bart plantenga

Two Lists from LIST FULL

An Introduction

List Poems in Corona Times

“How, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible?
Through lists ...”
• Umberto Eco

List Poems are Household Haikus of Necessary Orderliness in a world of hyper:exposed data, over:purposed texts, hyperbolic narratives & vulnerable people. We all make lists. Lists go way back — The 10 Commandments, ferchrissake! – & are currently the rage. On internet, Trendy Top Tens, Top 3 Fails/Snogs/Apps/Cats – any & every subject – serve less as insight into our zeitgeist than as clickbait to monetize obsession or, as Maria Popova observes, “today’s favorite attention: exploitation device in an information economy of countless listicles & innumerable numerical headlines.”

Top 5 lists float across your screen almost daily, mainly as entertainment distractives, although they sometimes include eyeopeners about people you assumed you knew. Other lists like to:do, grocery, bucket or birthday offer comfort by framing reality, focusing your activities so that you’re not a headless chicken scurrying through the ominous over:amped day.

The list remains chiefly utilitarian – organizational survival. It may also be epistemological strategy, administraWve tool, protocol, census, or lisWcle.

In its utilitarian purpose we may fail to observe the list’s scansion or its unselfconscious word foreplay that culminates in a daring segue, or the chance & oft inappropriate encounter of 2 musical sources, here extended to 2 or more words that have never before shared the same line, the same page.

List entries may work on us the way the rapid passing of static images at 24 per second allows mind to create fluidity. Still images become film ... & so, seemingly isolated, unrelated list entries begin to interact, bridge their segregation to create bold, tentative, speculative [Dada] poems.

Never having been conceived as poems makes lists interlopers, unbeholden to poetic law, perhaps serving as poetic justice, as antidotes to the overly self: serious dictates of poetry, where purveyors insist a poem can DO so much: regime change, paradigm shifts, illuminate the dusky, voice the unvoiced, rouse the masses, transform lives ... The list poem confronts the self:aware & haughty poem in the same way that punk originally confronted the pomposity of classic rock. ...

LIST FULL’s “poems” can ultimately be clothespinned nonchronologically to a timeline to serve as under:examined mnemonic milestones, anthropological samples, archaeological remnants – & poems that play by alternative rules. Positioned upon a template of an entirely different purpose, they provide speculative linkages & subsist without pretention, presumption, & expectation. Ultimately behaving a lot like autobiographical glimpses.

The full book, LIST FULL: List Poems of Necessary Orderliness, is scheduled to be published by Spuyten Duyvil Press toward the end of 2020. Spuyten Duyvil is: 1 an upscale Bronx neighborhood, 2 a station along the Metro:North Line, 3 in Dutch it means “spouting devil” or “spitting devil” IF one pronounces the unnpronounceable:for:anglophones diphthong “ui” or “uy” as “ee” but with pursed lips 4 or “spite the devil” or “in spite of the devil” if one pronounces the just as unnpronounceable:for:anglophones diphthong “ij” [a quick melt of a long “a” + a long “i”] 5 this second translation was made popular by Washington Irving, 6 spui in Dutch means a drain, sluice or whirlpool, 7. a messenger dispatched by Peter Stuyvesant to warn Dutch settlers, tried to swim across the creek there but was swept away by currents OR gobbled up by a shark or the devil himself, before reaching his destination.

The Crazy Corona Cures* Offered By Humans Who
Claim To Be Sentient Beings Of
Some Evolution In The Information-Is-Power Era

