at the behest of art’s frail heart

cassandra gillig is my best friend and i embark upon a crows reading of cassandra, necessarily embarking such that her poem, long & indicting as hell, bears me on its body like a drunken boat

take me to the river

as dorothea lasky says of her best friend, “being that we are both poets, / what glows on me, glows on you” and considering i am uninterested in pretensions of distance and considering i am interested in galvanizing the act of reading to its other name (writing) and considering i am interested in poetry’s circumscription of it in varying degrees of empathy if i talk about myself it’s in the interest of being the medium balancing her and you

cassandra gillig, cosmophage

or is it

crow, cosmophage

what’s the deal with all the crows? or “crows,” as gillig succinctly puts it. is a crow a “fond symbol.” an heirloom perhaps a familial heirloom from mom and “myfather” lacan would have a field day if we gave him binoculars. & at the risk of sounding like stein. to me a crow is a coincidence rhyming with lisa jarnot. a memory cue to “cean gamalinda who once wrote so beautiful a poem” in love in life changed by crow as she tells us the other poets are too

“its own little hegemony” “like a capitalism of itself” it’s apparent she’s been reading & loving the work of dana ward

& o’hara & dickinson & wcw, “so few drink at my fountain” pound said, “you only have the right to piss in the fountain / if you are beautiful” said spicer & gillig pisses, not as a personal articulation of beauty but as a monument to beauty, crow’s own, from which the elan of art can be deduced

she has not been reading poe

“appreciation 4 my work” depreciates just as “my potential readership god the church” dissolves into gillig’s ambiguous vanity. she makes herself large to show that her largeness is comically swollen & conveniently tragic

falstaff doing open mic stand-up, but falstaff alive

it’s funny when she says “THIS ISNT FUNNY” her alchemy consisting not of making tijuana bibles of gideon’s but in retaining that gorgeous illusion of sanctity, poetry’s sanctity, in the pipe dreams of the impotent & reduced

& the poets she loves she makes nods to it’s clear that her crows belie talismans of adoration or else they just lie she writes in a historical moment, nodding to a canonical past as it nods awkwardly to her-- it’s exactly like horace says, even homer nods & the reader gives gillig the perennial sup nod as we watch her take out her trash, as the poet prods her artifacts back to their vitality in the slow magic of reference-- what some consider poetry

a curated elicitation of lolwtf response, as seductive as rivers cuomo crying

she loves the poets sometimes more than the poetry she cares about cean & rudy & vidalia onion dressing & earlier today she texted to tell me she cried because she wouldn’t be able to see her friend john coletti read with clark coolidge at 8pm at the poetry project in new york on march 11 & though i did not get weepy myself (what am i, bas jan ader? lol) i was reminded that she is friendly with the poets, friends, as we are spoken to in ars crowetica also as friends

gillig’s is a poetics not of coterie but fandom, adoration flirting with association to charm & disarm

it feels funny to perform a reading of what is really itself a reading but reading it i feel the rushing swoon of art i like art which bridges the gap between scroll and song while staying on the page, but i am a sentimental fop with an indulgent sense of humor haha

what am i, bas jan ader?

i wouldn’t crow so far as to say she’s making poetry better... you know that fucking horrifying remix of achy breaky heart, achy breaky 2? it’s sort of like that, what she tells us the crows have done to poetry, & life oh god oh god, what have they done to mine?


Cean Gamalinda lives in Chicago. He is the author of several forthcoming books, all titled Crowthoughts