51


Afloat in a glass-bottom boat, I see into the sea—a miniscule emerald memento
That the strongest social bonds are forged by language doesn’t nullify
             the power that dancing around the puppet ef
figies of the men
             in power has
On the solemn face of the glinting belly is a button baby
You have to know how to roll on the horizon
Followers follow, possibles possibulate, coruscations consider, blood

             coagulates
An allegory is a depiction of something that can’t be depicted
Mathias Madrid thrusts his
fist toward his face in a mirror, Millicent
             Malcolm pets a faithful falcon on a perch, Margaret Mason
             makes fig jam to serve on cold toast with hard cheese
The pyrotechnical expanse, lacking azure, makes do with blatant

             blackness, unspoken light
Winter’s cover’s curled back by adjectives—whacking winter’s roadside

             cover
Stained owls and up over the ill rabbits they
fly
Several hours go by but hours are impossible to perceive
I market, am marketed, mark, remark
We walk down a street under windows that let in noise that might

             prompt someone asleep in the room to dream of drummers,
             flautists, a man on stilts with a tuba, a sextet of giggling girls
What is it ghosts wonder?

56

It should not be strange to be a woman rewarded
Letters click as they wander, shift as they ascend, their altitudes attain

             autobiography
Next you are like dry steps’ passing sound and fall, and then you are

             like sweetened grapefruit
Everything applies in the hyper-patterning that retrospect
             attempts and to which the irreverent response is “How
             splay!”

In the small houses of the children in the house there are always
             complex simplicities and one was a vast pink stuffed
             equine thing called Star

Wet Brahms
Revocation of harm
By moving from window to window and carefully recording at

             each what we see, we...*
It is time you were told of the time I failed to defend the bull and
             indeed rejoiced in its murder
This is
not hypocritical!
The statue at its fullest is emptiest of meaning
She speaks to another
not about sex but about a particular game
             of truth
Sonorousness facilitates the descent of sunny motes from the

             ponderosa
Dancers have
fleas—or, shall we say that fleas live on the planet
             of dancers?

62

Into the disordered shortening of a circle comes this little fury,
              this abdicated panic, this dirty Venus, this resemblance
              to nothing we know of the dead

Sky simultaneous bud, cavity contemporaneous slight
And from the tree a ripe peach falls and a puff of dust rises,

              gently circles, drifts, spreads, holds its shape, dissipates,
              and settles under the tree again and on the weeds nearby
Once there was a woman I’ll name another day and in her care

              were eight well-matched strong pelicans who flew low
              over the sea in careful con
figurations that brought her
              aesthetic pleasure and more
fish than she or they could
              eat

Life is rife with erasure and time is rich with delay
Immediately the eater spots some defects (bits of meat, scraps of green)
No, I did
not forget the sad vagrant shuffling about in his red
              speckled secrecy and I will never do so again!
You’ve been boasting of your cantaloupe pottage, you’ve provided

              us with thin toast, your glory increases all about you
Hush—ssshh—what is it?

The ancestor wandered toward the horizon, he craved
              recognition, but eons went by and he landed in a circus,
              there being no other work for a man from the gloom of
              origins

Cousins are composite, constructed, compared
Quick, lively, assembled ripples monitor, mosquitoes spill, and

              the children dine on candy
The sky is another point, this time of ambiguous blue
Why didn’t I think of that?

71

in 

memoriam 

Arkadii 

Trofimovich 

Dragomoshchenko Feb 3 1946-Sept 12, 2012

A grasshopper singing of death laughs long—as if a heavy-
             hearted granny spoke a light word

A shadow scuds over glass, the glass stands still
Insects seethe and they say
that is the dream of language but
             what is language if not what is threading through the
             veins of an insect’s wings
What does it mean to say “now” now, as now surfaces in a gesture,

             as of a person pushing his eyeglasses up toward his brow
Our luggage is stacked sky-high, we are wearing twenty layers of

             clothes, every utterance is symphonic
I’ve never made curtains for these windows, stabbed by the mid-

             morning light
I pass with a broom, standing with a hose in my hand and my

             thumb against the nozzle
The loops of time droop, fall slack—and someone steps out of

             those that were his or hers, hers or his, his and hers, his
             and his, hers and hers—is it right, then, that we are left
             to hurtle alone

The girls danced in dead light, the cadavers lay in live light—but
             as for those girls, men with mouths like mare vaginas
             watched them
Every rough rupture demands elasticity of the imagination
The silver river is irreversible but you attentively watch its mouth
What you write achieves its independence though you are nimble,

             arrogant, sly and wise.
That is how you spend the day, which is itself a powerful force

             and raises the significant question “How did you get
             here?”
All suffering is in the egg—now suck it out of its shell and spit

             it away

72

Collective longer literature appeals to cloud variants over a
             crowd

See the gang, going to Alabama, tonguing cones, singing waka
             wasa bong

The robust thrush it is, stately as royalty, common as a
             pickpocket at a concert

I will not, I say, rest, I say, rotate
Let’s go now to the very next neologism and term it

             fragmentarily
Desperate he was to cry out and couldn’t, to say what he knew

             and know it
This takes adults—and very far indeed
The saxophonist breathes, takes a breath, inhales, gasps
Armadillo, yellow shovel, and empty oval
I sprawl across a bed strewn with breadcrumbs, ah ha!
At echo’s edge, a rock wall rises, a monument to leisure
The mourner chortles, she’s like a clown with sandpaper, at

             sorrow’s involuntary humor
Her remarks, his remarks, their remarks, our remarks, my

             remarks, your remarks betray
Oh there is a blading in this gentle bend

* Almost a direct quote from David Harvey, The Limits to Capital (London & NY: Verso, 2006), 2. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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