Anaesthetics

by Charles Bernstein

[adapted from The Pataquerical Imagination in Pitch of Poetry]

The turn away
from beauty
or emotion, like the
aversion of identity or
expression, may be both a response
to the shallowness
of what is accepted
as
beautiful
or
emotional
& a mark
of the search for beauty
or affect,
a beauty or affect not already trapped
& tamed.
For if you say
what I find beautiful
is worthless, then I
may say I
reject beauty, but that is
just a measure of my
recognition of how categories
of the beautiful
anaesthetize
you from the experience
of
beauty.  For some, it
is only
in renouncing the
beautiful that the
possibility
of
beauty
opens.
& those of
you who
lament this
turn away
-336from beauty
or emotion,
compulsively pro-
claiming its
return,
do not, perhaps cannot
understand
what
it is to be
outside
the script, dead
as you are to
sensation, oblivious to
beauties that cannot be
dreamt of in your
moralities.