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Excerpts from Beauty (Is the New Absurdity)

Beauty                                                                                                                                                was thereafter ugly the new black                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      till Roman come rioted                                                                                                                                                                                          Miss Mark’s                                                kingdom quadrille                                                  speed now the new black                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            billboards               grey as Richter’s whores                                                                           are standpoint’s                                                                                                                                                                 seepage—what’s left of black is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           till            Roman come                           rioted                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Why does beauty increase as civilization increases?
                  …occasion for ugliness: firstly, the emotions in their wildest                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          outbursts, secondly, physical exertions in their extremest degree; thirdly, the need to                               inspire fear through one’s appearance which is at lower and imperiled cultural levels so                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      great and frequent that it even prescribes demeanour and ceremonial and makes

                                    of ugliness a duty. … (Daybreak) til Roman come                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             post noman are                                                                                                                                                   we opheliacs under altered ocean fishes under spell of the pill & silver like


                                    Who’s Who as                                                                                                 the shore’s

                                    a border poisoned like Macarthur ordered:                                   allocation                                                                                                        


                                                      till total information                                                                                                                      


                                    of host is past texted

                                    the pyx and cwm

                                                                                                            waitressed                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   omnicorporal beauty you must                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin chamber,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon  Wednesday in Wheeson week                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  whose frequency makes of ugliness a duty till Daybreak



we will sleepers in capsules who flee spectral prison buzz amidst glass maws sung after


                                                      hims, with our etceteras own



Jennifer Scappettone’s recent writing appears or is coming soon in 26, 580 Split, Aufgabe, Chain, The Best American Poetry 2004, The Poker, Tripwire, Volt, War and Peace, and other places. She lives and co-curates various and elusive reading series in Berkeley.


Jennifer Scappettone


The Brooklyn Rail

JUN 2004

All Issues