David Giannini

Sunlight As A Little Foe: Jots & Intuitions

We are all asleep in the outward man.
—Jacob Boehme


Because the travelcraft of poetry is the sound
of it, there is initial bumping along a river.


What river, who knows? A flowing
between sleep and waking. So
many sounds. Soundings.


Rapids from a talent in the rock
or a spirit in the silt. Rapid eye
movements before the lids raise.


Water flows most
when the channel’s thirsty.


Is that the brow and roar
of waterfall up ahead?


The travel of poetry is the sound
of it. Steer for a branch
of river. Estuary.


Tall bent grasses on the banks.


How asleep is awake?


Slow for the shore and step off
toward the dunes.


Path of sand
grains each secretly a hermit (don’t tell
the beach.)


Pick up drift sticks
or something larger.


A punky log bit
by bit crumbling in your hands. Home for those
who live within what they eat. Who bang
their heads on their chamber walls
in warning to each other.


To gnaw
deeper inside a trunk above the sea.


Are you awake yet? Am I? Who’s who? We need some
eminence grease. At least some rickety


Coming to grips with the nature
of paradox.


Sunlight starting as a little foe
outside the sleeper.


Tympanums trembling from birdsong.


The next part of waking is to pull
away from the muffled knocks inside
wood. The termite details.


Open wide to unknowing
if this morning’s gull taking off will go blind
and deaf looking and listening for what is real.


Or if blind only will gull fold its wings mid-flight
and plunge into the sea? Like it
you may keep on until exhausted as a dart
thrown wildly off target.


What part
or how much of what is real is made
of belief?


Awake. Asleep. Continual need
to make. To sound. To allow that
inside every flaw is its own law.


Finally to believe
the target is in love with the gull.



Today, He believes what is real grows more boring, as when a tree is just a tree, He says. I can change my belief tomorrow, He says, but today what is real, so-called, becomes more interesting when it is diced by belief. Well, it always is, just ask the dead, like Werner Heisenberg or Paul Bunyan. Yes, big Paul mixing himself into what he sees, taking account, knowing he is part of cut-and-split cordwood to be stacked to dry, part of the very act of hefting-and-stacking. Act and enactment.

He now says He has seen cordwood stacked, for instance, into a question-mark from oak, a skeleton key from birch, cairns of mixed hardwood, and labia from cherry. A tree-change instead of a sea-change. An exchange of one belief or another. Something more than real. Meta-real, hyper-real, surreal, take your pick of labels if you must. Something no longer boring, or so He believes.

David Giannini’s most recent poetry collections are Rim/Wave (Quale Press) and Antonio & Clara (Feral Press). His AZ Two was a featured book in the 2009 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. His collection of prose poetry, Span of Thread, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. He was recently interviewed by Joseph Hutchison here. For additional information, please visit www.davidgiannini.com.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.