Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I am told the figure in this broadside is Le Corbusier's average man, a calculable measurement appealed to in the construction of the doors we move through, windows we peer through and spaces we inhabit. Average. Or what refuses difference and insists on the primacy of the herd (to sacrifice the few for the greater good of the many; what allows for trimming the edges of civil liberties when these very liberties are threatened). The image is striking and I suspect the upward reaching hand sets an enforced limit.

This set from book ii of Priest begins "dear brigadier— / a flight of sparrows / as mire the clamor of / your protests priest- / bird on the bough" The music of the work is something to encounter and I sense it is the music that identifies the typically unchallengeable power of a brigadier with protest, the brigadier itself as a paradoxical source of protest, an interior contradiction. A flight of sparrows (flushed) "mire the clamor." Mire the clamor. The phrase could be repeated endlessly and no measure of forward-moving repetition would unravel the knot, which is precisely what I sense these bits from book ii address, the figure of a knot or the limits of flight.