Sunday, December 05, 2004

Untested Poem

In hopes of a future owner who will do the honor
I have not yet named Humphrey Gilbert.
I have not yet named him.
I have not yet named the dog the research circles round.
I have not yet named it.
I have not yet named or pointed fingers.
I have not yet named old bills that have my name on them.
I have not yet named members of the Planning Committee.
I have not yet named a second qualifying machine.
I have not yet named the trust.

Yes, I will bring the new basset horn, but I have not yet named it.

I have not yet named who is.
I have not yet named the end of the dream hazy.
I have not yet named this image.
I have not yet named the reasons I chose.
I have not yet named any parts of my site.
I have not yet named Xanthippe's planet or the antagonistic race.
I have not yet named my fliers, but will report.
I have not yet named my loss to her.
I have not yet named this constraint.
I have not yet named the world, but I would not recieve advice.

It occurrs to me that I have not yet named my digital camera.

I have not yet named the most beautiful thing about America.
I have not yet named its geographical features.
I have not yet named them as each is known from only one male specimen.
I have not yet named what is far more vile than this.
I have not yet named the “project”.
I have not yet named the most objectionable and fatal ingredient in the English Magna Carta.
I have not yet named the story of Kano himself.
I have not yet named my secretary of environment and natural resources.
I have not yet named him but I have asked one of his children to name him.
I have not yet named “it”.

My newest car is a 1998 Ford Taurus. I have not yet named it.

I have not yet named the chords below.
I have not yet named a chair.
I have not yet named it cause I don't know what to call it.
I have not yet named any specific individual.
I have not yet named this one.
I have not yet named the fact that all of my own set travelled on foot.
I have not yet named the age.
I have not yet named the price of Warch's freedom.
I have not yet named his requiem.
I have not yet named him as a Cardinal.

Check out my first poem. I have not yet named it. Click here.

I have not yet named the other option open to you.
I have not yet named Robert Louis.
I have not yet named the Father.
I have not yet named the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Mr. Evans).
I have not yet named them, nor have I built anything on them.
I have not yet named these things and simply calling them Titans would be an absolutely blatant and unoriginal ripoff.
I have not yet named them, and will probably allow a variety of names with similar syllables or sounds so that they can have names that suit the cultural contexts
I have not yet named. But ply me with them:
I have not yet named my machine but when I do I’ll let you know.
I have not yet named a world I’ve not completely tested.

5 comments:

Laura Carter said...

The last line is moving in a sad, flarfy way. But it does spur me to think about the Tractatus some more.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Interesting. I hadn't considered the connection to the Tractatus (nor, I'm now considering, the connection to the "build us his world" remark of E.P.'s).

"a sad, flarfy way" is a critical notion I'll have to get more precise about (can you help?).

Basically, I was trying to make a poem somwhat like "Pilot", and went looking for a mildly profound (i.e., flarfy?) ending on par with

"I am not a pilot but I am beginning to understand the pilot's cause:/it's the same one we all have."

which indicates, perhaps, an aesthetic that says the last line should not be the strongest.

Thomas Basbøll said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laura Carter said...

"A sad, flarfy way": the argument that flarf precludes human connection. On a more specific level, the fact that someone would want to test the world before committing words to voice or paper is pretty sad. I love naming; I'm all about the naming. I guess I'm reacting to the ultracautionary speaker. Though the context is elusive, at least here.

Thomas Basbøll said...

I had to think about that for awhile. Here's what I got. First, I don't think flarf precludes a human connection. I find myself agreeing with some sense of Tony's "big hearted Tostian empathy" project. Flarf makes a very specific, very precise kind of connection; and I think precision is sometimes considered inhuman, sometimes perhaps rightly.

Second, this poem, too, is all about naming. I retitled it "Untested Poem" so that test = name. "Untested" as others might use "untitled". To name something is to install the thing in the usage. One ought to test components before installing them in larger machines. It is, of course, absurd to think one can test a world, let alone completely. And I suppose that sentiment, therefore, is sad.

But flarf offers at least a test procedure and (here's the interesting thing) it is natural that this procedure--its search terms--constitute the title.

Or maybe I'm just making excuses.