Wind of god: Blown through Corona by TV preacher Ken Copeland to destroy it forever, so it will “never be back”
Prayer: if it worked on Corona & illness in general, there’d be less need for medical staff globally
Bleach: Ingested, it does cure Corona - if death can be considered a cure
Disinfectant: Trump loses election not because of lies & high crimes, but for suggesting Lysol as cure
Driving tractors: Belarus’ President claims working people driving tractors will be immune: “The tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone.”
Steam: Inhaling has no curative effect
Chlorine: Applied directly to body has no effect
Hands on TV screen: Televangelist Copeland urged touching a TV screen as a proxy cure
Laying on of hands: Ineffective preacher-promoted cure-all
Antiviral “Virus Shut Out Protection” pendants: Banned Asian- origin product that “blocks airborne particles” when worn around neck, purportedly preventing Corona
Happy Science spiritual vaccine: CEO-stockbroker-religious- cult leader, Ryuho Okawa offered $400 DVD “blessings” as cure
Cow Dung: Many in India believe cow dung can cure cancer – & Corona. Patients in a Gujarat ayurvedic hospital live with cows & cow dung packs applied to their bodies
Violet leaf essential oil applied to anus: Iranian cleric believes applying this oil to anus will “cure the corona,” which he claims is God’s revenge against those who upset him
Mole sauce: Culinary staple promoted by Mexican state governor Miguel Barbosa of Puebla
Poverty: Barbosa also claims the poor are immune as most of Mexico’s known cases have been wealthier people
Plague Protection Kit: London Bishop Climate Ministry Church sells a £91 box containing scarlet yarn & Divine Plague Protection Oil [“mix of cedar wood, hyssop, & prayer”] that you apply “faithfully”
Miracle Mineral Solution: The Genesis II Church calls its table salt + minerals, industrial bleach formula a “sacrament,” but is really a fraudulent non-cure 6 deep breaths & then coughing by covering one’s mouth: No
Homemade hand sanitizer: Filipino mix of rum, bleach & fabric softener
Destroying 5G technology: Viruses don’t travel on radio waves/mobile networks. Some insist: If 5G can pierce walls it can wreak havoc with immune systems. “No coincidence” that it arose as Corona was breaking
Inhaling hydrogen peroxide: Using a drug-delivery device, the nebulizer. Never
Germicidal fluorescent bulbs: Clear fluorescent lamp, used to sterilize tools, surfaces & air in medical facilities, but ineffective against Corona
Breast milk: Adults sell & buy human breast milk online for their own consumption believing it can prevent Corona
Torah: Ultra-orthodox rabbi claims God’s revealed guidance in the Old Testament will protect the faithful
Fasting: Brazilian reactionary pentecostal preacher claims fasting is a miracle cure
God: Christian preacher claims God cures Corona by shutting down human virus receptors
Faith: When this failed, same preacher claimed only truly devout Christians are immune. But if you’re devout and still get it? Well, then you’re not REALLY truly devout
Visiting religious shrines: Advocated by Orthodox Iranian clerics to be cured
Red soap: It is just dyed red and has no preventive properties.
White handkerchief: Some claim the color white is harmful to the virus & a white hankie or tissue “prevents the virus in the mucus from being transferred to others”
Hot bath: Or saunas do not a cure Corona
Hair or hand dryer: Up the nostrils - no effect
Summer: hot weather doesn’t melt Corona from our bodies
Winter: Cold climate & snow have no curative effect
Ice cream & frozen foods: Neither cause nor cure Corona
Garlic: is healthy but no cure, good for social distancing
Smoking: May do more harm than good because of damage smokers do to their lungs
Gargling with vinegar: Smelling like a salad, not preventive
Gargling with salt water: No effect
Vinegar hand sanitizer: Brazilian fake germicidal
Superblue Toothpaste: Info Wars’ Alex Jones range of “stopgate” nostrums: toothpaste, dietary supplements, creams to kill Corona “at point-blank range”
Colloidal silver: Tiny silver particles suspended in a liquid “protects immune system” according to preachers & snakeoil salesmen inc. Jim Bakker who claims “Silver Solution has been proven to kill every pathogen it’s ever been tested on”
Mix of cocaine, amphetamines & nicotine: $300 Dark Web con-concoction
Essential oils: Quinessence Aromatherapy’s Anti-Virus Synergy oil of ravensara, tea tree, basil & cedarwood Virginian does not have powerful anti-viral & antiseptic properties
Aromatherapy: Against Virus Essential Oils claims it inhibits virus replication by “hindering cellular DNA polymerase and alteration in phenylpropanoid pathways” - no
Boneset Tea: Thoroughwort, Purple Boneset, & Joe-Pye Weed tea by Vivify Holistic Clinic does not prevents Corona
Tea: Although containing stimulants such as methylxanthine, and theobromine does not prevent virus
Peganuma harmala: Turkmenistan’s President swears inhaling smoke of this desert plant will protect against Corona “that is invisible to the naked eye”
Volcanic ash: From Taal Volcano in the Philippines – no magic
Prayer in large groups: Tanzania’s president urged faithful to attend churches/mosques to pray away Corona as “it cannot survive in the body of Christ, it will burn”
Sheepshead soup: A cure from Turkey
Vodka: No - 40% alcohol content falls below necessary 60%
Rubbing alcohol: Many people in Turkey died from drinking rubbing alcohol
Methanol: 600 Iranians died from drinking methanol, (wood alcohol) as Corona cure
Ethanol: Popular ethanol drinks do not prevent Corona, & may cause immunosuppression
Curse: “Evangelical for Trump” Maldonado ordered the virus to “disintegrate, dissolve like the dust, in Jesus’ mighty name”
Cocaine: Cannot kill corona in one’s nostrils
Chloroquine phosphate: Used to treat fish tanks & sick fish but sounds like the malaria drug hydroxychloronquine, which, although promoted by Trump, is also not a vaccine
Wormwood tea: Madagascar’s President promotes COVID-ORGANIC remedy with Artemisia annua [sweet wormwood] is rumored to cure malaria
Cow urine: In India people gather for cow urine drinking competition parties, swearing it’s a vaccine
Camel urine: A Middle Eastern noncure promoted by some religious clerics
Ultraviolet / sunlight exposure: No, no matter what Trump claims
Vitamin C: High-dosage intake no effect
Makabuhay plant sap: Filipino antibiotic Corona “cure” applied as eyedrop because virus crawls from skin into eyes.
Lemon in warm water: High Vitamin C does not prevent corona
Water: Drinking it every 15 mins. to flush Corona through body into the stomach where stomach acid can kill it.
Water: Keep mouth & throat moist because dryness & dehydration stimulate Corona
Boiled garlic water: Tanzania’s president claims the drink cures Corona overnight
Shuanghuanglian oil: Traditional Chinese medicine consisting of honeysuckle, Chinese skullcap, & forsythia flowers that some suggest may be effective against respiratory illnesses
Ginger-lemon tea: Venezuelan President shared recipe on Twitter claiming anticorona benefits
Boiled ginger + fasting: No effect
Scalar energy: Known as animating life force, prana, radiant energy, or orgone. “Researchers” & TV huckster-preachers believe scalar energy can transmute pathogens using photos of people who want to transmute pathogens in their bodies.
Vegetarianism: Vegetarians are not immune to Corona
Yoga: Indian minister believes that, since yoga relieves mental stress & high blood pressure, reducing heart attacks, kidney failures &, thus, Corona
Small onions: An Indian hotel owner believes that “small onions provide resistance to flu-based diseases”
Bananas, mangos, durian, any edible fruit: Delicious noncures
Arsenicum album-30: Indian Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy spokespeople claim this homeopathic treatment cures Corona
Momordica charantia: Or bitter melon is eaten in Africa & Asia but is not a cure
Turmeric: Although healthy, not a cure
Andrographis paniculata: South Asian plant touted for its medicinal properties does not cure Corona
Neem tree leaves: Another noncure from India
Azithromycin: Antibiotics do not kill viruses like Corona
Arbidol: Obsolete, unproven 1970s Russian anti-viral drug is now being touted as a Corona cure
Orphan drug: IV-dispensed Remdesivir interferes with virus reproduction, is currently being tested, has shown some promise
Steroids: Unsure of why steroids have been tested since they leave people more prone to infections
COVID-19 treatment packs: Doctor-entrepreneur-owner of Skinny Beach Med Spa banned from selling snakeoil 100% noncure
BioCharger NG Subtle Energy Platform: $15,000 device promoted by a celebrity chef “cures” Corona by opening airways & reducing inflammation
Moon Juice routine: Amanda Chantal Bacon recommends dry brushing to stimulate lymph flow, cold shower, cortisol intake, air purifier, vitamin C 3x daily, Power Dust adaptogenic blend, Elderberry Defense tonic, & Magnesi-Om before bed
* Most of these “cures” are insane, although some allow us to feel exhiliratingly superior to the perpetrators. Some are dangerous, while a few do actually merit further research.

