in memoriam…

We present a small excerpt from Frank Stanford’s The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You, a work said to be highly influential to Mark…


I got a zero on the test a big red F with a circle around it the question was
what do you know about current events I put down
I know Elvis Presley lives up the street ten houses
I know my sister’s godmother is Louise Fazenda
I know my mother stayed in Hollywood with her and Hal Willis a long time ago
I know she is secretly an actress
I know she went to the Rose Bowl with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard
I know they played oh johnny oh johnny how you can run
tennessee got beat
I know captains courageous
I know Gary Cooper’s name is Frank
I know morocco mata hari lives of a bengal lancer sgt york the mark of zorro
the gaucho we saw it in a tent
I know streetcars of desire and all the Tarzan
moby dick gunga din midsummer night’s dream was like me
I know I have read all those mens’ books that we had
I am a fugitive from a chain gang the crazy piano player red slippers
I know the girl feeling the kiss in the mirror
I know the bracelet on the wrist in the tomb
I know the horse head nebula in Orion
I know the elders
I know Wallace Beery is not Pancho Villa
I know the melody of the song sung in the boat
I know mother has an opera Don Juan the lover
the sleep in the tree daddy makes us live like the crew in a shack or a tent
I know about the history and culture of Europe and America
I know how the carpetbaggers and scaliwags brought the colored people to town
head down over a horse
I know the rich are the only ones that had any good old days
I know the black swan
I know the pas de deux
I know drunk women shooting their husbands on Saturday night
I know what is under the cloak
I know the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi
I know the iai the daito the shoto the yoroi doshi the tanto
I know forty seven wave men came from the left to the right
I know the disgrace and death of Lord Asano
I know the rings of saturn and the moons of jupiter
I know the black seed
I know the pegleg keeps watch in the buzzard’s nest
I know the captain of the ghost ship
I know the cockeye with the bucket under his stump
I know I had to stay every day after school for a month on account of somebody’s lie
I know if you ask them a question they tell you a lie I know all about that shit
I know what some men can’t know they gnaw
I know the scoundrels and cowards prey on one another I pray for all
I know the discounted stories
I know for those I love I’ll swim to hell and back
I know some by signs other by whispers
I know I’d rather take it on the chin then get it in the back
I know Unferth was a pack rat
I know I will never swear on a pact of lies
I know Banquo says fly
I know there is such a thing as the St. Francis River
I know Gulliver’s Horses
I know daddy is a mathematician I know mother was a communist
I know the wisest men in the world are a Chinaman and Harpo Marx
they never say a word
I know the crowds sometimes like maggots
I know the rusty knife buried in the tree
I know Beowulf probably looked in the mirror at himself every morning
just like all the other so-called heroes
I know the bumps on the humpback’s face
I know about the bloodstained flour sack
I know the sunken zeroes and the bones and the photographs in the cockpit
I know wherever I go will return
I know Robert Burns
I know life is already giving me its no count gifts it is always slipping
that wooden horse into my gate at night
I know the bushwacked animals and the hoodwinked girls
I know the exiled lover
I know there was one Inazo Nitoba who wrote about swords
I know the men dragging twelve feet of cotton sack
I know Hammurabi’s code was broken by lawyers by bunkam buy it
I know the teachers in the side show the paddles out of my way
I know the houses with furniture like ghosts
I know the octopus in my dreams the messages of light I receive from the stars
the pioneer’s mirror…

 

 

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