However a light may come
glass pane or dry dermis
of hand winter bent
I follow that light
capacity that I have
snap-like seizure I
is less to forget
less to carry
tiny gears mini-
armature I gun
the spark light
I blink eye blink
at me to look
at me in
and I eye
When I want to write seriously I think of people like
dg for whom I wrote a long poem for whom I revised
until the poem forgot its way back troubled I let it go when
you love something let it go if it returns be a good mother
father welcome the poem open armed pull out the frying
pan grease it coat it prepare a meal
apron and kitchen sweat labor
my love my sleeves pushed
to elbows like the old days a sack
of flour and keys I push them
typography and hotcakes work
seduce a poem into believing
I can home it I can provide it
white gravy whatever the craving
poem eat and lie down full
poem rest here full don’t
lift a single l
Strange how lying on this side works
yet on my back I grieve and turning
to my left I rewind to a child’s world
so I re-turn back over to the first
position of poesis prenascent page
before any material thing makes
in this right-side peace I work most
nights I greet open-eyed delicate
pronunciations like thank you I thank
the empty room I still my body I work hard
not to slip a centimeter in dark work not to
interrupt my own conversation I move
my mouth as if silently reading as if a begin-
ner or courting a friendship careful holding
to my chest small gifts tight 3-lettered
words in 3-word phrases I welcome in
the new new.
if I read you
what I wrote bear
in mind I wrote it
I have always wanted opaque to mean see-through, transparent. I’m disheartened to learn
it means the opposite. Why this instinct to assign a definition based on sound. O-PĀK—
I interpret the O: open P: soft Ā: airplane or directional flight K: cut through / translating to
that which is or allows air, airy, penetrating light, transparency. To say, You don’t fool me
for a second you’re opaque. To say, I’m partial to opaque objects I delight in luminosity. To say,
I’m interested in this painting on glass opaquely bright. I understand the need to define
as a need for stability. That I and you can be things, standing understood, among each other.
One word can be a poem believe it, one word can destroy a poem dare I. Say I am writing
to penetrate the opaque but I confuse it too often. I negotiate instinct when a word of lightful
meaning flips under / buries me in the work of blankets.
God, just don’t write a poem about writing. Bo-ring.
Says my contemporary artistic companionate, a muscular observation and I agree. A poem about writing poems, how. Boring as it is, it asks me to do. I couldn’t any other thing tonight. I sat I wrote about writing. I write I sit about writing. I’m about to write about it, writing and sitting. I will write and sit with my writing. It’s satisfying to sit when I write.
Defamiliarize writing then, somebody says okay I’m not sitting then I say to somebody. I’m chewing at a funeral and. I’m nibbling my pulp knuckles. I’m watching a man with a stain on his. Pants always wrinkle in this heat, gnats and humidity. I walk to the front pew to make a lewd, joke. I regard laughter from the man in the. Pants are always honest I mean really heavy at a summer burial. Yet he doesn’t ever cry, the stained man, why. When I observe nothing (unusual) I do nothing (unusual) in response. New or novel. Real lit relics (!) on these occasions. In ritual: nobody’s learning, true. And to lewd is dumb. Like the way I put up my dukes when I observe the cowboy kneel. He’s praying he’s asking. He doesn’t see me, my gesture’s futile. What am I doing here, writing. What am I doing here righting the page at its funeral.
When I stay up late I have thoughts, continually pen-marked by the clicking-on
of an air conditioner a cutting coolness or imbalance I hear so clearly
in critique. Yet nuance saves a line and looking / space / in the trees, I watch our dog
bounce carrying the bone of a sheep’s leg. I notice the carcass and her bark: both absent.
So I learn to write around it, the meat, in wide circles to be heard. When a friend says
I believe you’re privileged by being so closely under, I ruffle I ease. It’s not easy.
Who’m I speaking to so often no one if not the friend. On the road to Shiprock I count
eight dust devils spiraling at once in proximity all in, a line. Then only seven.
What causes reduction in this instance? I’m tempted by the bed next to my desk, yet
the desk next to my bed “sounds” better sometimes. I don’t want to hear a fiction writer say,
This is why I don’t read poetry. I mean, he said it not me. Of course: influence(s). Where do I
consider myself among them she asks. A tick head burrows in the skin of a question. I glue
the coffee cup to my lips, blow the heat. The sun’s not up yet the birds begin first
5:06 am. A signal. Lie down closely my skin to sheet and pillow now the eyes orbit
the white star of a Caps Lock light STOP don’t revise a word comma semicolon or.
“Vaporative” first appeared in The Brooklyn Rail.