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The air of performance-alpha at Liancourt.

for Elise No one deserves to be praised for goodness, unless he has the potential for wickedness: any other kind of goodness is most often only an instance of laziness or a powerlessness of the will --the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Maxims, CCXVII What is common in the evocations of ritual escapes naming, and is present; what perpetuates and intensifies division, on the other hand, exists as an armada of names, and doesn't heal. The poet is a namer and what he names is the most subtilized ether, empyrean invented to fill non-existent spaces; he lives within the residual perfume of names, haunted home. What is the nature of the recurrent hope for the seizure of the irreducible? We can only call it delusion if we are sure it doesn't exist and we're not sure it does not exist. It might be good to name what the hope believes itself to be pointing at. That is, it might be useful to call the pointed-at, let's say, "Performance-a." That embodies a claim for the radiating primacy of the invisible. It's not the kindness of cowards, which packs a thought and sends it along. Did the Duc de la Rochefoucauld in 1662 entertain in the rooms of his private story the conceit that the four gesturers--goodness, wickedness, laziness and powerlessness of the will--danced subtilizing dances which were real because the four dancers were real? or did the Duc de la Rochefoucauld weary of entertaining submit in the most private and hidden of his private rooms at Liancourt to a blow cold with the power of the outside air become solid and does he fragment into the cracked no-man's-land riverbed, dried moat between him and his elaborations of the fields of his reading? Had he reread his CCXVIIth Reflexion Morale and did he fall into a stop-time thought-experiment which neighbors the cold horizon line beyond his county's rhetorizing limits? His nod acknowledges his dear reciprocal, ghost companion--manumitted for the duration of one synaptic quiver--chrysalis doppelganger in whom in a dread sweat of love the Duc de la Rochefoucauld reads that his CCXVIIth Reflexion isn't about anything.
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Author:Schwerner, Armand
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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