whosoever has let a minotaur enter them or a sonnet—
) FROM THE INSIDE OUT
chaos/ begins. skin.
a tornado of dickcissels vaults lawn chair, a damaged sad
on the line. the dog chomps water like meat. ethylene ripe
tomatoes bend towards limb of sun.
coyotes chatter. I tell you I
she says want to be left/ alone. a telephone wails. turn away.
the dream is moving, sometimes with you & sometimes with
someone who is not you:
like strawberries sprung from buffalo bone
SCATTERING SHORT CHAMPAGNE WAVELENGTHS
) IN A WORLD ALL BROKEN OUT WITH SUNDAYS—
a sparrow struts with a circus peanut
like spring-melt sploshing the soft syllables hotdog & orangesoda
from the vendor’s lips
we’ll pay you a city bus says to read this ad
(a sparrow flanks the underbelly,
clouds collapse like wildebeest, a young couple smoking
luckystrikes slap their beautiful ankles & elbows this always
happens he says no/
SHE THINKS IT HAS NEVER BEEN SO BAD AS THIS—
) FACTS STEM THE HEMORRHAGE
bitternut hickories & halved tires make shade.
a glory of franks sweat in the rearview.
let the father, screamed the devil. let the son, tried god,
she will come in time.
no I want them all.
cholesterol evaporates to ozone. next to a pickup, bandaged
in indecipherable holy admonition
two swans on a sewer pond evolve from gills.
I know what you want howls the devil. you are
tired of the human, you want
to live on sun—we are in form only god says, so much as air—
light rises in smoke. in their changing hands
the click of flesh,
ether in a crystal bowl: lobes of liver & lungs
(A SINGLE THRILLED BRAINCELL)
Champagne 18 is from a collection of concrete poems called footnote to forfeit; the text is comprised of the “headers” and “footers” from the prose poems in Minotaur. footnote to forfeit is ransom notes on top of love poetry on top of rumors. The two particular adaptive techniques I used in composing footnote to forfeit are Wite Out & collage. I used Wite Out to obliterate the poems collected in the 1927 Peter Pauper version of Emily Dickinson’s love poetry. Then, I (like the author of a ransom note), collaged short lyrics over the Wite Out by cutting & pasting individual letters from a variety of printed media.
The layering (like sediment) of texts foregrounds the processes of intervention & interpretation involved in any reading—of self, of sex, of history, of memory. The combination of Wite Out & collage is, as I practice it, a particularly powerful way of accounting for life’s essential incoherence: the way our experiences misstep or mistake, mishear & get lost in “what might have happened” or “what never happened” or even “what should have happened.”