The black Bell telephone rings. That sound had lingered. Outside, throats hidden beneath a leaf, faces blunted, the toads have stopped waiting to be collected. Slowly then, as though my queasy blank might meet itself and soar deep into the blue invisibility of a Northern sky, Isabelle Faust draws her bow across a charcoal portrait hanging in my mind. Ones appear in such gaps as the eye provides and the ear can’t ignore, if not their expressions. They stay welcome but stay alone, and sing their sighs through spaces between forgettings. Only grief hears them out. The violin is not higher than the viola; it is smaller. Each note contains a fingertip touching something so like itself there remains no distinction in the echo.
Winter 2016 Season
Work from the Winter 2016 Season of concīs.
how that night
mother opened them and slept
heard girls singing // to each other in the olive trees
heard her own lung // gnawing its way through rib
crawling along the blue walls // out into the miracle
of the night’s only wolf // and waking
how she could only // breathe half the air // speak
half the words she knew // a beast born to beasts
into a morning black and hot as a rabbit’s womb
into a shirt pressed wet against her skin
To empty at / the bursted pollen, onto unevenly lit slabs,
head filled / with shade, how a currency of years in space
to close performances / attached. My hid specified from
work / & uninvolved in shippings of myself, less amid body,
my inventory / omits over counted shadows. It was warm
where you wane certain to / obsolete, still your earth tells
me that some proximity sifts / us through breaking grades.
Spine of the world: its curvature: sheer. Here. Consider each tangle. Impossible at this angle. A honeyed slickening, skin scaffolding, thin viscosity whips falling, how much vertigo our earth diverts, divests for the ceiling. So crystalline. Everything begs for a licking, a taste of armature, pure musculature, sweet architecture. Such a candied, candid space between these buildings. A teeth of stones, shadows, signposts. Blinds. A muscled bite. Concrete bones beneath each bright surface. Right. Simply scurfless. Open doors to cavities, decay, every roof shiny with condensation, haze. Let’s scoop the drops, boil it up. Reduce. Evaporate.
I am a rattlesnake, wrapped in a purple blanket. A route over water and mountains. The forecast is for snow, half a world away. I am human with fire in my belly, burning wild. A mad dog, prowling the streets at night. It is raining now. It is snowing. My house is on fire. I am a tree holding a nest of eggs. A rattlesnake comes. Steals them. I will not hold fear, tend to it like a baby. It is snowing now. I hold a broken umbrella. An umbrella is a tree without spirit. There is someone in the dark.
The best grace falters is true twice.
The stammer in conceit delights.
Wonder is a perfect drunkard.
Focus your gaze
on fur rippling
around your vision
Heels press down
ovals of ash-splint
Mittens, boiled wool
caked in white crust
Stone chapel, closed
the arched red door
Look up; snowflakes—
they drift in,
settle on your boots
mother made of moles
hereditary cluster discolor
my back but she
stepped on another crack
vertebra snap clenched
wineglass my mother stole
my mirror for her scratching
post my next lover pocked
with fingerholes tears
in the corners of my mouth
babies in my teeth is every
shame sexual knees between
tall grass many organs
mutate father in his fist coat
wiping oil under
the archway caged bear I
revere claw luck talon
tuck Is it strange
for me to tell you
to make it hurt?
and no place to put
it there was a wall I once miss find in difference over
ice and sweet easy
I hope I do I disappoint you
again and again and in seen through the straw
green fix at the site
of my legs in a towel
the gnawing has nowhere to climb anymore please
a million need looks confirm sea in me
She hears the goat bells descend. It must be nightfall. Fireflies, little lamps snuffed and relit, survey the woods’ depths. The cloud-fed mosses on the ridge-edge grow inky black. Thumb-struck, the match flares brighter, noisier than it ought. She closes her eyes, untangles a maze’s abstruse distance into a line.