(after Leonardo da Vinci)
Memorandum: Have two boxes made to go on a packsaddle.
Blow out a pig’s lung to see whether it increases in length and breadth or if it diminishes in length alone.
Enquire for Vitruvius at the stationer’s.
Have ears of corn half the size of a shinbone sent from Florence.
Commission a translation of Avicenna on the utilities.
Memorandum: Make aqua fortis with one part Roman vitriol, one part saltpetre, one cinnabar, one verdigris. Add pyrites and if it turns green know that it contains copper.
Tuesday buy wine for the morning. Buy beans, panic-grass, white maize and red, millet and peas.
Study Theophrastus: Concerning Flow and Ebb. Concerning Whirlpools. Concerning Water.
Use an arrow as a balance and weigh the substance when heated then weigh it again cold.
Memorandum: To dissolve hairs, horn, bristle and nail, make a depilatory from a distillation of lime, orpiment and lye.
Memorandum: Go each Saturday to the hothouse to see the nudes.
N. poeticus. Yet again
an unhappy asphodel snaps
the gastric drainpipe. Narcotic,
unworldly, a toxic doctrine
of undivine retribution.
Excise the splenic nemeses,
the malevolent underworld
perfume. Injudicious the dys-
crasial entourage, the
enfleurage dodgy, unpoetic.
Wrong-hearing the ear split wide.
Spleen-weary auricula seeds
rumors of ungenial blood:
a sheer lack of blood-reserve
(red cells gone wild). O unfiltered
depravity! A settling of
spores, the perennial payback.
(Soil hemorrhages shock-indifference
—fruit of bleak incuriosity.)
Baudelaire in italics.
Photograph © Yale Rosen