Mina Loy


I am the centre
Of a circle of pain
Exceeding its boundaries in every direction
The business of the bland sun
Has no affair with me
In my congested cosmos of agony
From which there is no escape
On infinitely prolonged nerve-vibrations
Or in contraction
To the pinpoint nucleus of being
Locate an irritation      without
It is                        within
It is without.
The sensitized area
Is identical      with the extensity
Of intension

I am the false quantity
In the harmony of physiological potentiality
To which
Gaining self-control
I should be consonant
In time
Pain is no stronger than the resisting force
Pain calls up in me
The struggle is equal

The open window is full of a voice
A fashionable portrait painter
Running upstairs to a woman's apartment
      "All the girls are tid'ly did'ly
      All the girls are nice
      Whether they wear their hair in curls
At the back of the thoughts to which I permit crystallization
The conception            Brute
      The irresponsibility of the male
Leaves woman her superior Inferiority.

He is running upstairs
I am climbing a distorted mountain of agony
Incidentally with the exhaustion of control
I reach the summit
And gradually subside into anticipation of
Which never comes.
For another mountain is growing up
Which      goaded by the unavoidable
I must traverse
Traversing myself

Something in the delirium of night hours
Confuses while intensifying sensibility
Blurring spatial contours
So aiding elusion of the circumscribed
That the gurgling of a crucified wild beast
Comes from so far away
And the foam on the stretched muscles of a mouth
Is no part of myself
There is a climax in sensibility
When pain surpassing itself
Becomes exotic
And the ego succeeds in unifying the positive and negative poles of sensation
Uniting the opposing and resisting forces
In lascivious revelation

Negation of myself as a unit
      Vacuum interlude
I should have been emptied of life
Giving life
For consciousness is crises      races
Through the subliminal deposits of evolutionary processes

Have I not
A dead white feathered moth
Laying eggs?

A moment
Being realization
Vitalized by cosmic initiation
Furnish an adequate apology
For the objective
Agglomeration of activities
Of a life
A leap with nature
Into the essence
Of unpredicted Maternity
Against my thigh
Touch of infinitesimal motion
Scarcely perceptible
Warmth   moisture

Stir of incipient life
Precipitating into me
The contents of the universe
Mother I am
With infinite Maternity
      I am absorbed
The was-is-ever-shall-be
Of cosmic reproductivity

Rises from the subconscious
Impression of a cat
With blind kittens
Among her legs
Same undulating life-stir
I am that cat

Rises from the subconscious
Impression of small animal carcass
Covered with blue bottles
And through the insects
Waves that same undulation of living
I am knowing
All about

The next morning
Each woman-of-the-people
Tiptoeing the red pile of the carpet
Doing hushed service
Each woman-of-the-people
Wearing a halo
A ludicrous little halo
Of which she is sublimely unaware
I once heard in church
God made them

Mina Loy, The Lost Lunar Baedeker: Poems of Mina Loy, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,