Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Mandolin For Your Thoughts (Thursday's Friday's Sunday's Poem)

I haven't posted a Friday's Sunday's Poem in a while, and I also never finished up A Mandolin For Your Thoughts, my found poetry idea I started a while back. So to rectify both situations, and because I'm not going to be posting tomorrow, I present to you the completed work:

A Mandolin For Your Thoughts: Collected Notes Of The Prior Bookowner

He nitrogenated the herbs in strict rotation, and tomorrow it would be the turn of the oregano.

Fascism is not merely a social and political revolution, it's cultural as well.
Whether they are Italians first or Jews.
Never forget; if the Armed Forces are the balls of Fascism, and I am its brains, you are its imagination.
Select an Albanian patriot for assassination,
Sink a Greek battleship in such a way that he was short of words even in his inner speech.

The self-anointed superior races, drunk on Darwin and nationalist hyperbole,
besotted with eugenics and beguiled by myth, were winding up machines of genocide,

Living up to her reputation as a scold.
Seventeen years old
She was proud and wilful.
Turkish culverin of solid brass
Mandras house
He first set eyes on Pelagia, Homosexual Carlo Piero Guercio,
The Symposium. Aristophanes explaining three sexes:
The men and women who loved
Men who loved men
The women who loved women.

Prime Minister Metaxas,
Lulu, my most beloved daughter:
History is the propaganda of the victors.
Senior officer by merit alone; it was done by browning the tongue.
Companies of Bersaglieri:
British military uniforms and Greek weapons, both proud to have been chosen.
We were deeply afraid.
Foolish jokes to conceal this.
The soldier also always has the fear that the authorities know more than he does
And that he does not know what is really happening, the fact,
And this makes him contemptuous,
Suspicious of authority.
We found that there is a wild excitement when the tension of waiting is done with,
And that sometimes this transforms,
A kind of demented sadism,
Once an action is, catharsis is.

It looks as though some stupid bastard wants to provoke a little war with Greece:
The innumerable smiles of the waves,
An island without streams or rivers,
Blessed with clean water from the ground.
You can't go against the custom, you just can't, even if the custom's stupid.
A Royalist and a Venizelist, between desire and love.
It was the only insurance against an indigent
And terrifying
Old age.
Siora, Metaxas was an honest politician.
You see? He made that click of the tongue that Greeks employ
To signify refusal.


When we were told to train one hundred and fifty Albanians in the art of sabotage,
To create 'Greek' incidents,
Which would give the Duce reasonable excuse to declare war,
Captain Antonio Corelli --

how wonderful it was to be at war, until the weather turned against us,
we were ten thousand men soaked to the bone

Assured that the Duce had decided on a winter campaign in order to avert the risk of malaria.
The Albanian troops,
Sent with us,
Began to vanish,
Into thin air.
It became clear that the Bulgarians were not to fight.

There were no Greeks.
The misprised Greeks
had manouevred us into positions where we could be surrounded.
And cut off.
And yet...
We very rarely saw heroism of the invisible Greeks.
No air support, one thousand men with fifteen machine-guns.
We have lost four thousand men,
Our bodies
From our souls.


Homer: There is nothing so good and lovely as when a man and wife in their home dwell together in unity of mind and disposition.
The war had had the effect of increasing his own importance,
Himself, as a leader of the community.
But had become one by a process of invisible franchise,


for only twenty-one years,
between 1479 and 1500.
Venetian, from 1194 until 1797.
Taken by Napoleon Bonaparte,
In fact, almost entirely Italian people.
Was along western,
Rather than eastern,
Lines: Levying taxes in order to raise money for substantial bribes.
Left us a European, found their rule tolerable,
And occasionally amusing.
And, if we ever hated them, it was with
And even
In our hearts:
Above all,
They had the inestimable merit of not being Turks.


The valiant Greeks fell before eleven hundred German panzers,
The Italians garrisoned Argostoli,
And the Germans garrisoned Lixouri.

Thought of the Italians: As racially inferior.
And: the Italians were perplexed by the Nazi cult of death described these whores.
Like weed at the edge of tide,
And men were the browsing fish that ate them.
And he had grown up,
In the Austrian mountains,
Capable of hating Jews and gypsies only.
Because he had never met one.


Being in love.
Love itself
Is what is left over when
Being in love
has burned away.
And this
Is both
and a
Fortunate Accident.
With love on one side and
Dishonour on the other,
foul diseases,
Everything I say you must be very mindful of
And you must act honourably with respect.
And science is about facts,
And morality is about values,
We are all hospitable to strangers,
We are all nostalgic for something,
Our mothers.
We all hate solitude,
We all use every long word that we know
As often as we possibly can.
We all think we are equal, to...
...Bitter Ghosts.


Would believe, at first, that the Communists in Greece,
Whilst their Italian allies yielded,
Came on July 1st.
We've got to disarm the Germans.
The Italian resistance owed nothing.
The Germans had now had 14 days,
The bemused Italians,
for want of any leadership,
had acted, or not.
Cephallonia was an island of no strategic importance.
Its little children need not be saved.
Its ancient and buckled buildings need not be preserved
For posterity.
Its blood and flesh were not precious
To those
Conducting a war from
Easy and Olympian heights.
Honour and common sense:
in the light of the other,
both of them are ridiculous:
At least four thousand were massacred,
And possibly nine

When loved ones die,
You have to live
On their behalf.
See things as though with their eyes.
Remember how they used to say things
And use those words oneself.
Be thankful that you can do things
That they cannot.
And also feel the sadness of it.
Psipsina, for the crime of being tame,
Was torn from Pelagia's arms
And frivolously clubbed to death.
With the butt of a rifle.
The Germans had killed perhaps four thousand Italian boys
(including one hundred medical orderlies with Red Cross Armbands.)
Another four thousand had survived, exactly as in Corfu:
The British bombed the ships that were taking them away to labour camps.
Why preserve life when all of us must die?
When there is no such thing
As Immortality?
And health is an ephemeral accident of youth?


Catastrophe caused people to recall the war as piffling,
And inconsequential by comparison.
And renewed their sense of life.


What makes a poem a poem? I don't know, yet. But I do like this.

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