here, you (again IMHO) out-Stein Stein!

    • The rock ‘n roll eh? I love this song. It starts out with a monkey scream, drives forward with a primal drum, and then the bottom falls out: you float as if on water or in space, and ends with another primal scream. Unfortunately, I can’t see how my poem would work as rock lyrics. There (perhaps) might be a tenuous connection to “minimalist” music.

  7. ol’ gertie would be tickled pink. the flaming lips i cannot speak for, but i bet they’d be ok with it.

  8. Feels like being caught in the undertow…

  9. claudia says:

    ha…this is clever and fun..though my brain is twisted a bit now after reading this…smiles..cool write mark

  10. Lou says:

    This makes me want to write this reply in tribute in tribute I write this reply I write to you in tribute.

  11. angela says:

    damn…get over yourself…you’ve gone pure gertrude about midway. Can you imagine reading a 900 page book this way…that is what her Americans book is like, which Ashbery actually praises in the end. (kicking self, saw it at half price books weeks ago, picked it up and everything, but didn’t know what it was all about!)

    What I do not like about some of the ‘intellectualism’ going on over in the forums is how some talk over you if you dare post a varying thought. I had this happen in a thread about Frost the other day– pissed me off so bad that I went back in and delete delete – oy, I just posed another POV…it was like I wasn’t good enough for these two ladies who were tripping over their compliments for each other’s cleverness…gag. sorry, how I digress.

    keep on keeping on, Mark…always admire your voice ~ a

  12. You should indeed apologize– but not very seriously. plse send me links to forums– i need interesting and vexing convos, as I’m reviewing on my blog so much…next up, Margaret Randall’s Ruins, UNM Press and BTW I like what Hedgewitch said… xj

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