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Conflict

the in

ability to love

 

the inability

to love

 

– Ghost Song, Jack Spicer

 

 

 

 

 

 

but         I live by a kind of resistance

 

– The Sad Phoenician, Robert Kroetsch

It hardly matters why a library

is destroyed: every banning,

curtailment, shredding, plunder

or loot gives rise (at least as a

ghostly presence) to a louder,

clearer, more durable library

of the banned, looted,

plundered, shredded

or curtailed.

– The Library at Night, Alberto Manguel

 

Unentworden, alleroten,

sammle dich,

steh.

 

– Threadsuns, Paul Celan

MOON AT 3 AM, REFLECTED

 

Like a cut fish, I feel for the light

on the tips, the grace found in nailbeds

or on the ridge of a storm, things

 

that cannot call out their own name,

silenced by yelps and pitches, a night

gone purple with cold. Only a step

 

between what is and what isn’t

a break in the throat. I dream

 

of white waters in cold glass,

a reckoning – a breaking hope.

 

I dream but don’t rest, only scar

of shore to the left window

mare tranquilius, mare equus

 

white lap of water in the sink

slipping between my fingers, I suck

the tips and crave the salt.

MY PROBLEM WITH MACHINES

 

might have begun with the jolly jumper

swinging shit all over my mother’s back wall

content as a lamb, crescent smile

 

then the bikes, always hobbling and

falling, the uneasy way my spine

curved over the handlebars

 

and the cars, the two I crashed

each broken at the centre, unfixable

a permanent scream of metal and glass

 

the plane is supposed to be safest,

walls curved against unpredictable

traffic crash acts of god

 

but the height tugs at my nervous

brings out mysterious hail marys

half-learned from a catholic friend

 

it tickles the back of my neck

as I pitch forward through wide fuselage,

flying seats, empty fingers, lost safety cards

RAKINGS

 

each September,

each tidal lunar    ripchord

 

cold apples bleed pulp while leaves

pixelate dipped red ink over macerated

 

gold slashing, chrysographic ohs and ahs

soldered into sun-stunned vein.

 

All a-thunder,

branches shake    then close

 

semaphored hearts beat back

unarticulated motion, echo thin days

 

sunk with the open archaeological

memory of a cupped hand.

LOST COSMONAUT

 

arms drag webbed cirrus

punch past stratosphere

 

come in …. come in …

 

what? … yes … yes … breathing …

our transmission begins …

 

it’s all … I feel hot

 

… thirty-two … our transmission

begins now …

 

forty-one … yes…

 

I can see a flame …

… a flame …

 

our transmission …

 

…. forty-one …

forty-one …

           forty-one … forty-one

… forty-one … forty-one …

TEMP

 

we have an easy dress code here, take

many breaks, smoke cigarettes, let

bitter chocolate melt

 

It is permitted to display tattoos,

play music, make long distance phone calls

 

but pin yourself to demands, supply

crosscheck inventory, clear dates

you may be forgotten, someone

 

we hire one week and can’t

remember the next (some mild milky girl

her smile tucked in on itself)

 

we will see what we can do

            about the view

            about the pay

 

the hours are good, you can come

and go as you please

 

the benefits: poor

INSTRUCTION

 

banish thickets, look for streetcars

in silver-grey dim, hover between

dark things & the collected

 

prescient order of headlights,

bite your fingers, a tooth’s edge

slunk against cuticles

 

don’t look at the burden

kneading your shoulders

or it grows, opens wide lids

 

semiconduct a pitched out

day not worth remembering

the taste of almonds & apples

 

distance immeasurable

calendar squares spent

 

mourning that chauffered

wreck of hit & run

THE STATE WE’RE IN

 

horizons from highways

in waves a hollowed flow

 

of falling away maps go

black electrostat negative

a kingdom of secrets

 

stitched into lawn care

we’re somewhere or

should be or might be

or could we steal

 

pictures of kiwis pink

lipstick parrot wings

our chests clammy

 

with tap water music

slants to broken cello

house sounds hidden

swallowing stories

 

as if they were sins

runways creased with

wreckage useless vessels

gone flat to static the pressure

 

of one finger reflective

tarmac echo thick

INTERLUDE: TIME MACHINE PART I

 

Christine is a knuckle laced with ribbon growls puts petal to metal is giggling is sunlight on the lino and her lungs are not speaking to one another is two fortunes in one cookie oh dear is still a kind of blue but also in a sentimental mood is a kind of blue is a shipping company that operates the Moss-Horten Ferry the most trafficked ferry route in Norway hits the road Jack is in love with an antiphonal is dance me to the end has archived away 2008 may have just eaten the world’s most perfect avocado destroys herself one cuticle at a time is too young to understand object permanence is brought to you by the letter W is my enemies only had sass and all I had was nerve glows in the dark had fun with her comrade in arms and came home to an acceptance letter whoo is a figment of your imagination is come Armageddon come every day is like Sunday is shushy shush shush is they’re dreadfully fond of beheading people here must be shutting up like a telescope is stuck underground follows the rabbit is half-hearted craves lilacs thinks dead aviators should not have profiles jumped the river in three good strides bites into a bittersweet heart is listening to Wild America real loud embraces your paraskavedekatriaphobia is when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me there will be an answer let it be is quickly running out of margin dances with a ghost across palais des papes tilework lux flux is very fragile it is fortunate that she has been digitised and that the library has a facsimile is high functioning is a long way to go without a map reads tonight at Cafe Nostalgica 8pm and you want to be there oh yes you do don’t argue with her she knows that thing you did last summer is a stranger is sleep drunk Joe DiMaggio and Tom Stoppard got into a fight Singapore Airlines flight crew cheering what is glad Degan came to visit O-wa he feeds her addiction to sad songs whoo disagrees with her dream is writing letters no one will ever read smiles as she tumbles is fun is enjoying a bottle of ‘design time’ makes the dough and you get the glory sings a duet of Doctor Blind into the phone is cloistered is somewhere ...

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