81. When Need Met Mud Again (at the Dig in the Woods)

So it is all tender. What accumulated, the opposite of ordinary, made us replete. You know this. The novel elements – some performance! My instincts say: it was the adventurous outsiders, those well-belted ones, their alcohol, their poems, their anxiety. In reality, it is generally found, the horizontal zones appear shorter, whereas particular individuals are represented by more colourful statue menhirs. Offa, David, Anna, the Bretwalda & all the Bishops – just incised decorations. These relics or fragments – yeah, we’re fucked all right, typically so.
 

Their battleaxes, their Bell-Beakers, their well-designed shopping centres – something like a new social reality. It’s not we’re scared of self consciousness, just the radical upheaval it symbolizes. It’s all a textile-like ornament that has transformed us laughing into customers – as if we were tapirs or toddlers, marginal prepositions to understate our ritual life. Our gathering places soon seem stupid, & our appearance jokey as broad bellied pots. This is expressed badly, I fear, crouched & psychotic today.
 

A community could present itself this way. Established values & significant ceremonies have been absorbing dye for 4000 years. Babies are flayed: they whined. This has a dramatic impact. The powerful ones (the hedgies and their thugs) adapted challenging postures. “We are indigenous groups,” they suggested. No impact. Their emotional imagery was complex & uncertain. The trolley-boy epitomized the disadvantaged elements – a dry detail for such an intrusion. That he was twinkly is unexpected, but not unpleasant – the warriors, though, unpredictable, disruptive characters.
 

Yeah, names are noisy. But they are never monofunctional. What they schematically represent may be archaic & largely alien: bone rings, drinking cups, encounters at Starbucks – but their widespread appearance demonstrated not just prominent individuals but ordinary working persons, more mobile populations as a whole. Meadowsweet across the Rhine Delta balances the armoured ducks at the office. Such figures represent not marginal groups or local élites but everyone. Your name is there as well. What a fucking performance! Give me my typical drinking vessel now! This zone is now veiled. Slender numbers to epitomize.
 

In the soft bank of the fragrant
The worst drops backing down –
That they are there!

                  Their earth
Exotic, the strange leaves
Number and the archaic soft things
Think at the grave

                  The rest of it
Displays from their mud
Startling eyes in the small words
They who are there.

                  Their psalms
Nuzzled thru the frauds, the lips that show them
Held in the disorders
Of self

                  The soft names
Casting fact
In this in which the worst drops
Scatter, and start out.

One thought on “81. When Need Met Mud Again (at the Dig in the Woods)”

  1. lexis additional to sequence from Andrew Sherratt, “The Emergence of Élites: Earlier Bronze Age Europe, 2500-1300 BC”, from ed. Barry Cunliffe, The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe (OUP, 1994), pp 251 & 253, & from George Oppen, “Psalm”, The Collected Poems of George Oppen (New Directions, 1975), p 78.

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