17 April 2013

A God's Door-Mat

Here is "Song II" from Mina Loy's "Songs to Joannes."


                             The skin-sack
In which a wanton duality
All the completions of my infructuous impulses
Something the shape of a man
To the casual vulgarity of the merely observant
More of a clock-work mechanism
Running down against time
To which I am not paced
    My finger-tips are numb from fretting your hair
A God's door-mat
                              On the threshold of your mind


I like this, but I seem to need to read it from the bottom up.

That is, the last phrase speaks most clearly to me of the poet/persona as woman as writer confronting either reader or another person (lover/friend/other).

These words a "fretting" attempt to convey something to you that you are simply not getting.

What?  Are you the skin-sack?  And with that figuration perhaps the poet does not think much of you, of humanity generally.  

She is not paced with machines or clockwork--she is, as "woman" often is, a weaver.  

And yet, what is she making?  A thing on which one wipes the shit off the shoes.

What are your thoughts?


  1. I can't help but read "skin sack" as, you know, man sack (nuts), thinking of it/them as the "wanton duality." She's not the "casual vulgarity," i.e. the male impulsive lust, ending in a clock-work, mechanical tick.

  2. so, in this mode we then see all of the differences as sex-based.

    Of course this makes sense to me in terms of social organization as nationalism and racial.

    Women can subsume all DNA and make a "common" race. Men, fearing loss of identity, fight wars to stop this.