Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poem 25 – An aristoricy of brains

Civilization depends on the qualities of the people who bear it HERE IS A BOARD WITH A LOT OF HOLES IN IT. DO YOU SEE THEM? (pointing to the depressions) AND HERE (pointing) ARE A LOT OF BLOCKS WHICH WILL FIT INTO THESE HOLES. THERE ARE TWO BLOCKS FOR EACH HOLE. I WANT TO SEE HOW FAST YOU CAN PUT ALL THE RIGHT BLOCKS INTO THE RIGHT HOLES UNTIL ALL THE HOLES ARE FILLED. YOU MAY USE ONE OR BOTH HANDS. READY, GO! When the volume of culture increases, greater and greater mental power is required to absorb and recombine the cultural elements WITHOUT MAKING ANY MORE MOVES THAN YOU HAVE TO, CHANGE THESE BLOCKS AROUND SO YOU CAN FIND A PLACE FOR THE EXTRA SQUARE (pointing to square). DON’T HAVE ANY BLOCKS LEFT OVER. READY—GO AHEAD One cannot expect rationality from a people whose average mental capacity is no greater than a child of thirteen WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS TO MAKE A SPACE OR HOLE FOR THIS SQUARE BLOCK AND PUT THE BLOCK INTO IT IN SUCH A WAY THAT ALL THE HOLES IN THE BOARDS WILL BE FILLED AND NO BLOCK WILL BE LEFT OUT. IN ORDER TO DO THIS WE MAY CHANGE THE OTHER BLOCKS ABOUT; ONLY WE MUST NOT MAKE ANY MORE CHANGES THAN ARE NECESSARY What is needed, then, is not so much education as eugenics FIND ALL THE BLOCKS WHICH ARE THE SAME COLOR AS THIS ONE. FIND ALL THE BLOCKS WHICH ARE JUST THE SAME SHAPE AS THIS ONE Hence the problem of education would be the determination of those with superior endowment, their training and education, the opening up of the upper strata to them to create an aristoricy [sic] of brains NOW WHEN I SAY GO I WANT YOU TO TAKE THE BLOCKS OUT OF HOLE NO. 1 AND PUT THEM IN HOLE NO. 2 (pointing); THEN TAKE THEM OUT OF NO. 2 AND PUT THEM INTO NO. 3, AND SO ON. READY, GO! On this basis an hereditary aristocracy would be set up and an A stock established to become the parants [sic] of the next generation of the superior THIS PICTURE IS NOT FINISHED, SOME PARTS HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT, AS YOU SEE (pointing) Their names would be published periodically and thus make known what families carried superior qualities in their germ plasm YOU WILL FIND THE MISSING PARTS THERE (pointing to open box). I WANT YOU TO FIND THE RIGHT BLOCK FOR EACH HOLE AND PUT IT IN Think how in years to come these annual publications would establish the good strains OF COURSE, YOU CAN’T USE ALL THE BLOCKS, BUT YOU MAY BE SURE THAT THE RIGHT BLOCK FOR EACH HOLE IS IN THE BOX the desirable families with which to become associated, how, in short YOU MAY USE ONE OR BOTH HANDS, AND CHANGE THE BLOCKS AROUND AS MUCH AS YOU WISH they would become the human stud book WORK AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN, AND LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED IT. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? ALL RIGHT, GO AHEAD.


  1. This is my favourite so far. MFA as writer eugenics.

  2. reading it this time, i'm able to look past the terror and panic the strobing type and sinister/malicious rhetoric inspire, and appreciate the punctuation score. i love how the punctuation is managed in the all-caps sections, which come in clumps of multiple sentences, where the the last sentence is not end-punctuated. the drop-cap transition takes care of punctuation while allowing the voices to merge, or inflect each other (the aggressive, authoritarian all-caps tone giving way to the insinuating, problematic, "scientific" reasoning, and vice versa). also, i really like the way the all-caps voice is intercut by the low-cap voice at the end of the poem. the low-cap interjections there take the place of punctuation within the earlier, more extended all-caps passages. (and it seems like a good move to end with a slight return to the dense all-caps passage, with punctuation.) really nice. and still terrifying! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

  3. fun!like a high speed roller coaster vengeance comedy show.... signed erín