Monday, November 15, 2010

175. If I Had the Time, I’d Tell You All About It

I have been reduced
to fragments and there
are 26 fragments to
make sense of
what’s left:


Gored by an ox
but’t’s better’n bored

Or so we might
be led to believe
(and the lie in
the middle of it)

Everything begins
in the eye i’ th’middle
of it, stretching
without moving out,
without in


If I had a baby’s body but
my fontanel filled in,
no lanugo lining my back,
not crying for a drink,
tho my head still
bald and sunny, I would
be just the man I am
making just the poems
I do, each a little
intricacy or delicacy or
subtle extricacy of
the mind,

But of the body
because of the tongue,
for the tongue guides
them if not toward
you at least outward.

Don’t (I would say to
you because it is my
duty to have some
concern for you, dear
reader) worry about
finding a way into
the poem. Just pretend
you are already inside.


What is the unmarked
form of a letter when
the capital is identical
to the minuscule except
for size? which is little
more than a relative
guide to meaning.

How many cubic
centimeters of words
could you take in before
your head would go
all dazed and dizzy
from the drug of it?


She wants a little real
soft thing, maybe like the edge
of a blanket running silkwise.
She wants a little sound
upon the little tip of the top
of her tongue against the
roof that holds the rain out
from her mouth. A little pop,
and almost T, along that ridge.
And she sings it out to herself:

T t t t T t t t T t t t T t t t T
T t t t T t t t T t t t T t t t T
T t t t T t t t T t t t T t t t T
T t t t T t t t T t t t T t t t T
T t t t T t t t T t t t T t t t T


We had an ear for, we had
an earful, we had an earwig
in an ear and wiggling or
wriggling (we never knew
which), and we were wearing
bright white wigs the color
of sclera, and guns were
going off in our ears, and we
were fearful we would forget
and tearful we would remember
what it was we were hearing
it for, what it was we needed.

But we had an ear for it, so
we figured it out like a problem,
something quadratic but un-
able to swim, a kind of dance,
and four of them all around us,
trapping us in a cubic thought.
Everything was for four and
going fore and forth, but we
lived a lean unleavened life
inside a trap that was only 3D.


Every night, his mother-nothing,
his mothering thing, his thin
other muttering one, came in to
find him under the unders of the
covers of his bed to see if he
were still awake and reading in
the wee hours of the night and
holding in the pee of himself
so that he could read the dull
black word of it into color, to read
the dull black word of it into song.

Every night, this other mothering
thing would ring her voice up to
the notch that would a tiny buzzing
send into his ear so deep he could
feel the sound of it, and she would
rasp, her ear against his nose, her
mouth against her ear, “Stop it.
Stop it right now. Stop playing with
your words. Stop playing with your
works. Stop playing with your
wurst. And try to learn something!”


I’m a one-story may in a two-
storey g, and I got a house to
count the floors of someday when
I have the time for arithmetic.
They’ve told me I need a way
to count the steps up to the
second storey of the g so I’d be
sure to guess the reason for the
swooping at the bottom. The way
it swoops, the way it swings,
the way it stands still and slides
all around, like the world moves
around the dead center of an eye.

Gee, I love this gig of gauging
how much guff I cannot give.


She came lithe and houynhmn-like.


She came lithe and houynhmn-like
lately along the lake, and what she
carried was less than nothing but
more’n she’d need for thirst to slake.

Deep tubes of the H, and aching,
sturdy pylons to hold th’alphabet
in place, a space to rest the word
for now, a reason now to sleep.


What have I did now?
What could I don’t wrong?

Where is I now been?
Where am I done gone?

Why will I be hear?
Why will I been sound?

Which of I was heard?
Which would I want done?

Who are I now flown?
Who were I drumbeat?


Simply put, as if down, but
firmly, in the form or manner
of a decision, I can attest to
you, my hands upon my sacred
coupled selves, that this is just
a joke, a jittery test of jesting,
a gesture as if language or
languishing, the jaunt we take
when boredom runs too deep
t’allow the candle to burn out.


Another’n and we are kaput,
maybe a head cut off to roll,
or a ball you kick down alley,
a little game of kick and run.

To boil the water in a kettle
to turn it into steam that we
might breathe right into us.


The llama is llearning to spit into
a cup. The llama is llawning all over
the grass. The llama is llipping
like little black dogs. Don’t take
a llama for granted. She never forgets,
and she never loses her name.

If there were a twelve llamas here now,
there’d be enough for a herd or a dozen.


She is moaning in the dark
over chocolate and Armagnac. She is measuring
for the curtains made of velvet, all in black.
She meanders through the day. She is
Wednesday when in Spain. She remembers
everything, even that
that never happened.


