Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vista

Feeling well now, being able to perceive the sky-line, 
The tree-line as beautiful, as friendly,
      I have such a softness for my other self;
      There is such fidelity, 
                                         For the world will one day again become inverted.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Keys

Gabriela, in a pretty indigo Pashmina scarf, rides 
the elevator proudly with the Bamburanta
she's been nursing for Gunther, her neighbour 
three floors down. Never say Never Never, 
she likes to joke. In two months she's nursed 
the fickle plant back from its choke of 
too little light, needing to bend just below 
the threshold of too plenty, its green leaves now 
cushioned by maroon, its veins now running river clear 
and silver. Gunther, who's been struggling with his brush over
cadmium yellow or lemon, is suddenly seamlessly overtaken 
by the hints of garlic and ginger singeing in sesame oil,
anise hitting its high note and entering as ping into
the pork's skin which Mr. Feng often cooks next door, 
Mrs. Feng scenting herself privately in a floral aegis
before their bathroom mirror beneath the put-on pout 
of her alizarin crimson lips, readying herself for 
pleasurable entrances and exits. Gunther's brush 
spontaneously makes contact with cadmium and viridian 
before it hits the canvas detonating the halo over 
overthinking, a corona so bright the Bamburanta  
just might suffer once again when Miss Santos  
finally escorts it in. Meanwhile Clive, ignoring the jangling 
of the keys swinging from his part-time maintenance belt,  
slides atop his muscular thighs along the highly polished 
black and white mosaic, down the hallway floors, past 
all the closed doors, enlivened briefly and absolutely  
by his personal tempo. 

Gabriela, smiling, hurries by with the Bamburanta.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

House Keeper

If 
the scum, the piss and shit amalgam
behind the base of the toilet is yours
because you identify it 
If 
the crud and crumbs on the tray beneath the rack
where all the shining glasses are stacked
has residence in your knowledge
If
you are the one that pulls the dead rats
half calcified
like dried plums from the traps

Then 
it is no surprise that it is left to you
to do the scouring of your own soul.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Driving Through the U.P. in Winter

Traveling through the black night threaded 
with wavelengths of disorienting white
quasars darting at me, elongated, bright,
I grip the overhang trying to keep the elk managed.
They are nervous and their split hooves kick
beyond their pen. We staked the cords
for their safety but the elk snort at them as though
this place, this ground, this harem, is a prison.
I wave my arms about the height of their
dense skulls, using their eyes to keep their
shadows united with their image. In their
black pool eyes I look like a series of trees
thrashing air to ribbons. Or if you look less directly,
I'm working my silver shanks over their slippery pupils
like the teeming of migratory fishes.
The snow too, en dash, em dash, if you 
look less, is something else. Less an attack
and more a text. What is it telling you, elk?
And where, elk, where else on earth might
you want to go? And if not on this earth, then—?
I breathe, and hold on for - life? escape? death? 
inside the car hurtling through the iridescent clam's 
trapped-shut black immeasurable depth.
Looking less closely I'm switching my soul, 
a white flag on a stick, trying to coerce the 18 or so elk
back inside the borders of the corral of my chest.

Friday, January 27, 2017

pipe, and how void wears the garments

pipe 

                              Through the picture, a something white...
                                                                                 Robert Frost

thought it was the canvas, once
once i thought it was beneath the paint, the white canvas

then when i shut the valve of mind
what lay behind it was, remained

and it was not white

and not black or metal like a pipe

but pipe-like
hollow, infinite

impervious, noncorrosive

___________________


as Madeleine glistens, a meringue to memory
so paint flecks adhere to time like moonlight


the grand box my father erected far back from the road
years later proved to be but four walls nailed together, a stone's throw
a house of nothing, sweetly intriguing, alluring, somehow enduring


your skin is a finely spun garment
as scintillating as private verse
spoken through god's warm mouth 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Last Will and Testament

Trying to determine what to leave my children
so that they might carry away, into their suns,
a little golden statue of knowledge engraved my mom,
I consider but fret over the stable and graspable ephemera
like the glass body of my perfume bottle (hearkening),
my favorite tarnished spoon (digging, uncovering),
my ragged grey wool sweater (enshrouding),
maybe even a picture (shadowing), 
or a poem (a fanning pleated with winnowing).

