of the Monitor’s Fight
Arrested by the prescience of Melville’s verse—finding the current trajectory, tragically, naught but an extension of the logic of his, certain baroque passages further toward the total banalization of violence and evacuation of what Walter Benjamin called “experience that goes from mouth to mouth”: to echo accurately this progress and attempt to deextinguish such experience, intervention upon the given page would have to redouble, not to expunge, that poem’s diagnosis, no more and no less, carving the ballad sestets and ghosting utilitarian determinism in another interior war. The monitor’s removal among the trades also allows space to be reetched to its illogic vis-à-vis Piranezi’s “Interiors measurelessly strange”: a possible form for Melville’s own crossings.
—in response to a prompt by WILD ORCHIDS: A Journal of Devotional Criticism, Issue #1
featured at Una Vetrina, Rome, September 2015