More’n half way to the end, and I’ve lost my sense of count.
More’n quarter to the middle, and I mount my sturdy steed.
More’n eighth to the beginning, and I’m standing still in place.
More’n sixteenth to th’ thought of it, and I’m moving ever backwards.

Holding hemidemisemiquaver, and no-one left can hear it.


O, write an ode to Ovid, omitting no omission.


The want between between and the want beneath begin
leave the want betwixt belittle and the want before besiege.

The want beside bewitching and the want bestride bejeweled
abandon wants befitting bedraggled and the want beheading beauty.

There is no explosion of thought or sound or sought.


She stood in a line
aligned with choirs
and sang a line from
a song of stars.

She sat at a foot
of a bed or a man
and she sighed in
a line like a line of a thought.


Are you experienced enough
to understand the responsibilities
expected of you in this grave matter?

Are you an aardvark and given
to eating insects with your tongue?

Are you an ostrich or Astrid or astride
a courser galloping away?


Doodle in a swooping
in a sweeping in a swiping
in a swatting in a
switching in a swilling in
a swearing in a sweating
in a swishing in a
swamping in a swerving
in a swinging in
a swindling in a swatting
in a swaddling in a
swarming in a swooning

in a sword
in as word
in a word

in a nod
in a not
in a notting.


Take a tin toy from the trunk.
Take a rusty tin toy from the trundled trunk.
Take and old and rusty tin toy from the trusty trundled trunk.

And open the trunk
And open the trunk up
And open the trunk right up

Open the trusty trundled trunk up
Take the rusty tin toy out
Take the rusty tin truck out

Take out of the trusty trundled trunk
The trusty rusty tin toy truck

And play with it
Without cutting your fingers

Without cutting your fingers
Even once


In the bowl of the one called you
or in the bowl of the eye of the one called you

What you find in the bowl of your milk-white eye
What you find in the bowl of your milk

What I find in the bowl of you
What you find in the bowl of my eye

What my eyes together see as the shape of you
What the bowl of your u’s makes out of the ones called us


I have retried to finish the opening

I have opened the finish to retie the opening closed

I have finished retying to finish the opening

I have opened the closing to retry the tie

I have tied the opening closed to refinish the trying

I have varnished it all into place

And let it dry

Even my keys are frozen into its surface

So I cannot leave


Wilted and wavering,
the dream of dreaming to sleep
and the dream of waking from dream
the dream of walking from wake
and the sleep of dreaming awake

Whispered and wondering,
the wind of the sound of the reed
the realm of the reason to read
the song of the summons to sing
and the slumber in it

Wintered and withering,
the dreamt of the mountain of sleep
the scent of the fountain so deep
the meant of the bounty so blunt
the crept of the country to hunt


A trance of a cross in a chance of a day,
and insight that allows you to see outwards
through the crosshairs and to the spot
where it is marked that it is there.

What we see in a nothering night and oceans
of blackness coming at us again and again,
what would be waves and wet if they were water,
but which are cold and black the color of cold
and deep and dark and deepening into fear, and
a crack in the side of the night would only open
the night to let the night flow in, inky and pure
in its blackness, so much so that it would be
India for us, China for the French, and our skin
so black, so black, so black, like night, not human,
but all of us under and swollen with night and
so much so the color of night that we’d become
the night itself and lose ourselves past out fear,
as if we had been the point we’d been trying to
reach, trying to make, the whole time through.


You’d’ve thought a frail thing like
her and her fingers like tiny plastic
rails on a doll house would’ve broken
at the strain of simply existing in
the strangle of life so strange and
frightening, and you’d’ve thought
a trail would lead like breadcrumbs
thinly in a wandering line would’ve
reached her by now so that he
could’ve been the one to save her by
now, so late, almost morning except
that it is morning, only dark, and
you’d’ve thought, and you’d’ve been
wrong once again, so so wrong, that
a grail would be a prize for her to
want and keep and live as if she
were in proper form and a stunning
success as the process of living,
as if she’d’ve lived her life only for
the wants and desires of others,
not for her but of her, as if she were
so frail, a wisp, and wrinkling in
the wind, that she would’ve held
onto anything, even him, even her,
even it, just to keep from falling,
but she fell, and hard, into sleep,
and swiftly, and then there was
the loud plash, less watery than
puncturing, as she landed in it.


1. Dering whether will were
less than want or won’t or
wont to.

2. Sleep and shifting
back to movement or
moveless in time to
music that could be.

3. Some of self and spouse
and sleep and snoring
through in troughs of
blanket, sheet, and com-

4. Th and through and
stretching silent slipping
slumber’s stumble mumble
slumbled bell.

5. In fragments, lost and
grasping, and holding slippery,
loose and losing, letting weight
just let us go, waking, when and
whether, waking wonder at
the weather a dreaming’d
made of cold.

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