Vertigo by Marvin Bell

By Marvin Bell

"Marvin Bell has the biggest middle given that Walt Whitman."—Harvard Review

"One of our best and so much acclaimed poets."—Booklist

"Charged with making the darkness noticeable, Bell's 'Dead guy' occasionally glows with an eerily illuminating light."—Publishers Weekly

Marvin Bell is one among America's nice poets, and his legacy comprises the discovery of a startling poetic shape known as the "Dead guy" poems. The lifeless guy is alive and useless right away: no longer a personality, yet an overarching realization, embedded in poetics and philosophy. Vertigo is the most recent from the lifeless Man—a marvelous, enigmatic, clever, and wild book.

The useless guy stands nonetheless, awaiting the boomerang to—you know.
He hears the phrases of philosophers ricochet between chasms and
     disappear within the a long way away.
His smell is going forth, his outdated epidermis, hair and nails, and he spits, too.
He leans ahead to seem backward, and...

Show description

By Marvin Bell

"Marvin Bell has the biggest middle given that Walt Whitman."—Harvard Review

"One of our best and so much acclaimed poets."—Booklist

"Charged with making the darkness noticeable, Bell's 'Dead guy' occasionally glows with an eerily illuminating light."—Publishers Weekly

Marvin Bell is one among America's nice poets, and his legacy comprises the discovery of a startling poetic shape known as the "Dead guy" poems. The lifeless guy is alive and useless right away: no longer a personality, yet an overarching realization, embedded in poetics and philosophy. Vertigo is the most recent from the lifeless Man—a marvelous, enigmatic, clever, and wild book.

The useless guy stands nonetheless, awaiting the boomerang to—you know.
He hears the phrases of philosophers ricochet between chasms and
     disappear within the a long way away.
His smell is going forth, his outdated epidermis, hair and nails, and he spits, too.
He leans ahead to seem backward, and...

Show description

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Sample text

The dead man was a thought that became tactile, became palpable, some like to call him corporeal. The dead man is the overarching presence, the coverall that let him kneel, the tarp that covered the weapons, the canvas bag, the muslin sail, the percale sheet, the cotton handkerchief into which he breathed. Tell him you know. Cover your mouth if you need to, but speak up. 2. More About the Dead Man and the Dare The dead man has been afflicted by life, no complaint there. The dead man does not make more of it than it was.

The dead man will say he is the patchwork offspring of Mother Nature and Father Time. He frames it thus when folksy, as others say tsk tsk to youth or kiss kiss for goodbye. He is common, even so he has tried to pry official fingers from the nuclear button. He is common, even so he has tried to smoke out the cranks. The dead man has seen his nation shoot itself in the foot with a blood lust for guns. He has seen it smoke itself to death. He has lived among the wistful who can only rub a brass lamp.

A flashlight showed them where the net lay. If they looked bigger in the water than in the pail, they grew back on the stove. It was like that, before salads. The dead man, at the age he is, has redefined mealtime. It being the quantum fact that the dead man does not believe in time, but in mealtime. 2. More About the Dead Man and Food The dead man’s happiness may seem unseemly. By land or by sea, aloft or alit, happiness befalls us. Were mankind less transfixed by its own importance, it would be harder to be happy.

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