Monday, November 25, 2013

25 November 2013

Bernadette Mayer [Nicole Peyrafitte]

from Bernadette Mayer's The Helens of Troy, NY:

Helen Parsons Sestina

hello, this is paris
i used to teach in cambridge, i'm from whitehall
everything we do is pretty much archaic
the teenage world is very egocentric
helen melville lived in lansingburgh
this is a 1920s house

there's a library in this house
helen of ancient troy's lover was paris
the history channel did a documentary on lansingburgh
it was not white hell but whitehall
to feel that you or the earth is the world's center is egocentric
to feel this is true is incorrect & archaic

swimming in an unpolluted lake might be archaic
especially if the lake is near your house
a narcissist is like a teenager egocentric
once i heard a woman say "mon dieu" at the musee d'orsay in paris
do women make love in whitehall?
they must make love in lansingburgh

troy's most bourgeois area is lansingburgh
to have children is both archaic & not archaic
once i met a man off the grid in whitehall
if the sun didn't shine, he couldn't watch tv in his house
maybe i should've called my son NYC the way paris was paris
to think NY's the center of the world is egocentric

to think your son's cute & looks like you is egocentric
safest part of troy could be lansingburgh
you never think of dangerous places in paris
but i'm sure there are some though the ideas are archaic
as having a gallery in your house
in ancient troy not up-to-date whitehall

let's hightail it to whitehall
in the 21st century full of egocentric
copernicans, build a sun-filled house
& pretend we're safe in lansingburgh
where even video games have become archaic
& we'll make better love than paris in paris

i wonder if there's a paris in whitehall
is it archaic to be egocentric
like a balloon released in lansingburgh, big as a house

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