Then pushed by the accumulating elements, 
the house reaching its climax with fire
and the pillars, friable like bones, buckling,
last moment I take up into my arms 
what's remaining in the fridge drawer,
everything, regardless of weight and shape
equalized in skin through the wilting and stink of celery,
and fling it to the side yard with an extemporaneous bellowing.

The sun responds and draws its legless mass, threatening,
and bears down excruciatingly, with the weight of its propitious glowering.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

a ceremony

man balances a rock upon a rock
world kicks at it
man hangs his head

man balances a rock upon a rock
world kicks at it
man hangs his head

man hangs his head
the rocks balance themselves upon the world
man raises his gaze 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Delivery

The box that I was in was opened.
The moon spilled in.
My limbs chortled.
My mom and dad smiled at me.
Invisible things poked at me.
I grew to inhabit the walls.
In the box with me three colours,
red, electric blue and brown.
Out of the box was green.

Occasionally yellow settled 'round.
As it lessened, they lowered me into the ground.

Monday, January 23, 2017

why it hurts to be out there, away, notes

how i love being in this world. real, deep, meaningful, uninterrupted being.

there is a strange inverse that occurs in being.

to go out there and to subject oneself to the Largess of societal being, to be swept up in the flux which occurs through the established structure, this is less being. one is consumed by the overriding environment. one is lost in the stream of architecture. one becomes blind in front of a cacophony of screens declaring a truthdom which is instead a conglomeration of lies. and the screens are not literal, although they're this too now. but metaphorical concussive understandings that have been defined and erected by others. what a community is. country is. family is. what morality is. what political rightness is. what thinking is. value is. desire is. truth is. and which responses are justified.

more being occurs when one limits one's interference. when one focuses on certain aspects. (thereby excluding many. this being the irony.) when one touches colour. or is touched by sound. when one pours oneself into one's body and interfaces directly like energy and tool, allowing a forgetfulness of which is which. more being occurs when one uses one's hands and covers one's eyes and sees instead of blackness or blankness, more. sees huge swathes of beaches or oceans, mountains, forests. when one touches ones bones. when one touches stones. when one touches things and feels reverberations.

standing in the middle of my bedroom the other night something moved through the neighbourhood. the water in the glass on my nightstand wavered. and even along that abridged distance something important happened. light was refracted off small waves. then i noticed the plastic pendalogues on our cheap chandelier near my head jangling. and my whole body vibrated. i could feel the vibrations move up from the floor, into me and through me, exiting into the air. i felt it all rise to a climax. and then diminish. and i felt my understanding of the situation unfolding during the happening. the collecting of evidence from waves on water, to glass, to body, to heights. it all felt of great import to notice. and noticing made me a part of it.

i don't know what it was that traveled by. but something did. and the world was altered.

if i rushed out to the world what would i be rushing to?

standing in front of my kitchen window i can see the ice which has been advancing as a huge sheet off my roof, as the temperatures continue on unnaturally over freezing. patterns of lace punch through during the melting.

the whole house will shake when it finally lets go.

i can close my eyes and feel the bones of my face beneath my skin. my future is here.

*


when sounds enter the room
the walls talk to one another

no one's listening

the concept of love
is intrinsic with the colour pink
to the rose


the smell of your hair
is a bridge
home

holding up the mirror
i must believe
there is no audience






We do not slip into this world

The theatre curtain does not rise.

We don't arrive.


We are. Then not.

The are-ing tears at its equal shadow.

The tear is a toothless mutable mouth of sex and terror.

Terror is the not-ing.

Sex is the theatre of more making.

It is in this schism everything exists.

I am raked by thanks and tears for this eventful error.

Night Comes and Comes

We like to play at grief.
Wear its dress-up clothes.
Wax poetic.
Wail histrionic.
But when it comes
it comes. 
It's attack - quiet like the snail's track.
Final.
Exact.

There's no next act.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

notes on running, in the same place, over and over, January 17, 2016

Having had the same legs. Having had the same body. Having had the same brain. Running through the woods. Running up the tote road. Running by way of the same machine. Turning over the same distance. Turning by cadence the same rocks. Turning beneath the same sphincter of sunlight. Thoughts changing.

Moving as though a part of the kaleidoscope. Moving linearly. Understanding then and now. Understanding then and now will move like the ladder rungs into the future. Nevertheless sun spatter on the bones like light on the understory. Moving as part of the kaleidoscope. Separating. Dividing. Merging. Picking up on old patterns. Remembering by points your convergence. Running forward and diverging. Understanding one can not possibly remember it all.

