new zealand electronic poetry centre

 

Len Lye


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IN GRIM DETERMINATION


I write this letter in grim determination as such are not many now for replies are not 
looked for as letters are few. For two days now or more Iíve been fuming and fffting 
trying to do a construction. Now this is the climax: here it is evening and nothing to show 
for the days of worrying, so as light relief even if a letter is a fluke and a fallacy I sit down 
and write one in grim determination to show that at least I can conquer something besides 
food, so I sit down and write this in grim determination to show in some manner of 
speaking my life is my own in a few ways apart from being dominated by the uselessness 
of trying to do a construction I can at least brace my shoulders and sit me down to write a 
letter now in grim determination be it to whom it may be Norman I think as more than 
likely I did not reply to his last letter to me so long ago.
           It is strange but it has also always been so that before getting anything right I have 
had to stew and stink for two or more days under the domination of a construction, and so 
tomorrow when I feel good Iíll think now is the time to overthrow the domination and 
dominate it myself, thatís how I felt early this morning but no here is the whole day gone 
and not one twig lifted toward the completion of my construction so here Iím sitting down 
in grim determination to write a letter in a show of pure nonchalance to everyday life and I 
would it were also a nonchalance toward constructions but not so, even now as I write in 
grim determination I feel the domination of that uncompleted and unstarted construction 
waying weighing wheying and no curds Kurds turds birds what are they to me now bats 
mats cats ha ha nothing like a madman I writhe under my domination Dominion status 
what is that ha ha nothing out in Africa perhaps it may mean something but in Africa dear 
old Africa great sweet sweaty noble Africa no one beneath your muggy skies moans and 
growns groans and bones foams and spermatozoas for the sake of constructions 
conscructions escrutcheons confuctions Iím sure but ha when I have done my construction 
no man will feel more than I but all I have left just now is to sit with grim reluctance 
determinedly writing this letter to spit in the eye of domination. All this might have been 
different had the construction been completed I would have been young and blithesome 
wonsome havesome but not now I am wan grim and an ugly sight to look upon. God 
knows what the construction is to consist of as yet I do not ha who knows who cares I 
give my madmanís laugh a laugh from one side of the mouth then draw it back with the 
other side all to no avail kismet grimly I write on to whom I care not Norman I think little 
can he know about dominating constructions ah sweet young Norman carefree as the 
Africana fungus is long ah youth ah fate ora pro nobiscits it is little you know of the 
domin. of consts. the lure of consts. the gripping hold of or the power of consts. yet over 
all this I have still to write and complete this letter it seems never to get anywhere nearer 
completion no matter how grimly I may write on and on plodding to complete it against 
the domination of my as yet unstarted construction.

 

© Len Lye


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Last updated 22 August, 2001