Winter 2012


All such gestures may be inventions of nostalgia,
    ways of edging a tea-saucer future forward,
    poised perilously on an ormolu table’s brink.

We glance at ourselves with plaster cables strung
    over cheeks, snoozing the forest’s alarm, turning
    to a charmed gouache with oblivious sentiment.

Asymmetrical styles wake up asserting their charm,
    a ridged wrist-flick of completion. So a man leaves
    a theatre, dreams aloud his bowtie mate, fashioning

a virile something-or-another. It begins a rain droplet,
    a sedge: something full of oblong blisses, remote as
    dovetails, pitter-patters mute inside till we create

some sound like mice-feet brushing panels overhead—
    tiny destructions of mental logic—arcane dispatches
    of plumbing, some numb hoped-for apprenticeship,

which can be soothing. You get dizzy near the furnace.
    Stroll the museum. Object to a plant that’s poppy.
    Soda, lima beans, crustacean provinces, oleander:

these menace and collude, while a billowy couple slims
    darkly, adjusting elbows, arguing incident & accident.
    I walk into a timely exhibit—an exhibit “On the Future”;

its goofy magentas have leashes with price tags. And you
    pause, and stare at a corner that’s not part of the show,
    imagining a text to scroll out its full eye-deployment,

some journey committing you to take flight, go home,
    redo woodwinds. There are no rewards until a shepherd,
    wandering the park with saddlebag makeup, nods at you.

“I choose you,” we wish to say in a terrain of love-making.
    What happens instead to this blighted sugarcane? These
    volumes and preoccupations—our old feline senescence—

like the agile way creatures paw preeningly when you know
    the animating spirit’s blunt and pleading. I can’t pretend
    it’s my shift. I picture a saw, a musical abacus which will

note out and notch my life one day soon when I have one.
    I’ll retire to the country. Heirlooms of things that flaked
    from me—interests, partners, tissues—will be amassed

in a jar, held in a darkness scrubbed clean from dewy grass.
    Skyward, a zeppelin will set imaginary pivots. We’ll outwear
    ourselves, tossing off bodies in the manner Michelangelo

enjoyed it, surely. And at evening, when half-serious things idle,
    grow meaningful, those of us who can massage mâché thighs
    and partake of forthcoming cuts, edits, sartorial plans, will

be asked to a bake-a-thon. Tenable though truant, the sun
     won’t mind. A rhyme of raisins laid out on your flowery
    skirt will do or have to—the air almost a mid-harbor air.



The player will show in this paragraph

video: Shadow/Shadow/Tomb by Chris Girard, music: from a book of palms by Mark So