Thursday, February 27, 2014

River and Plough

This side of the river has been inhabited for 25,000 years.
A grassy stop for amber between the Baltic Sea
and Mycenae

(we have passed around those spiders trapped
in sap,

we labored and bloomed together
through the Bronze age.

We told a lot of stories then, about birth, the sun's ascent,
and love the phenomenon -which made kings of ploughmen,
and the cruel black bird which tore the eyes from 
a braver face, that open face, that estuary-
it shone even at night

it held me in its hand)

the river now is still green and wide, it touches the feet
of gravity hills, where all our fears roll upward 

and we still gather honey for our broken skin there.
Our wounds still hurt but not so bad as before.
Not so bad as all that. Dusk heals all that.

I almost feel as if I am standing at the edge of
a greater mercy

as if I am standing at the edge of
a silt-lined tributary,

and I remember how watergrass feels,
so flossy, trampled down in the muck,

walking on rocks, falling down hard,

as brief time slipped like a slender trout
past my ankles.

And brief time seems not so vicious now,
just a reflection of our rolling chests,
our steady breath,

our rotating seasons.

Young women,
crouched with mal de mer and

Still grapple for the body of the tempest.

The most frightening part is
waiting for the fall,

the best is a rib on their rib.
We think of the ploughman,
and the dream of woven tendons,

our fingers spread wide as
sun rays against bowed backs

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Arachne Revisited

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. 

And Darjeeling which is supposed to be like a light 
spring dance 

is bitter and cruel in my mouth. 

And I feel betrayed by my body's own humble 

and I seem not to grow more wise with time. 

I no longer have any quarrel with Arachne. 
She's not the only dumb cunt here. 

I thought I held something in my hand, 
once, too, 

I thought I owned 

and never do. 

Arachne: I am tired. 
Grief is a long country mile. 

Arachne, I am insufferably bad at 
almost everything. 

I forgive you, trapped behind a canvas,
looking like a lover (there's your trouble.)

Can you forgive me? 

I never meant it 

Arachne Tryptic


Arachne has been wringing blood out of the boy-now-man I love.
It's enough to make me wish for things like
golden morning light, I would like to submerge him
even for a moment

in some warm atmospheric sweetness

that could sink low from the heathen

and soothe those wracks here on Earth.

The day before yesterday, as I walked on the street, I was a vision of myself old.


Out, out, damned wild fear of failure
out, out damned wild fear of loss

I'm afraid of missing the boat
I'm afraid this man doesn't want me each morning with breakfast,

doesn't want me each night in his bed-

And I fear I make love to abstract mythos
because reasons,
because reasons...

I really do love you though.
And losing you would efface my goodness like bleach.
And losing you would punch me in the chest.

I wish I could find Arachne and reason with her,
the cold logic of intellectual superiority, dumb cunt

keep her fickle blades away from my tenuous partner

is it crazy that I can't stop thinking about the way he said
and the way he said


I am experiencing some discomfort in your absence,

My desire to know everything wins.

If you really want me that bad
put your fingers in my

if you really want me that bad
put your eyes in my

live your life in my

give me each brief knuckle no holds barred
give me each bone without conditions

especially that one that one is my favorite one
I choose that one for particular

bouts of percussive instrumentation

I choose that one to sharpen up these canines

I collect radioactive rain in the hollows of
your sternum

I almost think god thought of me
when they, musing, made your body

built it out of chalky dust, fish from lakes,
it's like I say all your blood is busy
keeping your marrow warm

and your hands are cold as a tree in the night

on my belly

The Softer Sonnet

I think the softer sonnet might be for me-

Grandma always said, “A villanelle,
a villanelle,”

but I've had enough of villains and I've had enough
of dreary, steep climbs.

I'm a woman and I know what I desire.
My desires, neither cataclysmic nor vague:

I was a very fragile child but I grew to hold
a vicious love for those whom I would keep close.

I have been sick sometimes and shaky but the joke is on
my own cruel God, and mud in her eye.

I've been buckled. I've never been mastered.

Still sometimes I feel sick again, and I feel that pulse
of metal pain in my head,

and the full merciless moon makes me wish
for a man

a man who runs a little warm, to lay down on my body,
foot to foot and crown to crown

to steam the ache out of me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cataclysmic Variable Poem

Cataclysmic variable stars are stars which 
find qualification unnecessary. 

They is what they is and they does what they do. 

