Friday, August 27, 2010


In honor of a week of pre-semester meetings and the third (second? fourth?) round of budget cuts looming next year, I give you the only reaction I can: the word of the day.


Definition (from

An incoherent statement (a type of dysfluency also known as a syntactic blend) or a deliberate rhetorical effect (a figure of speech) created by an abrupt change in a sentence to a second construction inconsistent with the first. Plural: anacolutha.


From the Greek, “inconsistent”

I enjoy the use of ANACOLUTHON for poetic effect. You find it now and then in Martha Ronk’s work, but also here and there in Michael Palmer’s and Norma Cole’s (as well as in the work of others). In fact, Norma Cole used it as a title of a poem. So here you go:

Norma Cole

Ecce supervacuus . . . —OVID, Tristia

Or you see all of it after all as an accumulation of tone, running, climbing, sliding, the say was burning, we are our day, the ruined fact.

There had been sand in the bed but we made no explanation. We return to the beginning of the organization of the field shaking bits of dried leaf and pine needles out of the blanket.

Picture it one way, then listen closely, there are no apples here, something that reads together shall invade the separate parts of the mind.

We discovered it, why not dance on it? We discovered its sightlessness, the streets clogged with concerns, with a kind of proliferation like mange clogging the intersections and creating a labyrinth blotting out all light, careful reader.

After all, the first images were a name and a house without a frame, and the woman had four eyes, it’s part of the unities, an invention that changes

As we sing memory, memory, over and over, again as before, these piles of cypress burnt not for content but rather a question of spelling.

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Thank you for your time. Live long etc etc.


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