So. Forgetting It All.

But remembering some of it. Remembering some as though it's encoded in your body. Remembering some as though your will is mute. Remembering some as though you are inarticulate matter. Remembering by way of forgetfulness of the self. You are the swamp and its seasons without sentiment.

Then a sudden rush of sentiment returning. Remembering yourself distinct as you move through the distance. Distance which is; In its epitome; Birdsong. Birdsong being eternal. Birdsong transcending the bird. You are one bird. And so much less than one too.

birds in the treescape
birds calling to you
a bird in your hand

your hand's a bird

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Keratin

Nearing despair
the woman plucks
the found eagle's feather
from the glass jar
nesting in the windowsill

its calamus a quill
the shaft vibration's home of the pen's will

and the glass jar 
with light's glare
an inkwell

despair 
whisks away
for homely 
durable
things like this
can be built.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Collector of Dead Things

Diorama in the box of the kitchen window
bathed in the blowsy kisses of late day yellow light:
grouse's wing, turtle's egg, wolf's jawbone,
the husk of what was once bumblebee,  
then threat and buzz,  
now necropolis of many and one.
Possession. Whose possession(s)?

Collecting dead things... 

Perhaps one might be tempted to say
I've corrugated a mirror. But I haven't. 
My hands are here with me on this side
and what I've made exists on this side too.

And made? Really? What have I made?
If the turtle is squirted into his shell at world's beginning
and in a matter of fact manner lugs it across the road, 
has he made anything?

*

I seem to be in conversation with this poem, "I Collected Dead Things as a Child" by Nita Penfold. but the conversation is moreover between us and the world up close and what beats or breathes or doesn't, behind it.

Quite literally my kitchen window is full of these things: grouse's wing, turtle eggs, wolf jawbone and vertebra, queen bee, robin's egg, wings yet attached by bone, porcupine quills, an assortment of feathers: blue jay's, cardinal's, woodpecker's, crow's and eagle's. There are also found pieces of glass (broken and intact), an iron nail emancipated from an abandoned structure, driftwood, shale, milk glass, an inkwell, bark, plants, little gifts from the children, a kitten card from my mother-in-law, an old cracked saucer, handmade dice...  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Some Images of Women

i.

f.w. has left this world to go looking for her image elsewhere.

elsewhere f. w. does not confuse sadness for happiness.

happiness and sadness blend together elsewhere as a whole number.

f.w. raises her camera to take that picture but finds her hands are implicit in the.

ii.

a.c.r. has taken a step past grammar.

there grammar means foil flapping as feathers in the wind.

wind blows straight through walls there.

walls fall beneath the body  slip in  like the longue chaise.

iii.

x.x. is not dead.

not dead can confuse integers with fractions.

fractions are the black camera resting from the black strap between her white breasts.

her white breasts shake and blur.

(f.w. francesca woodman, a.c.r. alix cléo roubaud)

pardon me, sir

please, forgive me. 
it is only that i absolutely forget 
what poetry is. 

and I'm not sure how to find it. 

(although it might only be a millimetre away
inside my throat,
until i have the fish firmly 
in my mouth -
i panic.)

 *

panicking

my husband says
close your eyes
put your hands on your cheeks 
and take three full breaths

1. an empty courtyard
2. fleeted pigeons
3. the temporary loss of whole numbers

*

sky sky empty sky above
immeasurable length to land
a vigorous case of vertigo

____

Argumentum Ornithologicum by Jorge Luis Borges

I close my eyes and see a flock of birds. The vision lasts a second or perhaps less; I don’t know how many birds I saw. Were they a definite or an indefinite number? This problem involves the question of the existence of God. If God exists, the number is definite, because how many birds I saw is known to God. If God does not exist, the number is indefinite, because nobody was able to take count. In this case, I saw fewer than ten birds (let’s say) and more than one; but I did not see nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two birds. I saw a number between ten and one, but not nine, eight, seven, six, five, etc. That number, as a whole number, is inconceivable; ergo, God exists.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Church, The Steeple, Despite the People

If you are on your red knees
by your metal bed
in your threadbare nightgown
praying

And some lunatic
or lunatics
are screaming at you
through the walls

Focus on your hands
your knees
how cold the frame is
the small heat generated between your fingers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Making Art and Body

There are (let's say) six things in every life.

