Monday, September 27, 2010

126. USA Today

Denis Peterson, "USA Today" (2010)
The following poem is a response to this painting


half letter half letter
of water and collapsing
into sleep a half letter
of water and collapsing
to a welter that is water

pray to the god of sitting
on a stack of newspapers
and collapsing into sleep
and half letters of water
boxed and stacked up to

with a letter as praying
of words with hands held
pleached in stasis and a
half letter like water
running through the body

what body still with water
and letters running half into
words and working out to
collapsing half-bowing into
sleep that runs and through him

material life that holds him
as a culture of making
letters of his sleep as
eyeless sleeping makes by
water the race of waking

print as news as fit as foot
as a footfall fallen and
in stasis staying and there
in stacks of paper and of
prints and silent eyeless on

dollied into piles of space
or spacing and out as if
to sleep or seen through wind
as windows holding all of it
separate as if separable from

half a letter as a half a liter
of water sitting as if sleeping
as if water’s form of sleeping
before slipping down a throat
as if running as if woken from

eyeless for his head is bowed
and bowed allows for sleeping
as if in prayer and silent
but not wordless only voiceless
but thought or as it’s visible

window taking shape of light
as water taking shape of
holder as hands might hold
the air from moving as the
moving’s done and then it ends

window as a port to darkness
or windows as the way to light
as sight in sifting through living
like life’s images’ flickering motion
making out what’s already made

want as head is bowed and
praying forms the shape
of body’s being locus of
the form of thinking
sleep and sound will take

cloth as clothing as a word
as paper and page as sheet
as side as sight and he
as air as water running
and light as breath as sift

skin as flesh as light as
paint as sleep as slipping
off and water slaking flowing
evaporation off then drying
draw as drawing paint as dry

maybe number of the liters
of the letters of the words
of the words within the lines
of the lines within the poem
of the brushstrokes made of paint

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