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About this Poem 

“In this installment of the ongoing Song of the Andoumboulou, the poem’s transient ‘we’ stop at the Stick City Ashram. They rename capitalism ‘decapitism,’ rename prophecy ‘profitry,’ rename business ‘bitness,’ and revisit poetic dicta, all in the service of ‘thought’s due ad- / vent.’”
Nathaniel Mackey

Song of the Andoumboulou: 166½

Decapitism stuck to the end of my
    tongue. What to do but call it names
I thought. It wasn’t thought I was
                                                              think-
    ing I’d have answered had I been
asked, not even thinking I thought…
  I sat brooding, tracking a feather’s
                                                                 drop,
      plummet my lush regard. I sat
  brooding, hen’s heat yogic so bent
    my hickory legs were, hickory
                                                           stiff
  transcendent so flexed it was. So it
    will have been said absentmindedly
rolled off my tongue. Least thought,
                                                                  last
      thought
I mock made-believe I
  believed, prophet shod in castoff
    tread… Profitry rolled off as well,
jelly-coated pill I bit. Bitness rolled
                                                                 with
    it or might as well have, qu’ahttet’s
broken jaw. Change was the law I
  sat reflecting, right foot nested on
                                                                 my
      left inner thigh, left leg pointed
  straight ahead. I sat, Buddhistic
    hurdler, musing, mouth open, ip-
seities arrayed in a row… I sat, I
                                                           was
      thinking thought’s province re-
  ceded, beauty’s provocation revoked
    as our loins contracted, Itamar,
                                                              Anun-
  cio, all us men. Tantric hoist I was
    thinking, thought’s adumbration,
what ached and what resigned itself,
                                                                   dis-
      placed… We sat checking out the
  yogis in leotards, Ahdja, Eleanoir,
    Anuncia, Sophia, every womanly
wisp under the sun. I dreamt again we
                                                                      were
    away with no way home, this or that
      plane waiting, this or that takeoff
  missed, sweet crease loaded with ore
                                                                      but
    to be absconded with, gold we’d’ve
      otherwise been. Bent intonation inter-
  vened, a reed off away in the distance,
                                                                        Net-
      sanet’s name I no sooner gave than
  was given back, Brother B’s wild ox
    moan… I sat dejected, thought’s
                                                                ap-
      pointment missed, disappointed,
  abscondity’s eviscerate redoubt. I
    was thinking thought had yet to be-
gin, thought’s far emblem a star too
                                                                 frail
    for sight, leotarded crux and cur-
      vature’s ignition, thought’s due ad-
vent I thought no such arrival, what come-
  liness it wore wore thin. No ideas but
                                                                      in
      them I thought, cloak and conni-
  vance the lords of that house, abode  
                                                                    we
    abided
  by

Copyright © 2015 by Nathaniel Mackey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 26, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Nathaniel Mackey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 26, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Nathaniel Mackey

Nathaniel Mackey

Born in 1947 in Miami, Florida, poet and novelist Nathaniel Mackey was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007.

by this poet

poem

-ring of the well-                        


Fray was the name where we came
to next. Might've been a place,
might not've been a place but
we were there, came to it
                                             sooner
than we could se... Come to

poem

—“mu” ninety-eighth part—


Remembered moment lamenting
  its exit, the anaphylactic aria
fell away. What beauty promised or
  we projected faded, we moved
                                          on,
  not’s province the place we
now camped in… The abandoned

poem
  Next a Brazilian cut came
on Sophia picked. Paulinho's
 voice lit our way for what
    seemed eternity, 
                             minha
   primeira vez the one
                                phrase
  we caught or could understand,
    no matter it ended
soon as it'd begun
2