Vocal Sputters [Crépitements for Blaise Cendrars]: An Exercise in Preparation to Manifest a Manifesto

By H. Michael Sanders

Bodin has burned all the witches / it’s nothing…
– Blaise Cendrars, “Crépitements” (1913)

Leaping up and flying in a beautiful,
Passionate arc (for the briefest of moments).
[Slipping the bonds of logic]
A nervous, crackling vocal sensation…
Sputtering, blundering poetry or gibberish
And coiled, serpentine dancing rhythms.
Compulsive repetition, stuttering…
[Compulsive repetition, obsessively repeated]
Nervously repeated with conviction,
Repeated again and again and again and again.
[Indeterminate repetitions until satisfied]
Labored repetition, like a field of force,
Shimmering particles of speech.

Fragmentation… and reverberation…
Sharpened jabber of syllabic fragments,
Accumulations of fragments.
Splintered words on contorted, flapping lips,
Dislocating… relocating… locution…
Breathing inflections, fractured syntax,
Subjective sounds, utterly opaque,
Even to the mouths that uttered them –
Even to the mouths that uttered them.
Fully emptied signs understood by no one,
Inarticulate but decisive stuttering,
The premises of a new language,
Uprooted sounds of words (abstraction itself)

The relativity of wandering language –
Halting, nervous verbal putrification,
Language… movement… vibration…
A continuous, irritating verbal crackle.
Inscribed texts, garbled and tendentious,
Read aloud for practice elocution.
Diagrammatic pencil rubbings, erased…
Idioms sputtered across the dirty floor,
Glimpsed, repeated and devoid of substance –
Respoken, reworded, rewritten, rerecorded,
Rewound and blinded, rushing through a thicket
Of multiple voices intoning simultaneously,
The third-person voice shouting unintelligibly.

A fizzing loss of speech and sparkling reason
Amid sizzling calibrational devices.
Kerplunk: contrived circuits and patterns…
Tongue-tied, stammering, haltingly silenced,
Foaming red billows of excited, stuttering speech
Reenacted, reanimated, reassembled, reconstructed.
Fulsome words spewing and sputtering,
Circular ridicule and gibber with repetitive
Tongue-tied, stammering emitting silence…
Respiratory noise from the bottom of the lungs
Emitted in repeated, intense bursts or vibrations
Accompanied by popping and sputtering sounds.

Albert Camus excitedly ejecting particles of
Food and saliva from his mouth in a light spray
As he utters crackling words about Death.
Angry and flustered… language soundly dashed,
Sonic gibberish imploding intensely, incoherently…
A diagrammatic tower of incoherent narratives
Filled with inversions of familiar sayings:
What’s down? (“It no longer sees”)
Bite you! (“One hears shit from every corner of the universe”)
Time swims. (“All watches are made on time”)
Too many broths spoil the cook. (“…eaten by cannibals”)
Mouse got your tongue? (“I ask the sky”)
Fuck the what? (“I am worried… I’ll go on a trip”)

October 11, 2015


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