Sounds Recuperated From Our Noisy Surroundings
As A Positive Consequence of COVID-19
Now That Motor Traffic Has Been Reduced By 75%
& Air Traffic by 95% in March-April 2020.

[As noted at our gardenhouse,
on the southwest edge of Amsterdam,
unnoticed sounds suddenly emerge]

Gleeful kids playing made-up games; rules change magically
Little girl singing nonsense, but it amuses her
The squeak in 1 of the swings at the sandy playground
Bickering duck pair fly overhead, nipping each other’s tail feathers, hear woosh of wings between quacks
Eurasian Wren [Winterkoning]: explosive, expressive trills & solo work announcing his presence high atop the tall pine
Surprising rustle of hazelnut leaves in a sudden gust
Buzz of a disoriented bumblebee crashing headfirst into the front window over & over, bzzzz-tck bzzzz-tck bzzzz-tck bzzzz-tck...
Rumble-crackle-squeak rumble-crackle-squeak of the wheelbarrow transporting cuttings to the compost heap
Chiffchaff [leaf warbler / tjiftjaf] has a clear sweet song singing its own name over & over
Communicating with a song thrush using a birdsong website because they sing beautifully - & eat slugs
2 thin, smooth-bark trunks rubbing together in a perky gust
Great Tit [Koolmees], knows 70 songs, & sings classic, sharp, 2-note rhythmic “tea-cher, tea-cher” song
Distant circular saw: wonder what’s being built at the other end of the park
Plop-plop of the 2 tiny frogs in the canal covered in duckweed out back
Whhrr-Whrr of hand movers mowing small plots in less than 5 minutes
Never-before heard sound of N. yanking weeds, the roots being pulled from the soil
Beaks of the duck pair clap-clap-clap chomping the duckweed
Metal claws of the garden rake scraping across the sidewalk
Burst of laughter from a garden several hundred meters away
Emergency service helicopter in the distance, think Corona victim
The snip-snip of hedge shears
Water dripping from the over-full watering can filled from the canal out back
N. snapping twigs, cutting branches with hand pruning shears
Backdrop birdsong chorus with call-&-response hocketing never before heard

bart plantenga is the author of novels Beer Mystic, Radio Activity Kills, & Ocean GroOve, short story collection Wiggling Wishbone, novella Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man & wander memoirs: Paris Scratch and NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor [both Sensitive Skin]. His books YODEL-AY-EE-OOOO: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World and Yodel in HiFi plus the CD Rough Guide to Yodel have created the misunderstanding that he is the world’s foremost yodel expert. He’s also a DJ & has produced Wreck This Mess in NYC, Paris & Amsterdam since forever. He lives in Amsterdam.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home