15 October 2007

Geats of Hell

Sorry this is about poetry again (I swear I hate poetry as much as the next red-blooded manimal), but it is my honor to bring you to this glistening bit of blasphemy if you haven't been. My favorite English professor, vested and snarling, left me two blessed nuggets regarding W.B. Yeats that have weathered the years. Teaching Yeats for the first time tomorrow, I thought I'd spit into the river of my students' boredom and try to pass them on. The first involves the poet's own two blessed nuggets and specifically "the Steinach Operation," which, in my memory, involved Yeats getting "monkey glands" implanted into his body in order to revitalize his sexual and creative energies. Now, this procedure was real ... but it was apparently performed by a wackier quack named Serge Vonoroff:

"Voronoff puts his patient and a healthy young monkey side by side on operating tables. A local anaesthetic is given the man, and a general one to the monkey. The incisions are made, and one of the monkey's gonads is sliced into six pieces thin enough for the interstitial cells of the patient quickly to interpenetrate them" (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,727231-2,00.html)

But Yeats' procedure, the brainchild of Eugen Steinach (Freud had one too) didn't involve transplanting any animal parts. It was just some kind of vasectomy. So no monkey nads for Bill Butler Yeats. Alas.

HOWEVER ... this short poem which the aforementioned prof read to us remains as wonderfully disgusting as ever. Enjoy.

A Stick Of Incense

Whence did all that fury come?
From empty tomb or Virgin womb?
Saint Joseph thought the world would melt
But liked the way his finger smelt.


Now you can scoff and titter and pretend this is not about the digital penetration of HolyMaryMotherofGod, who we are told art "blessed...among women" and whose "womb-fruit" (paraphrasing) is blessed among everyone. But it is about that. And that takes balls. Transplanted Monkey Balls.

Pray For Us Sinners,


C said...

I have St Joe in my living room right now. Believe me, we're going to sit down and have a serious talk when I get home from work.

nehushtan said...


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