Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Analysis of "Clonazepam" by Donald Dunbar

Poem found here: "Clonazepam" by Donald Dunbar



Clonazepam is a drug that treats a variety of diseases or symptoms like MS, Anxiety, panic disorders, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

And the first line of the poem plays with the idea of something being solved. "Finally, stability."  These two words set the pace of the poem -- a sense of finality or perhaps what constitutes as stability, "Finally, the fractal iteration of kings."  Definitions.

"The legless herds lie still in the fields / and eventually the fences crumble / and the wilderness returns."   Here the return of the pastoral has a sense of cynicism behind it because there is no basis -- finality and stability breaks down to the fractal iteration -- something is being hidden in the pieces.

"Like cinnamon coaxed back out of the tongue, / this book is a formalist approach for a kiss. / or vice versa."  The level of self-awareness of the speaker debunks the stability set in the beginning.  Well not so much.  What is stable is the inconsistent direction, but interesting ideas.  The burning sensation of something sweet like cinnamon and a kiss is compare.  But also note the "formalist approach" is self-referential to the poem and to the collection as well.

Then the speaker continues to riff off the images, "Like a kiss / is oblivious, they don't know their homestead is meat;  is meat and an age of eternal iteration."  These lines cascade down together in a sense.  From the image simile of a kiss, to meat, back to the notion of iteration.  What is interesting here is the introduction of "they" which doesn't point to anything in the poem other than "kings."  So these lines have a "higher" implication as far as nobility and perhaps rhetoric is concerned.  "Eternal iteration" is not thrown around in a daily basis.

The idea of "finally" returns back to the last stanza, "Finally I have met you / in this video of cyborgs making out, making out / with androids in the comments below."  These lines have a flair of the contemporary.  Gone are the pastoral and personal images, they are tied up in these lines of technology.  Cyborgs are machines/man and androids are pure machines with a human appearance, if I get my terminology correct.

So facsimiles are making out with facsimiles.  Learn more on the (clickbait) comments below.  There's humor here.  But the finality of the poem from time to subject ends with what others think and not what the speaker can conjure.

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