FAMOUS HERMITS

Stacy Szymaszek

Note: I wrote “Famous Hermits” from June to November of this year. I selected this passage near the end of the poem to share because I have been reading Sean Bonney’s books since his untimely death last month. I make a small homage to him by quoting his poem, “In Fever: Notes on Les Chimères de Gerard de Nerval.” The full line reads: “The fascists who murdered Pasolini are now the owners of the world. Do not mourn or forgive. Shriek one time. Shatter glass.” Sean loved Pasolini, and so do I. He’s some kind of presence in everything I write—in this passage, he is the person I am talking to when I say “your murder may be solved / when pigs fly… .” So this nearness to Pasolini on the page is for Sean, who I never met but whose work I am grateful for.   

an excerpt from "Famous Hermits":

/ / / where are places on the edge of disaster and high taxes that have X Y and Z? what to do with all this wool? I have played with fat and perhaps this time in mid-journey lost where are places beyond the purview of god- led leaders lest we be smart as octopi making daring escapes / / / it can take 700 years to WHEN PIGS FLY IN THE AYRE WITH THEIR TAYLES FORWARD to be pardoned your murder may be solved WHEN PIGS FLY IN THE AYRE WITH THEIR TAYLES FORWARD and it won’t even be called a cold case thugs convene daily in public parks loaded with technology of the era let’s weaponize _______! i.e. infuse everything with the sweet smell of death-drive it can be a rosebush a kiosk it can be a nonprofit invisibly steering your movement / / / early morning half-dream : I blew the dust (skulls) off of a book of desirable poems in a box of desirable books somewhere else a book is waiting I drove through the red dust without knowing the time past a group of women who marched toward the same sundown oh it’s eternity eternally the problem being keep your laws away from my body / / / make space with buoyance you and your lover will always be swept into what people think upthrust your word choice what they think you think based on their mishandling hold the space for your lover a babe in a lake three bodies of water part of the sky (you are not Chicken Little) you and your lover masquerade as mild people and no one will ask you what you think friends nor creep-a-zoids / / / dream : a scene appeared on my forearm in the form of a sleeve the ink asking for my visual intelligence a green leafy limb fueled by desire in the trunk today I may qualify for Medicaid unable to predict income for 2020 I talked to four people at one store about the whereabouts of an electric kettle / / / it’s a seller’s market (suburban) ancient aquifers are dropping the diurnal freight train puts me in a less personal mood than the nocturnal train but it’s all conveyance (commerce) sped up to tear up human bodies hex the owners shriek one time the words become something horned outside barricade (Sean Bonney in memoriam)