Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paterson: Book I, Preface, p. 3

To Make a Start: from Paterson

And just as time begins to pass the rigor

sets in, leaving nothing but stiffened beauty,

a pair of boots, a dog, and a yearning quest

of continuous loss over continual gain. Particulars

ease forward reticently. The hope of the general--

the only genuine hope--continues its rolling.

Furthermore (or perhaps however), these ends are rolling

on progressively as always, falsifying the rigor

of the first and calcifying hope and pain into general

anesthetic. Means shift meaning faithfully toward beauty.

The edges shift, shake, and oscillate the particulars

within, blurring the simple itinerate quest.

Is this the everyday, constant quest

of movement between crowded streets, rolling

forth? Are these them? These the particulars

we wanted when we dragged this dead dog in rigor

up, swabbed the blood from its ears, releasing beauty,

ghostly, from a concrete mutt? Arrived has our general.

It's hard to explain the exquisite truth in general,

but more so when you're an undead retriever mix back from a quest

that included drowning in the grey expansive beauty

of the Atlantic City ocean where the horizon sets to rolling

and lapping at your feet. This grey is a grey of a rigor

so severe that all who see it see only its particulars.

The dog is it. The one with all the particulars.

Her moves are to become our moves, her sounds our general

approach to all and all that will be. Rigor

is her only requirement. We shall leave, naked, on a quest

for it all, but only if all of it begins with rolling

freely out in its own direction and beauty.

The only thing that counts as far as beauty

is concerned is this: divide up the particulars

into categorical desires, then smash them with a rolling

pin. A fine dust will be generated and a general

feeling of peace will wash over you and your quest

will end. Breathe deeply this dust, for it is your rigor.

There is only rolling in this nothing beauty.

There is only rigor in these murky particulars.

There is no general thought in this categorical quest.