Run your hands over them.
Squeeze them to get milk.
And yellow.

leaving barbarians and beasts behind, notes on walking

I'm at the trailhead and want to enter into the forest.

I'm at the trailhead ready to leave it all behind.

I am eager at the trailhead.

I imagine a handheld mirror. Or a glassless one. A stark white room. A glare that pares. An immaculate perfection.

I am at the trailhead and anxious like a horse. Eager for the opening. Direly driven for expansion.

At the trailhead it is easy to smile and nod at others.

*

At the trailhead a strange man mistakes my smile and nod as a call to be an image and its photograph. He rises and floods himself trying to match what he imagines he sees in the mirror. Tears past his thin skin and freckles. Drives himself toward me like a bulge of bilge from a toilet. He is chatting at me at the trailhead but every word has suckers and stickers. Tentacles and claws. He is grasping at me, pawing, drawing. He wants to play a little game of man reigns as stocky king and violence. He doesn't know I have no energy I care to give him. He doesn't know there is no energy to be gained. He doesn't know we barely exist but for some verbdom.

I'm smiling out of a face which longs to be empty.

So I turn instead toward the trailhead and enter the place of undoing. Where pine needles fall as pine needles. Where the changing glow upon the snow is the draftsman's finest argument.

*

"...those who do not see the flower are no different from barbarians, and those who do not imagine the moon are akin to beasts. Leave barbarians and beasts behind and follow nature and return to nature."             Basho

*

you bark, you bray

but the silence beyond you
calls so much louder

walking is a lot like thinking

it takes time 
and work
to get there


don't you want to take light
lift it like a living veil
and enfold it like a leavening tool?

glitter on snow
splinters of form and light
meaning, proof

Monday, January 16, 2017

understanding directionality and impact, notes

My daughter and I are moving from the east side of the street to the west.

Wait. Less obvious.

My daughter and I are going from Canadian Tire to the Mall's Pet Store.

Again. Reduced.

___

My daughter has the litter box on the floor in the middle of the aisle. She moves the plastic tabs and works the plastic locks. I have already given up. It doesn't make sense. To me it is one contiguous half box. Yet the label demonstrates that there is a lid and that the trap door on the lid will open. But it is all locked in one harmonious uninviting-cat-bolus.

After she performs the four delicate clicks, all of the layers let go and what was obvious is revealed. A base. A lid. And a little door for Whiskers to enter and exit.

Then we hit the patch of ice.

___


We are traveling sideways. Counter to the direction of our car's frame and tires. A way not designed for us.

Inside the car we are about to hit, the driver and his wife are laughing. Leaning forward and laughing. Hitting the steering wheel and laughing.

We sail on like this. Unable to right our course. And they continue on like maniacal clowns. Leaning. Lurching. Laughing.

Before our vehicles collide I say, Why in the world are they laughing? It doesn't make sense!

My daughter suggests, They must be laughing at something else.

Then we hit.


from where i sit
i can see the big spider
but not the work that he clearly works upon

i put down my dust cloth
and wonder just what it is
my hands have been up to

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Love

The children want to know if I love them more than James.
They are small hungry fires with maniacal smiles.

How can I explain to them that what is love is white gasoline?
Not the gas itself, but what maneuvers through it.

I say yes for brevity, for none of it is the same.
My love for them is the supernova's sear of iron,

for him a silver receptacle of self flung through the chill of stars,
for my parents a crouching low kind of mephetic pelage.

But yes, dears, yes, let's say I love you most
for the rust of iron tastes most like blood 

and iron itself can bludgeon.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Furcula

The television has been turned off.
We've entered the warm haze of the kitchen.
The hard bobs of potatoes have been boiled through
so that their flesh has been rendered to a place of butter.
The green beans have been pushed beyond their barrier
and slide slack now to our plates' sides. 
And the chicken has been fully healed of death,
to become, instead, succulent. 
My mother has withdrawn the wishbone.
It sits in the kitchen window drying.
We eye one another suspiciously.
We each want to tear it apart and prevail 
with the larger part of the fused clavicles.

