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The new issue of Chrysanthemum magazine is online. It’s multi-lingual, which is always nice to see so the world doesn’t feel so much like an anglo vacuum. Two of my favorites from the issue (is it inappropriate I only quote the English, having just said that?) are by Pia Lorentzen and Ellen Compton respectively.

The whitest of doves
flies over the battlefield
shitting on the war

I like how it takes the symbol and the real and juxtaposes. It takes expectation of peace and pure language and then adds the last line that twists it. Battlefield can collocate with noble but war has all the harsher associations and from formal language comes the word shitting that seems like a clapper of what is. Is Lorenzten calling the doves mere rockdoves, pigeons retroactively or do the birds become raised as the higher souls, the commentators on the fighting and people. Or is it just another grounded reality in the dirty war, that on the top of all the human rights abuse, you get bird poop landing on you too as an extra indignity.

January thaw
this rough language
a river speaks

We have the time of year clearly set and then the set up for ambiguity of clustering as each phrase reveals itself. The scene of cold and slush and discomfort and someone cussing, no, adjustment of scene as it expands to the river speaks the rough language. Is it the ice and rapids cursing or rough language as in, approximately a language, a creole of two seasons. It is full of sensory ideas.

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  1. Love this study…it really helps me break down lines

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