Attractions by John Allman



They must be good for something, like Homer's ready-cut hexameters, his ox-eyes and winey tide. There were scabs on Achilles' knee that you never heard about, Hamlet's stutter, Ophelia's infected toe. What if when Emma Bovary died, her jaw slack, what oozed out was servitude, sash, succor? All the wrong words you'd ever hear at the post office in Rouen. And the poet thinking of the tyrant's cockroach mustache, what if he picked a flea from Natalia's pudendum and said, grifter, gasp, Garibaldi? Always somewhere a crunch of tank treads. Why not stratocumulus? Ambling across the noir screen, a boulevardier suddenly modern: Bite me! Try child's rictus, a joy pineal, the foot that Karloff dragged in The Tower of London.