I am getting sick of trying to temper my tantrums. It’s true that it’s very frustrating when the tortilla doesn’t just slide out of the pan. I don’t care about the number of the beast it’s too predictable. Six - in six days work was complete and Larry Fagin invited us over for dinner. Who is the sky who is the universe who made the universe who wills the birds as the butterflies as the flowers which drop at the feet of the gods. Six sheep rapt on shore. A covenant was made with the children of Israel. She wondered if he really loved her. My other wife is a Cadillac. I came with my wife six times we loved it so much. Sheaf or sheep or sheer. They tried not to face the facts that they were being lied to by the men in power but after a while they realized they’d rather be fishing anyway. Votes count. Six days you shall labor. I lived in Mexico for six years and therefore compared to you I am exotic. Backstage at Radio City Music Hall past the Rockettes’ dressing rooms three camels six sheep two donkeys and a horse keep a woman awake each night. Desire tremble your rhyme this is my hand your hand we are kissing in time.
from Seven by Daniel Kane (Landfill, 2004)
Copyright © Daniel Kane
Seven is a prose poem that mixes everyday emotions, jokes, memories and found language with an increasingly mystical vision of numbers in the universe. In the penultimate section, the Apocalyptic number of the beast (666) is impatiently dismissed, but recollection of the Biblical six-day Creation introduces a more lyrical mood, which breaks into rhyme with the final sentence. As Gertrude Stein said: 'A sentence is not emotional a paragraph is.'
Daniel Kane is a Senior Lecturer in the School of American Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of All Poets Welcome: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s (University of California, 2003). His long prose poem 'Ostentation of Peacock' can also be read online here.
Landfill Press was founded in Norwich in 2004 as a publisher of contemporary poetic sequences.