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Callaloo 24.4 (2001) 1033-1034

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Mary Kinzie's Talk On Milton
Terre Haute: 2  15  2001

Michael S. Harper

"Paradise Lost" was Rimpau Station
(the LA River basin no longer dry)
Veterans Day regimen reading in down hours
collapsing at UCLA Library over Baugh
Book IV of Milton      Paul Zall's assignment
after metrics in Dryden and Pope (strategic technical writing)
variance of Milton's conceit of the couplet      lost
on my 33rd degree Mason inmate      (only cellmate allowed with a hat)
while my brother was in adjacent cellblock within earshot
(the paradisal conceit of devil-incarnate arraignment)
as I would avoid "entrainment" through the offices of Maurice Hartwick
"young men from Indiana looking for another whorehouse in my backyard"
sound and sense of the local brewery
(Justice's sonnet on the garden of eden alive in Berryman's
dictum): the fruit of no taste whatsoever the call of eden
so when I appeared in class to flex each first of three books
(all other inmates being absent): Book IV the devil's arraignment:
praxis still on the buried couplet of Milton's blindness
where touch      smell      sight full imagery of Ives' mischief
(while the devil as asp eats dirt before smell gave him scent)
what it is like to be jailed in Pico Station in 1962
with a good book to conjugate declensions of power (Vet's Long Weekend) [End Page 1033]
in the great chain of being     stay in the moment
that of the word      treasury of all classics      of the journey motif
of goodness      and its opposite      "unity in opposition"
as only satan would know it penultimate to the King of every universe

Copyright © Michael S. Harper.

Michael S. Harper, the first Poet Laureate of Rhode Island (1988-1993), is University Professor and Professor of English at Brown University and author of several volumes of poems. His Honorable Amendments (1995) won the George Kent Award selected by Gwendolyn Brooks, and his collected poems Songlines in Michaeltree was published in the spring of 2000. He is also co-editor (with Anthony Walton) of the Vintage Anthology of African American Poetry, 1750-2000 and Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep. He has also edited The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown and Chant of Saints (with Robert B. Stepto).



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