Notes by Tark Mackintosh
‘in the sad bin of dusters be’ One of the angriest members of Los Decepcionados, f. f. francés would lead a truly checkered life as poet, revolutionary, and renegado in Mexico and Miami. It was in that last city that these exceptional lines were penned, while forced to share a pup tent with a group of gnarly street people outside the Ferdinand Island bungalow, in that sweltering summer of ’33.
goldilocks chains The reference is to the jingly, golden locks of the Ferdinand Island founder Gulliver S. Gulliver, whose movement came to look more and more like a cult as the master manipulator continued to cast his chain of spells.
drizzled…bluebells As cups of fragrant honey.
concupiscent…ranges Tis on the floor of the ocean, perhaps near the Bermuda Triangle, where the ‘shuttlecock’ of the poet’s dreams comes to rest. It is a sad bin of dusters.
phalange-ready… / …tosser All is lost, and the poet gives way to the violence of his rage. f. f. francés was accused of eating a man in 1949 and summarily convicted.
five to the choky Interpretations of this line abound. The sense is, ‘[Gulliver’s private secretary] Maria de la Encarnación walks five dogs on a leash in the guttering evening’. f. f. francés was asked to remove himself from the Ferdinand Island premises after he confronted Maria and Gulliver about what he called a ‘carnal, insidious’ affair.
benign rain Compared to the emotional distress of being ejected from the Miami poetry club, the soft drenching he would receive in the process (was it from rain or tossed pots we do not know) must have seemed a blessing.
girth, sams and de- / light The mind of the great mystic grows frantic beyond the ability to make sensible verse, and then goes suddenly, tragically, permanently blank.
Photo by Julian Hanslmaier on Unsplash