Wednesday, November 27, 2013

C. D. Wright

C. D. Wright [Brown]

from C. D. Wright's Like Something Flying Backwards: New & Selected Poems:

Floating Trees

a bed is left open to a mirror
a mirror gazes long and hard at a bed

light fingers the house with its own acoustics

one of them writes this down
one has paper

bed of swollen creeks and theories and coils
bed of eyes and leaky pens

much of the night the air touches arms
arms extend themselves to air

their torsos turning toward a roll
of sound: thunder

night of coon scat and vandalized headstones
night of deep kisses and catamenia

his face by this light: saurian
hers: ash like the tissue of a hornets' nest

one scans the aisle of firs
the faint blue line of them
one looks out: sans serif

"Didn't I hear you tell them you were born
on a train"

what begins with a sough and ends with a groan
groan in which the tongue's true color is revealed

the comb's sough and the denim's undeniable rub
the chair's stripped back and muddied rung

color of stone soup and garden gloves
color of meal and treacle and sphagnum

hangers clinging to their coat
a soft-white bulb to its string

the footprints inside us
iterate the footprints outside

the scratched words return to their sleeves

the dresses of monday through friday
swallow the long hips of weekends

a face is studied like a key
for the mystery of what it once opened

"I didn't mean to wake you
angel brains"

ink of eyes and veins and phonemes
the ink completes the feeling

a mirror silently facing a door
door with no lock no lock

the room he brings into you
the room befalls you

like the fir trees he trues her
she nears him like the firs

if one vanishes one stays
if one stays the other will or will not vanish

otherwise my beautiful green fly
otherwise not a leaf stirs

Scratch Music

How many threads have I broken with my teeth. How many times
have i looked at the stars and felt ill. Time here is divided into before
and since your shuttering in 1978. I remember hanging on to the
hood of the big-fendered Olds with a mess of money in my purse.
Call that romance. Some memory precedes you: when I wanted
lederhosen because I'd read Heidi. And how I wanted my folks to
build a fallout shelter so I could arrange the cans. And coveting
Mother's muskrat. I remember college. And being in Vista: I asked
the librarian in Banks, the state's tomato capital, if she had any black
literature and she said they used to have Little Black Sambo but the white
children tore out pages and wrote ugly words inside. Someone said
if I didn't like Banks I should go to Moscow. I said, Come on, let's go
outside and shoot the hoop, I've got a jones to beat your butt. I haven't
changed. Now if I think of the earth's origins, I get vertigo. When I
think of its death, I fall. I've picked up a few things. I know if you
want songbirds, plant berry trees. If you don't want birds, buy a
rubber snake. I remember that town with the Alcoa plant I toured.
The manager kept referring to the workers as Alcoans. I thought of
hundreds of flexible metal beings bent over assemblages. They
sparked. What would I do in Moscow. I have these dreams — relatives
loom over my bed. We should put her to sleep, Lonnie says. Go home
old girl, go home, my aunt says. Why should I go home before her I
want to say. But I am bereft. So how is life in the other world. Do
you get the news. Are you allowed a pet. But I wanted to show you
how I've grown, what I know: I keep my bees far from the stable,
they can't stand how horses smell. And I know sooner or later an old
house will need a new roof. And more than six years have whistled
by since you blew your heart out like the porchlight. Reason and
meaning don't step into another lit spot like a well-meaning stranger
with a hat. And mother's mother, who has lived in the same house
ten-times-six years, told me, We didn't know we had termites until
they swarmed. Then we had to pull up the whole floor. "Too late, no
more . . .," you know the poem. But you, you bastard. You picked up a
gun in winter as if it were a hat and you were leaving a restaurant:
full, weary, and thankful to be spending the evening with no one.

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