These lines from Frederick Seidel’s “Sonnet” hit me hard:
A dying man literally without a face
Pointed at where his face had been.
He did this without a sound.
But not as much as these other bits from other poems, all of them final stanzas or leading up to one. The first is from “Glory”:
United States of America v. Ezra Pound
My song will seek and detonate your heat.
Pound reciting with his eyes closed filled the alcove with glory.
My art will find and detonate your heart.
I was a freshman and everywhere in Washington, D.C.
I walked, I dreamed.
This one is from “On Wings of Song”:
Flesh and juice of the refreshing and delicious.
Inside a crashproof housing. But I don’t recognize the voice.
This is your Captain. In the unisex soprano of children his age.
We are trying to restart the engines
On wings of song. The pilot giggles posthumously–
“You may kiss my hond,” he drawls, for the last time
Holding a hond out to be kissed from this page. (Sound of crash.)
And these are the last three stanzas from, er, “Fucking”:
There was a man named Pericles Belleville,
There is a man named Pericles Belleville,
At a very formal dinner party,
At which I have met the woman I loved the most
In my life, Belleville
Pulled out a sterling silver-plated revolver
And waved it around, pointing it at people, who smiled.
One didn’t know if the thing could be fired.
That is the poem.