Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dead Shark Philosophy

We don’t have the words just yet

for what the shark dreams—

barely as the ocean’s plunging depth

have we determined its features,

we speak accurately only

when we are silent as the shark

swimming in that dark sea of ourselves;

but what are we hiding? what crater?

Though it is not exactly false,

truth can be unfair, she said

and I loved her her whole life

for saying it.

Our first step must be resistance

to claim what we know.

After I suffocated her I hanged myself.

Get away from me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008



The dead dream our footsteps
over cracked floorboards, above them
our shadows all that touches
their waned faces. They’ve forgotten
our language and have substituted
every word for something about them.

Did you ever think of a house
simply as a collection of light?
Or death as giving it back? Slowly.
Obstruction may be all we are.
Light pauses to imitate us. Mock us even.
At night it tucks away in our skin
keeps us warm, allows us to almost
recognize one another in the dark.


From Donald Revell's Thief of Strings

What If Christ Were a Snowflake Falling into the Sea

The water is taller than itself,
Covering spirits of the air beneath.
And so the land, so mountainous beside,
Does not exist.

Have you thought about the future?
Take your finger and rub it across a stone.
Do you feel it?
Heat where nothing but cold most certainly is.

The water does not suspect.
A distant star is plotting with the center of the Earth
Against the Earth.
And the lake rises. The outlet rivers rise.

There is also an uprising in Kiev.
God is love.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Silly Poet! Things don't think! We do!

i’m waiting for angle of yaw in the mail and am preparing myself for the endeavor into abstract poetry. it’s something i claim as a weakness, yet it simply tells me i need to make the logic acute, the uncertain statement proposed as an interrogative with a will towards truth.

all that we experience cannot be described in tangible terms. at times the actual points of pressure in a situation are counterbalanced, or diverted in such a way as to obscure the source of that pressure. what’s left is a feeling. this ignorant vulnerability. our vulnerable ignorance.

wcw contradicted himself in arguing against simile. two things are not equal. they are separate. each individual. however, his axiomatic poetry which revolves around the dictum, “no ideas but in things” does just that.

From Nora in Hell.

XVIII 1. How deftly we keep love from each other. It is no trick at all: the movement of a cat that leaps a low barrier.

From Selected Poems

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right

then the hind
stepped down

into the pit of
the empty

also, I found a good translation of petrarch at half price today, but picked up his complete poems instead, not opening it to compare sonnet 91 which dropped me to the floor. sounds so much like gilbert. I would endeavor to say that gilbert is our contemporary petrarch, and not only by this passing observation, or his geography, nor even his contributions to contemporary verse. I’m attempting to imitate the translation.

Canzoniere 91

the lovely lady who you loved so much
has suddenly departed from us,
has climbed to heaven i trust,
since every act of hers was sweet and gentle.

It is time to recover both the keys
to your heart that she possessed,
and follow her. You will be weightless.

Just as when a single link breaks
the rest of the chain is soon to follow.

You have observed now how all things
run towards death, and how the soul
must be lightened for the perilous gate.

I slaughtered it. Goes to show the importance of translation. I'll post the actual poem after I return from purchasing the better translation.