From Eidolon

By SANDEEP PARMAR


xxii.
Ever the dim beginning’  [Whitman]

    • Under the stucco and concrete plaza

 

    •         and its supermarket

 

    •         an unredeemable question

 

    •         before that

 

    •         an anxious crop of wheat

 

    •                 before the wheat a rainproof dust that accumulated

 

    •                 undisturbed over centuries—

    • If as Freud suggests        the mind is a ruined city

 

    •         oft plundered oft destroyed

 

    •                 traumatic structure

 

    •         then the market is

 

    •                 a florescent psychosis

 

    •                         a tradewinded hurricane

 

    •                                 grieflessly cruel

 

    •                 the sadist’s solution to world hunger

 

                    in shrink wrap

‘Ever the growth, the rounding of the circle’

    • Helen in the cash only express line            15 items or less

 

    • Helen carrying donut peaches           ambiguous, filial

eyes the tabloids

The blonde man in front calmly points his finger
at the Mexican attendant
‘apologize for the wait, go on kiss my ass
I want you to kiss my ass right now buddy
you hear me you’re gonna kiss my ass’

It appears from the cover stories that European monarchs
are breeding
little feudal lords
in swaddling clothes

Helen offers sympathetically to          the boy—
too young to resort
to violence—
‘I hope someone runs that asshole over in the parking lot’

In the parking lot
of the hardware store—

Leaning against white sycamores         in the belting heat
twenty or so men         scattered judiciously

This could be a black and white photograph
their faces like those of the suited men
outside a Bowery soup kitchen
during the Great Depression
the surprise wearing off
slow as a hat pulled down low
for the passing cortege

Beat up Toyotas range round tall       loaded with plywood
that stings her eyes
Formaldehyde      June gloom        in its hot fog
ashes to ashes

xxxii.

    • An idea is not a woman but many women

 

    •       the composite of an idea

Ours is an older civilization         re-made
dramatis personae        recast by different troupes
rebuilt in the style
of Ionian capitals
and fluted pilasters
put through the ringer of the magisterium

we see the real Helen
is the false we
is the eidolon

 

Sandeep Parmar was born in Nottingham, England, and raised in Southern California. Her critical work includes the Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees and Reading Mina Loy’s Autobiographies: Myth of the Modern Woman. Eidolon, her second collection of poetry, is forthcoming from Shearsman Books in 2015.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 09 here.]

From Eidolon

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