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From The Maximus Poems

A Poem By Charles Olson, 1964
A century or so before 2000 BC the year rebegan in March
festival days
of wild untamed undomesticated hence wild
savage feral (Father's
Days our father who is also in Tartaros chained in being
kept watch on by Aegean-
O'Briareos whose exceeding
manhood (excellent manhood
and power — 100 or possibly
to us the term of change (with
the reciprocal 1/137 one of the two pure numbers
out of which the world is constructed
(the other one is `Earth' mass mother
milk cow body demonstrably, suddenly, more
primitive and universal (? Hardly
The problem here is a non-statistical proof:
Earth 'came into being' extraordinarily early, #2
in fact directly following on
appetite. Or
as it reads in Norse
hunger, as though in the mouth (which is an occurrence,
is `there', stlocusl
- by Earth's prompting
and the advice of Heaven, his grandparents,
this person Zeus put the iotunns those who
reach out are
put em outside (including the last the youngest child of Earth
her last one, by love of Tartaros,
by the aid of Love as Aphrodite made strength
in his hands and untiring feet - and made of all the virtues
of Ocean's
children - snakes a hundred heads
(a 'fearful "dragon") dark flickering tongues
the eyes in his marvelous heads 'flashed "fire",
and fire burned from his heads
when he looked (at the enemy or as Shakti was shooting
beams of love directly
into the woman he wanted to be full of love )
and there are 'voices' inside all his dreadful heads
uttering every kind of sound imaginable.
unspeakable Hugh White says Hesiod says (not to be voiced?
for at one time they made sounds such as solely the gods
caught on to
but at another Typhon was a bull
when letting
out his
nature, at another
the relentless lion's heart's sound
and at another sounds
like whelps, wonderful to hear
and again, at another, he would hiss so the sky would burn
they threw him
into his father's
place it would take you one year
from the tossing in this direction and that
before you got to its pavement, Tartaros lies
so thoroughly out 'below' but 'outside'
(having nothing whatsoever to do with gods or Earth's...
but suddenly
a 'loss' has been suffered: Tartaros was once 'ahead' of
Heaven was prior to
(in coming Into being) this 'child' of Earth: Tartaros
was next after Earth (as Earth was next after hunger
itself - Typhon
was her child, by Tartaros, even if last as Heaven was her child, first
The step back, to the seam of the statistical Nebel
and "End of the World" out of the union of which
by what occurrence was before
hunger - it is like Ocean which is 9 times
around earth and sea (Heaven is 9 times
around earth and sea folding and folding
earth and sea in its backward it
wraps and wraps the consistency
of mass in until the stupid story
of earth and nature is lent
what in its obviousness and effort it can't take time for,
and makes its stories up, temporality sifts
out of Ocean out of Ocean was born
(when his wife was Tethys)
daughters - Tartaros the 'prison'
beyond the gods and men beyond hunger and the foundations of Ocean
are a seam : Cottus and Gyes,
with whom Briareos is the third 'guard' have their dwelling
ep' 'Okeanoio 'Themethlois the lowest part of the bottom tithemi
Ocean deems himself
On that edge or place inverted from Ocean starts
another place
Tartaros in which all
who have been by the statutory thrown down or overthrown,
are kept watch on Night and Day (Night's house is right over their heads,
in which one door Day goes out when her mother comes in and neither
are ever together at the same time `at home' - Hell is just over
their heads
and so is the 'way-up', Bifrost
(Styx's house and Iris the messenger are bungled prettinesses of this way
this marvelous ladder the color of all colors
back where the gods, and appetite, and so is the way out for them,
for these imprisoned original created - all of the first creations
of Earth and Heaven (or of Ocean and Tethys all these instances forward of except
the official story
Heaven himself the 2nd, Kronos who acted for his mother in de-maleing his father
is in Tartaros
away from all the gods
while the glorious allies of loud-crashing Zeus Cottus and Gyes, and o'Briareos
guard them
Typhon is in Tartaros, threatening as he did (as they had,
the last to give the gods a scare
who would have come to reign over mortals
and immortals
the heat took hold on the dark-blue sea when Typhon and Zeus engaged
Hell trembled, where he rules
over those who have come to him
and the iotunns before Typhon
locked up in Tartaros swung from the clangor and the Earth shaking
he burned all the marvelous heads of the monster and conquered him and lashed him
and threw him down in his mother,
who groaned
and a great part of her melted
as tin does from the heat of him blasted
where Zeus had tossed him
and then in the bitterness of his anger Zeus tossed him into Tartaros
The life-giving earth
had crashed around in burning
the previous time when all the land
had seethed and Ocean's streams and the sea had boiled
And it was this 'lava'
had boiled - and it was this ‘lava’-
like which had undone the earlier
Giants because they were Earth-born
Earth’s own meltedness had burned
their underpinnings and
defeated them, against Zeus’s stance
Cottus and Briareos and Gyes
had done that day, of the Civilized War,
their turn - for the Boss
with their missiles added to his
‘bolts’ they did their co-evals in, and
were the ones who chained them
(as the Theogonia poet says,
tor all their great spirit, their
‘There it was, Tartaros
which had been there as early as hunger
or at least directly after hunger & Earth
and before Love
Yet Love
in the figure of the goddess born
of the frith from her father Heaven's
parts accompanied Tartaros
(as Night had Heaven the night
his son had hurled off his parts)
Love accompanied Tartaros
when with Earth in love he made

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