Included in the 1958 translated collection of ‘Songs of the River’ (most of which emerged around 1939), many query whether ‘Rung’ actually belongs there. Its inclusion is thought to be due to editors giving it only a cursory reading, which of course does reveal the word ‘river’ on the second line. The real meaning of the work though is more obscure and seems to centre around a kind of uncanny appearance of the relatively newly developed telephone technology -hence ‘rung’. Initially it seems to indicate a state of pre-telephone innocence ruined by its advent though as it progresses this interpretation becomes less clear. The confusion tends to centre around the line ‘singing this song for his will to be done’ which has been taken to mean that there is something divine voice of the telephone, that it some how enables a teleology in the system (Seranoga’s Hegelian inclinations have been noted elsewhere). Having said all of this the German repeating section and the last curious stand alone verse have proved confusing to many. Speculatively one can look at the poem as beginning with the afore mentioned innocence, dissolving into an uncanny dread of the device before the realisation of its divine nature. This divinity is sung by the strange exuberant desire for the phone that the alternatively rhythmed final section displays. The German shows the hesitation and eventual acceptance of the whole work in miniature for the reader.

Rung

Lie me down softly and sing me to sleep,
There’s fog on the river and fires to keep,
I never was lonesome I always felt glad,
What happens this season is solid and sad,

And you sing me all alone,
And you sing me all alone,

Komme, noch nicht,
Komme, noch nicht,
Komme, noch nicht, komme.

Holding the bone rim, the gift of the maw,
Mouthing the tone ring, the see and the saw,
Waiting in morbid state here for the call,
Enchanted bells in the dim of the wall,

Embalming me now ‘neath the concrekerly town,
Calming me now ‘pon the merry go round,
Reaching in awe for the empty stone stair,
Coming and going the embers draw care…

And you sing me all alone,
And you sing me all alone,

Komme, noch nicht,
Komme, noch nicht,
Komme, noch nicht, komme.

Pressing compressing the tinniest noise.
Voices in turmoil the endless of choice,
Emptiness filled with the message of one,
Singing the song for his will to be done,

And you sing me all alone,
And you sing me all alone,

Hey mamma singer, hey pappa singer,
Bring me the ‘phone,
Hey copper singer, hey hopper singer,
Bring me the ‘phone,
Hey clapper singer, hey trapper singer,
Bring me the ‘phone,

Oh bring me that ‘phone to me!

By Jim Meirose

Gotten out already his big forceps, he clamped onto the thing and pulled it free—advantaging the fact that the subject is far past killing—and as he swung the device—looking even more large, out free of its host—out over and into a stainless pan, its metallic nature was made known immediately by its the clank. Clearly this is a foreign object.

That’s a foreign object, is it not?

Obviously—and the thick shreds of stomach all th’ came ‘way with it, indicate that, most likely—most certainly—this is a top candidate for the cause ‘o this-mann’s final death.

How did it get there? How could one—as he prodded the gadget with a long rib-spreader lying by handily—ingest such a thing, after all, and by Peter, it’s two or three baseballs big.

Quite frankly yah yes, but—no. t’was not ingested as stated—had to become there by some unnaturally means. But—of its function, Doc—of what could that these, or those, if multiplee’ they be, what does it do. Can we tell?

Uh. It could not have grown there, ‘cause he’s not been ‘ver no machine. So, wipe that. It could not’ve been swallowed ‘cause of its immensity, and its grasping sharp appendages would have snagged it back, way up hiss throatwise most ‘mmediately. So, wipe that. Lastly was it implanted. Before dissertizing on that, maybe we got to nail down, 1. Surgically implanted? Ah, no, he’s no surgical scars. 2. Planted in, disguised as food or drink? Noah. Same quis’etty as swallowed. So, since there’s nothing else, what have we mis-guessed priorly back out ‘bout some coupla’ hunnerd’s ‘o words? To wit, I have just scanned all previous possible reasons down, once. And again, twice. And, again, once over one last time. And no.

Into the sudden breaking wave if silence was said aloud, So. We’ll never know?

Non no never eck—but it is what killed him.

That thing that there—oh, wook! Where did ye place it?

Right there—oh no, maybe?

No! Where did it go? No games, please.

