“But God wot, wot not what”

—Sir Philip S.

 

1.

 

I put on my coat with its Labrador collar, straight and stiff.

 

Words will approach actual things, drift this way, anagram, paratactic jostling, aphorism, color, this way.

 

Implication and figuration, our primary constraints, play no part in it.

 

On March 5th I catch a dark maid roaming a fusty, half-dismal bog. “I must stay in my locus purus,” Samantha gasps, climbing a birch, gray frock dangling.

 

Day and night pass. A month will pass. An owl lands on a low wall.

 

That dark maid is lost to you—for you, a spirit, insist on loss. Having only your habits for succor.

 

2.

 

A bonanza of fruits and rolls, rum and brandy, gorgonzola, slick fish from Monday’s haul . . . scallops, broccoli, gold onions in a bowl brought from Spain . . . .

 

This imaginary painting transforms into a spatial list, a grammar for moving through.

 

I was born so, arguing about a quality of hail, not hail as such, das Ding an sich. I am not afraid of doing anything.

 

That lithograph of a narwhal, its tusk bursting from turbid foam, drags us away. But a cornucopia is constant, containing nothing but its possibility.

 

I will hold your black pumps, soft with rain, as you pad around in stockings. I will kiss your brow. I will do this knowing I cannot again.

 

Now I am thinking of my family . . . now a Sardinian man tilts a milk-pail. Milk is trickling down a cant in his floor.

 

Rhubarb and garlic, bananas, Cornish roast. Almonds, Brazil nuts, raisins, filling an iron bowl.

 

Klaxons spill into this fabulous night.

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