Ride it out ride it out ride it out

It's as that old book says, 
"A star made flesh" 

I've become a practical woman 
grainy adages and gray hair 

And sometimes, I'm a buckling 

sometimes I crush your weight against my 
weight, abandon logos 

for the helium flash, leave ethos 
wherever I took my shoes off. 

I like to lie under things like 
the pulsation of speakers or 
your chest or 

your white belly or a familiar 
sun or a scalding 


it's called 

and it means 
crush me with your coral ribs. 

it's called nova 
and it means 

cover me with your smell



The definition of stasis is a bath of warm blue fluid
which raises and

sustains the usual wonderings.

The definition of love fell prey to the anesthetic death of language, love the stone in my

when I try to swallow past grief, love the blank-faced soldier wiped out along with
the following henchmen:

Good/evil. Light/dark. Freedom/captivity.

But a perihelion:

a perihelion is the moment I meet
my maker.

Perihelion is a ride in the

I count emergency phone boxes and
fall asleep,

dream of Hale Bopp because

I was a small child born into astral years

with much to dream about and some things to wish for.

Perihelion is the living ghost in my chest:
it moves, dilates,

as if newly born and made aware of
some sun, some gravity- the brilliant cacaphony

of the stars, or the sweet
sadness of our wasted environment.

(Wasted as the very old are
wasted, dry and full of aches.)

The ghost (swells and) pulsates, swoops
like a fledgling hope

I call it aura because it sleeps but never dies
and bleeds colors

I think I'll kiss you in the exosphere

I think the moment might call for it.

I think of the dimension of desire,
of things meteoric and difficult to explain,

of what is sudden and not, and all at once

the best feeling
of all feelings
is relief

relief in the deep, warm amniotic

Relief beneath wide skies.

Some thoughts on Language

I find language very interesting, in the way that it is interesting to watch any small thing negotiate a large burden. It's always interesting when a bunch of ants carry a stick around. 

Language seems sort of endearing and quaint. Feeling love for one another, we attempt to express it with a systematic hiss and guttural hocking noise. If it seems a flawed means of evocation, I suppose that it is. 

Music seems a more apt means of evocation in many ways, though the invocation varies again, and is sometimes, though of course not always, dependent on a material object.

Sometimes I encounter music that makes me feel like language, words- are just sporks angled toward a steak dinner. For example, as I write this, I listen to Tangerine Dream's "Hyperborea." It is hard to imagine words producing such an incisively nuanced ennui.

Words are a strange artillery, because our English language only uses so many, and we are reluctant to add new ones to the old stock. Sometimes we're even reluctant to take old ones for a spin, and end up referring to alien abductions as "trippy," to botched murder trials as "fucked."

I wonder what we would say to each other if we had more fitting words. If there was one word for the feeling -of yearning with my entire body to hold your foot, there, in that black sock- would I say it?

And if there was one word to express that I have inarticulable feelings, of great tenderness and laughter and trepidation and glow, and lots of other feelings which allow for even less description, would I say that to you?

Maybe I'll just resort to saying yes. Yes to almost everything- yesyesyes- maybe, if I do, the varied prizes of communication will just fall into my hands. Maybe I'll be slapped and laughed at and embraced, inscrutably stared at, spat at, maybe someone will wrap their hand's breadth around my forehead and say I know, I know.


The most magical thing of all was his hair and
her hand, when she pulled it out of his hair, her hand 
long minutes later when

she lifted it to her nose, in the bathroom, in front of the 
wavy mirror, and could smell his hair. She could smell
it: It smelled like alive
and like him, and this was nice. It was a warm
welcome reminder that he was in the living room, on the couch.

It was a nice reminder of his aliveness.

She liked the warm greasy smell of his hair,
and the pale, soft feeling of his stomach (skinny, rib like
a long flute, carved strangely)

she liked it all and was glad he didn't die.

He told her, that's the thing
about ashkenazi jews/ we have iqs that are a little higher
and bodies that are falling apart.
It's the inbreeding.

It's the love affair. It's not on purpose. And his last name
(which doesn't seem so strange) nonetheless dies with him.

He said it hurts very bad because it feels like death, but
he's not afraid of death anymore, and grabs every day by the balls.

And he said that classical music
is the only thing that makes him cry.

In Berlin, listening:
to one soprano, and one piano,
"I cried my eyes out"

it all felt good that night, really good, and
more like home than most places. It felt very
likely to thrive, and she wanted to be the woman
sitting next to him.

In the theater or, on the couch or,
wherever- "You already know two ways to control me,"
he said.

She sunk her tender claws
into his hair again.

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