|Carol Peters, Atlanta Botanical Garden [Chris Mastin]|
Letters Come Like Small Animals
Come, candle & maroon
cilantro, green, come braid & fist.
I have prepared for you
sequences of a cathedral in blue —
no tornado-heralding downshift
to ivory plum, asparagus cream
when I say your name.
Do I draw water
a portrait, curtain, bridge, or conclusion?
Bosh fling into the spore a grew long: fling
on flew the spore, ol’
green heard. Fling on
as a hand did try to chalk the sun
to races — nurtured in the dark —
if we had put our ears to the ground
we might have heard the horses.
There is no sun in another room
but let it come out
rocking in its chair.
This is your second chance to
build a cool kitchen with free cats circumventing
like a seam on a purple yellow sari you watched spinning
as it stood on a bus.
Some of us have taken off our wigs
the immense colossal weight
of our hope. Sex is part of it
of anticipation under thin cloths
cantankerous mutiny eating through the nipples of our breasts.
Or is this what god thinks?
Or am I what god thinks?
Or am I alone?
Stones rock. Stones, rock, rockstone, stonerock
an escarpment on the wander.
Phantoms spring from your mind
and run you around like a fox or a rat
through back alleys
in the first canto of the final canticle.
Her hand composed him and composed the tree.
I mean this is measuring not
pageantry, dear sweet
silly blind Rooster
the old as simply that — but the struggle in
my flip point
doll or duck whose end ties
to you trickley jams
the bud part erasing.
Now I will rest yes in the arms as it were
of my lover he is great with a pitchfork
he loves all our senators —
So softly a lunar beam closes
as she charges his porringer
from a piggin of steamed milk.
The desert moves like a museum made of light
along the boundary of the useful
farm, what a thin light, the road swinging
uphill its two directions, the slushy ruts
this distinguished boat
now for oblivion, at sea, a
sweet and horrid joke in dubious taste —
I stole the leaded smoke-blue windows.
Two figures, unbeknownst to each other
soldered at the head, bodies angling
out like a roof
not even metal smithing nor the even-marking tires
the soles of defunct shoes
a trestle terror on the dark train —
over what? held by what?
Terrible, immense abyss —
if there’s someone falling here, half
dark half sun, like embers, into thoughts
and leaves the shapes of bottles
frostbitten, the boat in his hands
is best and when she talks of tying up her hair
his bones of such is coral
raised up out of his grave.
As a missive I proliferate
your pigeonholes of pleasure
and some geese will say
that maxim scans a lot like S&M
does. Improbable skin.
I think it’s the locked doors that have made me drunk.
I could howl out of every lock and paper-clip.
Letters come like small animals, curled in relative
warmth. Their alphabets shift when I turn.
Fierceness itself was
what made the lily flame.
[original lines taken from poems by Tom Clark, Clark Coolidge, T. Zachary Cotler, Connie Deanovich, Emily Dickinson, Stacy Doris, Robert Duncan, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Elena Fanailova, Susan Gevirtz, Noah Eli Gordon, Kate Greenstreet, Mộng Lan, Giacomo Leopardi, Osip Mandelstam, Malinda Markham, Bernadette Mayer, Shane McCrae, Sandra Meek, Joseph Millar, Hilda Morley, Paul Muldoon, Lorine Niedecker, Ethan Paquin, Kathleen Peirce, Elizabeth Robinson, Leslie Scalapino, Brenca Shaughnessy, Lauren Shufran, Heidi Lynn Staples, Wallace Stevens, Georg Trakl, Stacey Waite, Rosmarie Waldrop, Margaret Walker, John Wieners]