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«Lake Forest College Press Lake Forest First published 2012 by &NOW Books, an imprint of Lake Forest College Press. Directors Associate Director ...»

-- [ Page 3 ] --
The bosom of the law

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Here comes wind crucified to a horse And dust that was breathing once Reconcile the columns And the arm will be Grafted back to you No heroic aftertaste Only sleep and amnesia Forced march of night Across the eternal eyelid A bridge goes there and after A decade vanishes This camera ripens between us Scrawled across the window pane Symbols for eating Days versus non-eating days This strange wind Trained on a wire fence Pleases the authorities 70

SURFACE EFFECTS

Our marriage was yesterday We took pictures of our food Our slow Eating was symbolic We raised our wine glasses To a soldier Every hour being born In the middle of the day With muted cries and distant barking The sea breeze Unfastened its overcoat Dropped a mutilated gull And we fainted When we came back from the syringe The sea was no longer The beginning of a face The waves were much faster Than we remembered them A substance has leaked Away from the community Leaving the smell of bleach And a dull sheen on things We hold each other and weep We praise the quality of the image

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Absent Emaciated or obese Choosing the clothMother with no milk Negating nakedness War-torn lovers Sweetly Medicated ones The number of slipAnd-fall cases Crypts and multi-purpose halls Between parked cars A woman selling flowers Dinners with a hint of gun 72 MORROW

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In veined light Our prisoners’ torsos Minus electrodes Mirror ours

INSIDE THE BRIGHT WHEEL

Washing the body we realize There is a line of cars behind us

INSIDE THE BRIGHT WHEEL

No home or marked site

INSIDE THE BRIGHT WHEEL

The empty set 74 WHITEWATER Whoever loves us also loves Our swine and chicken troughs Our rooms and cells Filling with day Defeated Day then fog Someone in a truck Careening Comes to drink Our singing notwithstanding What if god In his wisdom Were completely insane Our bodies so clean They’re smoke

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Sundays we move sideways Mondays we are blurred and folded Into the eternal question Experiencing Stabbing pains We cry out And our crying out reveals us To each other and ourselves By the long hooks Of our fears we are suspended In an oxygenated sensitivity That we later drag down Flaccid To our cubicles Without fellow feeling we are Motionless on a rooftop garden By our sorrows we are lowered Our household objects And our loved ones glow But we’ve reached A threshold to our amazement 76 FOCUS GROUP Though from our hearts’ chasms Glissandos welled up We were not cured of static We became Such alarum bells And sirens of a stupendous animal When the Commonwealth bursting finally Expelled noxious waters We rushed to the boats Our bodies having made Bridges and beds Black lights passed over We drank Water from our uniforms And tasted The dead in everything we ate We waited for a pattern To cut down through the clouds We measured our era of drifting Not in years but daughters

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Is this our father in the clay A thrum of high-tension Wires in the blood Of days going by Are these rooftops and domes The sweat and breath Of the people Are they connected By long tunnels Between naps Or between songs Will the shootings stop Will amnesia tomorrow be Mixed with fat rain And bearded absences Should the men muttering Over the waters And the mourners Be forced away Are dogs and the infirm Moving through ruins As we speak 78 Lost souls Necking now in model units Who belongs To this wounded face How do we Extinguish our hands In prayer When will the guest speaker be Wheel-chaired into the room To much applause And the long Promised calm Arrive on wings of cops

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All day We scrub and dry Winding sheets

INSIDE THE BRIGHT WHEEL

Our work is pure But our dreams bear fatigue

INSIDE THE BRIGHT WHEEL

Nakedness + calisthenics

INSIDE THE BRIGHT WHEEL

During coffee breaks Or happy hours Caress your co-workers’ cheeks Though their faces are earth In your hands 80

STATE OF EMERGENCY

Crowd-drift goes Into error Gets Paid on a Thursday Assumes positional Asphyxia Contained within four White horses Sharp pills under the mattress Tethered to the museum The sun a yellow Hammer let go In the name of god The sun again Pissing all day in the snow So much laughter Thrown clear of cars The massive days misbehave The leaves hover We die but we do Not sleep We watch and watch For the changes We make ten copies of the morning

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Who owns These woods Owns Cold data in different rooms A waiting car So that we may know The backs of others The tops of our desks Are mud, blood, and grass The contract states That shadows roll Back into their houses Whenever we drive by A curfew of the skull On the plains Where they built us

82MINISTRY OF INTERIOR

With fever We walked backwards Through lights in the mall Lost kids With binoculars And balls of string We traced assassinations to a row of trees One of us was shouting sentences Into another One was the translator The other, cowering, with his fists Against his ears Our father We honored our night nurses There were candles Stares and nervous Laughter at opposite ends of the electrocuted Memory Rowed back to us slowly As we were doused and beaten The mornings stacking Then toppling the empties It was the slow Week after The end of an idea The knife felt Dull after a while When the Absolute entered the surgical field We couldn’t tell If the parade ended or began

–  –  –

The structures all around us Are towers The vast trapezoids Once were wastelands The central monument is a multi-tonal Grey slab with child

–  –  –

Clearing a path for the blind And the sleep-walking Our hearts have expanded With various forms Of joy post-consumer Our larger fears are theater 84 MORROW Tree I let Be devoured by your shade My blood and my blood’s parasol I funnel mortal laughter Into the fruit When to awaken is to descend A narrow stairwell and then stand In a tunnel of faces In passageways for bread At crow-rise While shouts bloom And drop from your branches Tree of teargas and truncheons Tree of wild interior rains Tree spitting sideways into traffic

–  –  –

There was no hiding place Things gave birth to themselves And were crowning in their full transparency In their lack of embarrassment In front of us We were small in number and had not heard Applause before Although when it dissolved We recognized it for what it was Depth bloomed everywhere But a many-years’ descent Through dust Revealed the limits of its device This is the story Of how we now crowd In the claustrum And flog each other’s backs And fire rifles At the bellies of clouds And wait for rain to reach down the muddy walls The sky is an oasis we will not taste Its edges are blurred Where the membrane of our world Flapped

86 87 COLOPHON

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