not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

images in water



the tree grows from the shoreline
and the trunk is thrust out upon the water

is this a photograph of desire? if so, whose desire?
or is desire, the lustful knot, undone in this?

is this image two dimensional?

how many dimensions is desire composed of?
how many leagues deep?

the snare of bulbous roots
casts forth its image
which does not complete itself

*

images in water

my mother is sitting in her easy chair with her oxygen
making circles with her fingers along the rise of each of its arms

she used to do this at lunchtime while sitting at the table with her novels
using the long fingers on one hand to encircle her chin, as she devoured the exotic mysteries

then later, as her eyes worsened, while we talked
she'd hold one arm and encircle her other elbow

i think about being at the river and tossing in stones
the circles widening until they swallow my image as i hang over the bridge

i look a little like my mother

Friday, August 12, 2016

elegy


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

a certain concretion of order



from Hachadura by Robert Bringhurst

I

There is nothing like the razor 
edge of air, another

like the tongued pebbles, syllables
of sea-wind and sea-color and

a nothing and a nothing like the salt
hide drying inward, eating

in through the underbelly of bone,
the grain

of the sea-eaten iron, and the open
lattice of the wave.

There is nothing, moreover,
at which Eurytos never
quite arrives, tallying
the dust with the four-finger
abacus
unsheathed from the flesh of his hand.

Suppose, therefore, a certain
concretion of order,

unstable or at any rate in motion, but a certain
concretion of order inherent in one
in the innumerable
forms of such a number. Therefore:

darkness under the sunrise,
darkness in the hollow of the hand;

inside the spine the darkness, the darkness
simmering in the glands;

the rumpled blade of darkness which is
lodged in every fissure of the brain;

the membrane
of the darkness which is always

interposed
between two surfaces when they close.

II

The bird is the color of gunmetal
in sunlight, but it is midnight;
the bird the color of gunmetal
in sunlight is flying
under the moon.

There is a point at which
meridians are knotted
into nothing and a region
into which meridians fray and intertwine,
but not like mooring lines; they
fray like the leading and trailing edges
of wings, running from nothingness
to muscle and strung from the muscle back again.

Listen: the sounds are the sounds of meridians
trilling, meridians drawn to produce
the illusion of plectrum, tuning pegs and a frame,
or perhaps to produce Elijah's
audition: the hide
of the silence curing,
tanning,
tightening into the wind.

Or the sounds are the sounds of the air opening
up over the beak and closing over the vane,
opening over the unmoving cargo slung
between the spine and the talon,
slung between the wingbone and the brain.

III

It is for nothing, yes, 
this manicuring, barbering, this
shaving of the blade.

Nothing: that is that the edge should come
to nothing as continuously 
and cleanly and completely as it can.

And the instruction 
is given, therefore, 
to the archer, sharpening

the blood and straightening
the vein: the same instruction
that is given to the harper:

Tap.
Strum the muscle.
Breathe.

And come to nothing.

Monday, August 1, 2016

meditation on what a flower is, black eyed susan, i

"Centripetal Force and a Lull in the Stratosphere"