It takes me thirty years and kids of my own
to realize she really didn't.
She was only pretending. 
What acted as a guy-wire to pretense
was her intention, 
to give me a few precious signals, 
nourishment.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Myth That I Have You

night beasts
hungry ones

remain nightly
remain hungry

wander not far from my breast

the jangling near of your being bodies is a small deceit i sell myself
so that i might manage the lonely manger of my many selves

little animals
mother's menagerie

if i am a mother
then without you i am what?

squawks in the nighttime
emptinesses lurching forward

assessment, apertures and grace notes, notes

oh no, another shit blog, another shit selfie, another shit journey, another shit poem.

dear kids, are you tired of my eggplant?
dear lover, does my cunt bore you?
dear god, how long you hold this flute's note...

i lift the blankets to crawl into bed
apparently this opening is a doorway
i become haunted by truths which sleep in daylight


1. existence occurs in tireless circles
2. we are other than trees and piles of stone
3. the weight of the difference is immeasurable

the aperture's grace note:

humanity can see itself

                            the eye blinks

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Cold Dwelling Place of Starlight

I walk amongst you
A zephyr's mirror
A leprosy
A fire

My plans only concern themselves...

Destroying your comfort, your safety
Ahhh, realizing eternity's lack of pity

I've two snakes for eyes
And each snake
Has eyes of its own

I am humanity's omega
Hell
Havoc

I walk within you.

necessary stages of light

                                  appraise, be appraised and praise









Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Crack of Ice as Sheer Volume

The mind
on a winter's morning
wants to rise up
and violently assault the walls
in a barrage of 
mangoes, pomegranates and kumquats

The mind wants to claw up 
through the frozen earth
with the remaining bones
of a half liquidated corpse

Wants to trumpet 
the occasion of cold
with a hacksaw

The mind 
on a winter's morning
can sit transfixed for hours 
like an ancient turtle

then in a split second
cover more ground than an agitated alligator

and snap your goddamned imbecilic hand off!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

! again, notes

what is this longing?

that something must dislodge?

that something must break the surface?

that the iceberg must present itself?

that the dark must crack its spine and break to light?

it is morning and still dark. in the darkness it feels, remotely, possible.

(it? resolution?)

but by the time the light occurs it feels the opportunity is already lost even inside the quivering of the yet possible.

lost. lost. it is lost. the chance is lost.

and yet a faint music trembles through the air and i race through the corridors of memory trying to unlock each door.

were i to find it, might my hands be capable?

were i to find it, might my skin receive?

were i to find it, would i cross through to some other world?

i find myself in the hallways running. always. always. always running. always my hands are empty, rattling doorknobs.

my skin rises off of me like a ghostly mouth and shouts in frustration. screams in terror. moans its long demand.

i would like to buy a key, please
i'll barter you these two eggs in a basket
and a bucketful of lies for the sworded answer

the lady puts her hand upon the searing element
when you ask her why
silently she traces its spiral


a number of planes

the noisy one of numbers
the one of colours resulting in the stream
the infinitude of clouds

Winter Driving

I-75 through Michigan
is treacherous in january.
I grip the steering wheel.
My tires, per usual, are bald.
Every other able vehicle
blasts by me.
I repeat to myself a mantra,
Drive according to ability
and in accordance with conditions.

Off to the side
a coven of crows 
hovers like greedy embers, 
or airborne maggots,
over the open carcass of a deer.

My eyes will not let off it.

I carry a shovel in my trunk for emergencies.

Shovel on. Shovel off.

What load?

What carrion is. 
What carrion devours.

What's not carrion?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Variation and Inheritance

All lifelong things are one way.
Then mid-life someone breaks onto my scene, 
steps forward, enters the beam of light
usually meant for me centre stage.
I listen as they speak.
What they say I take as gospel.
Like iron bits from water to the teakettle
little nails are left in the illumined circle.
When they exit I hammer them into the light.
The beam holds.

Then we meet again. And she retells the same story.
Except the action is slightly altered.

The first time she sets the scene 
he's sitting intensely concentrated on the back step
when the change comes over him,  
maybe four or five.
The denouement remains.
But it is the intimate hairs on his little nape I remember.

The second time he is out back 
inclined against the outhouse
studying the sun's beam passing over dirt as though 
someone at a distance is tracing earth with a hand lens.
Things might, if the emanation clenches, erupt in fire.
But the beam travels on and so things are, 
last second, released.

Time passes. And he remains
the man I know
despite the change of scene. 

In this version
I can trace the floss
which will become his beard
upon his little face.

She cries on cue with the coda. 

But her eyes are dangerous to me.
They're clear like my own. 
Believe what they say.
Would cleave bedrock out of air to prove it.

The hair on my neck is standing.