Birkenau

world
war[m] bloodb
eat­ing a
crack of yel­low a
sliv­er
s[train]ing
again [st
a [res]]
stom­ach
[g]rumbling
smoke
[stop
[s]tart
s]tacks. en­gine th
Rom for­tune-telling.

the opened do[horr]or.

g[r]ay men
[p/h]unching
gun­butts

all di­vid­ed
son­derkom­man­dos
[a sh]ambling [jews] guards think

what[?] a g[h]as.t


This is the po­em for which I re­quest­ed pri­ma­ry sources. I end­ed up read­ing Maus and re­watch­ing Triumph of the Will. Maus filled my need to some ex­tent and Triumph act­ed a bit as a spring­board to al­low me to ex­trap­o­late that pomp in­to patho­log­i­cal ha­tred, but was ul­ti­mate­ly in­ef­fec­tive. So here is the po­em as it stood when I first asked for help. Mainly what I’m try­ing to do is use the same let­ters to rep­re­sent the forced in­ti­ma­cy of the pris­on­ers with their cap­tors and show how forced in­ti­ma­cy is de­hu­man­iz­ing. It is al­so an ex­per­i­ment with form, which gets too busy I think. I won­der if Fiat Tabula Rasa is go­ing to be the on­ly one in that sort of form that sort of works for me.

If you’d like to read some­thing good, read this: Persimmons by Li-Young Lee

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