T. S. Eliot saw it coming

James Parker in The Atlantic:

Why is april the cruellest month? Why did the chicken cross the road? Why do people watch golf on television? The first question I can answer.

April is the cruellest month because we are stuck. We’ve stopped dead and we’re going rotten. We are living in the demesne of the crippled king, the Fisher King, where everything sickens and nothing adds up, where the imagination is in shreds, where dark fantasies enthrall us, where men and women are estranged from themselves and one another, and where the cyclical itch of springtime—the spasm in the earth; the sizzling bud; even the gentle, germinal rain—only reminds us how very, very far we are from being reborn. We will not be delivered from this, or not anytime soon. That’s why April is cruel. That’s why April is ironic. That’s why muddy old, sprouty old April, bustling around in her hedgerows, brings us down.

Imagine, if you will, a poem that incorporates the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the blowing up of the Kerch Bridge, Grindr, ketamine, The Purge, Lana Del Rey, the next three COVID variants, and the feeling you get when you can’t remember your Hulu password. Imagine that this poem—which also mysteriously contains all of recorded literature—is written in a form so splintered, so jumpy, but so eerily holistic that it resembles either a new branch of particle physics or a new religion: a new account, at any rate, of the relationships that underpin reality.

More here.