From Titian Air Vent

A work of art is a world of signs, at least to the poet’s

nursery bookshelf sheltered behind the artist’s ear.

I recall each little motto howling its ins and outs

to those of us who might as well be on the moon

illu illu illu



A tiny artificial theater of the world. I am here to slay the

dragon in the ready-made name of an earlier Susan. While

there is still time do you know anything about my watch

being stopped? Put your hand over my eyes and say I have

got it in my mind.

            Ceramic, plaster, laquer, newspaper



Certain bronze elements found among the Pied Piper’s

personal effects have been moved from one exhibition

room to another. Here are messages. “The Face of God.”

“Dust.” “Time is a river.” Props and other disinherited

paraphernalia are never enough.

             I have to go in and catch my breath


Electric bulb

It’s a manic condition; barbaric conceptions of an “other

self” sawing away our finite future as we approach the

laws which govern clutter; leaving at death to return no

more although fitfully visiting old haunts with the aid of

metal, clay, guache, glass, glue

Bibliographical info

Susan Howe, “From Titian Air Vent” from Debths. Copyright © 2017 by Susan Howe. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Debths (New Directions, 2017)

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