I am not gaming. It was—I don’t know, look under these ‘n that’s.

And.

‘fter thoroughly scanning ‘der every these and that’s maybe-kimbo the whole room, eh.

I don’t get it.

Me neither, Chuck.

Eck, the masters, what should they be told?

A magic technology. Programmed to disappear if discovered. Like—like—like—the story at the front ‘o them olde tyme Mishdey-ing, if at all Posstibule, ‘terentainmenty shows.

Hic. What is that?

Oh, as the child you are here, you could not possibly remember. So never mind. But it is not your fault ye’re young as you are. You will grow up, someday.

But what about this? Why—

There is no language. I try to talk. I try to speak. I am met with silence. I am the Wilderness. I belong in the Wilderness. Scrub oak & crooked pine. Stick-figure creatures. Peculiar man from a very very very long island. I am Zig. Naming it makes it so. Call it what you must. Earth. I know no other. This planet is my planet. The Cosmos. Space. Echoes in perpetuity. I have not forgotten. The near simultaneity of our orgasms. A certain awareness is required for existence. All the goodbyes we said. I think of Berlin. Sex is unfinished. She holds by head between her thighs. She wants me to put my tongue on her clitoris. She pushes my head further down her belly. She says: Are there patterns in our movements? Bracing myself. I am down below. Nipples like ripe berries. She wants me to see her breasts. She holds up her hair as she fucks me. The failing light of a dying sun. Eightyeightthousand frames per second. I examine the granular particles of each frame. Text is my film. Epicenters. We make love in small circles. Am I the total enchilada? Am I half-mad? Am I mad? It is yesterday. Czechoslovakian milk comes in a bag. Am I real? Is this normal behavior? I am bewildered. Amerika is a State of puzzlement. Orgasm is an expression of love. We do it. I have a girlfriend. She has a boyfriend. The fuck is singularly inappropriate. Zig & Zoë are a Machine. Knees & hands on the floorboards. Opening. Awestruck. Gasping. Nearly falling over with pleasure. She fellates me. Something I can tell. Something I can relate. An episode. Anything. Something to happen. Waiting for an event. I enter a space. I enter a room. I animate. I breathe. Space contracts. Time expires. Sideways. Fucking. Zoë has a leg up on me. Nobody has a leg on me. Picasso. Lucky Charms. I delight in the art. Trapezoids. Quadrilaterals. Cubes. Perfect cardboard boxes. Such beautiful packaging. It is remarkable. The food from the supermarket. I eat the food. I. Me. You. Machines. Apartments. Making us helpless and stupid. Ancient city, what are you doing to us?  Yet we remain. It is safer to leave. We wander the ruins of a metropolis. Nothing matters except what remains. Ass in his hands. Zig admires the backs of her thighs. Just to see. Pull the curtains. Do you guess at normal behavior? Your phone is a supercomputer. We are electronic beings. This book is no longer made of paper. Makes no difference. Might keep going too. Let the manuscript unscroll. I might end it here. We are getting uncomfortably close to the epicenter of my being. Volkswagen Beetle. Ferdinand Porsche stole the design for Hitler. I like the Tatra 411. Look it up. It exists. Zetor. Grandpa drove a tractor. I make nothing. Grandma used to make dumplings. The goulash of existence. Waiting for the porridge. Waiting to be poured. A vessel. I am an empty cup. I have no skills. All of them. I believe in my skills. Who can live on 25K? Who can say: a novelette? A novella. 25K and what have you got? Floating. Floating. Am I really so terribly alone? Am I really here? Is this the Cosmos? Searching. Outstretched. Fingers and palms. Tactile experience. Feeling my way around. I am in an apartment. Echolocation. Reflections. Shadows. Neanderthal kitchens. Cabinets. Angles. Corners. Bats are the only flying mammals. How now? If so, what next? Is it collapsing? Are my thoughts gathered? Does my hair look good? I am terrified. Looking out a window. Sipping coffee. Alert. Awake. Everything is like whatever it is, right? Who forgets? Sounds & scents of fucking. She folds her labia over his Ben Jonson. Every new technology brings a war. The increasing wakefulness of being. Amerika beguiles. Fedora? Trench coat? Camouflage underpants? Parachute pants? Velcro? Electromagnetic? What fibers? What sort of clothing does one wear in the electronic environment? Open yourself. Open this novel. This is the news you need to read like right the fuck now! Did we lose the trajectory of Zig and Stefani? You said yes in thunder. Between her lips you feel like a god. Lowers your fly. She unsuits you. A gift. A flicker. You exist. There are no guarantees in the Universe. Vermillion is a city in South Dakota. Ochre is an ancient pigment. 

