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meant first, not period, asleep in life
as if his hobby, the ends of sentences
four-cornered reverie to crown King Drowse
the point between his brows. Spring came in a rush
of pickerel, silver mountains ploughed under the lake
and maps became his passion, soundings' bevy
as gnats in tandem veer as if one gnat.
Such intimacies of the game of fives
imbued with permanence ice palaces
outlasting both his cribs' pale iron gates
he gnawed then, gnawing for their lead-based ivory
an Ugolino of the nursery
till Luvah showed him better words in Rockland
the spindle fallen with the snow still falling
and those he wished approval of approve.

The Allosaur can bend a bit the hinge to its jaw, its jaw midway likewise, the skull
itself articulable slightly, so like a snake or poet ingestion's not a problem, oh glutamate
of language that which gapes. (Howl, in its extension, is imperialist.) L'Art Poetix.
Thomas said to Watkins he'd like to act like a man of words acting, not just talk.
We cover the globe with writing, tiny engraved script exhumable as a weathered raven.
The plastic toys that transform to other machinelike forms, nostalgic for the many ways to be,
have no innards beyond a wish. The wish is their raison. Ours are turtles, dinosaurs in purple
or blue. Even the animals, they say, would rather be flying sleds. Cats, unbulky, don't transform,
"unponderous," not having as their principle inertial mass like a bad Rosenkavalier. Ullulo, Ulro.
War is a glittering beast. The more I try to think about writing the more real Homer
to me, Greekless, is dark sky and stars, a horse almost bolted together with parts of old swords
fading to Frond's presentation flacon, cut in friendly facets, not threatening, welcome for
liquid alembicate for years, Burren heather smell on my fingers still. A book on Thomas
distinguishes three ways religious poetry can be poetical, handy certainly to have how violence
or prayer persist without depending on their opposites. There are no opposites. A being on a tree
is crow, is Rood. Blood is wine, lymph or gall a Pinot Gris or Vouvray, bone a wood.
Gaiety forgives love while bowing to it, the arrows according to a study already poison.
I've Engrossing Ink (2 1/2 fl. oz.) that even copies gray, and bloodied poems yesterday.
Transmission that is linear between systems only linked by that transmission, they say
makes it hard to tell what each means by left and right. What about positive and
negative charges, electron and positron? Anomalies result from any linear transmission
such as poetry though wide angle of vision gives an overview, "drift" as of gnats
(the illustration is Poe's), the school effect in fish as like centrifugal force, say dots
on one of Einstein's rotating disks. The sun comes up, washing out a star that isn't there.
If part of a poem talks about emotions, or emotionally, the rest is affected.
Emotion is contextual but never linear. (The use of this is to explain imperfect readings.)
A poem in that regard is an inertial system, consistent with itself no matter where the observer.
Poems aren't data, and for just that reason a slow-motion reading shows you where
you would have been if you were, as finger cut on excised staple spots a page on Mars.
The pain I have in life affects the pain on the page, in spite of linearity of cursive symbols.
Naming it is nothing. My dog is not my dog, David's book Last Things a series of proofs of this,
a schizophrenia at the heart of daily life, uneaten breadcrust on a tree limb like legs.
What holds (in Kant) the world together makes horror possible, emotion incipient in perception.
So the poem is like guppies or fish that become sardines, net they swim into no more
imaginable than the skipper smiling on the can, imperishable bliss rectangular in oil.


Copyright Gerald Burns 1995-1997

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