Concept of Eggs
Seranoga (trans 1974 from Collected Rhymes)

Into the cold flat
Wandered the stranger
Distant from me
And yet still filled with hunger

Contemplates dinner
Penultimate meal
Fried imperfection
The unholy round

And as the liquids boiling sear
He thinks of protein filled with fear
The lies of man behind the box
The slice of death that darkness locks

Alien blackness
Potential nothing
Hopeful of life
Yet so sinful the supping

Feed me on high
Lest I  fall from the sky
I have no bite left…
Only my bark

And as you fry without a care
I  wasn’t really anywhere
The name of God is oh so flat
Behind these lines that I am trapped

Calmly Considering what Clothing to wear Tonight.
Jim Meirose

Was cause of death not determined immediately, no no, after death as the law requires? I am not sure I need to know this is a special case more before I proceed no this is down from the top but this is highly irregular very much so Doc, listen, don’t; no st’, wait—I’ve been licensed on the condition now listen this is from the top, Doc that I work just do the autopsy according to the law okay buh’ listen the sooner you are done huh why and we get out of here the better off all concerned will be. Okay?

During this debate the mysterious men stood firm, so—angry still, but knowing there was no point, Pig gathered the necessary tools around him; plugged in his saws, counted out his scissoring scalpelsharps, and bellied up and; yes and; as always when gazing on the subject to be opened, all fell away and he bent down braced ‘gainst the table and began to cut. Cut and snip trim and spread push out of the way this and push out of the way that all smelling of alcohol ‘r formaldehyde or perhaps simply picklejuice, but no time for reflection, because this man—which he ’mmediately had to admit might no’ be so—such was the state of its faulty preservation—the tissues organs some fat ‘n some shriveled, were hard to cut—and as he went through the steps for this day’s lesson, which day was quite long back ‘ctually, he recalled them all ‘round him ‘n human anatomy twelve, lab group five, so remarked to Lavender boy, who was just finishing up gowning, Christ, in the real world where the meat’s super-fresh, will the cutting be this hard? This’s all pickled-down brittle like this—Lavender boy stepped up but the answer came ‘ctually from Venisienne which said she loud, as she usually louded out this way when in mid-slice ‘n slash, no, those ought to be butter-like eh, knives o’er butter, and Lavender boy leant in, saying, Yes, but, if in fact those we do in the future protest in such a rock-hard way, they will need to be put in their places, like this! And he randomly slashed o’er the pickleydown organmass, and, Like that! as he stabbed deep, direct a’ blow, to the random masse of stale hard meat before them, and; he said; and they all three agreed; the best line of work for us after we get th’ fat hanging sheepies, would be to skinny down as pathologists, or funeral stab-slashers, or what have we, you, them, or how out our anyhoots, you can’t kill the dead fuck up so what have a bad day and fuck up, so what, have a few too many whatever night’s prior and fuck up, so what—he gang, silly! ‘f ya can’t kill ‘em they can’t die! And, way back that day’s wave of hilarity washed over a rogue wave actually and in their hilarity, they stab, slice, eyes closed ‘r eyes open, so what? Push, shove, test the sharp of this knife off the sharp of that there, how far in the heart can we stab? We stab? Come out the other end, the encore being a prick down the leg of the long eh eh, so what? And that we the best day Pig had God bless Chester, Venisienne, and this random dead person, who meant to help humanity by their selfless sciencestiffic donation of their whole entire body, all babyfat still hung there, nor there, no issue—and Pig smilingly sliced some big hard lumpy thing with a knife, expecting the usual slimy nameless mass of a closeup shot, down into a bowl of pork and beans, or perhaps something else entirely, but—there’s a spidery metallic manylegger of some grasp of a thing there, all-stead, hey. Plainly deadly ‘ffn y’all ask me Doc. Hup.

They pulled back agape.

What the hell can this be?