Hindenburg Syndrome

I

 

Open window light while you circumscribe my unused habits like thin shadows in diffuse patterns past the dark cherry shelves. Undulating, un-modulated speech like the window light and you – gently curving space in the fabric of this house.

 

II

 

The last century stands exposed in a garden, full of its unrequited promises – unripe cucumber – shadow berries – sometimes I want to explode a phrase into whatever constitutes “nothing” in a poem and I hear phantom drumbeats in the hollow of my ear.

 

III

 

We spread gentle epoxy on our tongues. Earth meets nothing – our feet glide. In response I levitate strange things across our field of vision.

 

IV

 

A child’s hands were crippled by the vindictive hammer. Each day I strike the fantastic and strike a small silver gong and the sound ripples out among the maples and the men dig furrows in the lawn and the geese transform into pure air.

 

V

 

I am a city, here, among the silver strands of hanging fog, abrupt against the edge of blanket sky.

 

VI

 

The same things are wrapped around my eyes; a powder drifts down and hardens the horizon. A scar becomes a wound – begins to bleed. The sky above is empty. The sky above is empty. An engine in the distance whirs.

 

 

 

VII

 

Celebrant eyes – the flooded hourglass. The child unlearns his mother’s voice and climbs: I chase him, reckless, without a guide, without a basket of my own. The child spreads his hands toward me. He opens firm, pink palms – they look incapable of murder.

 

VIII

 

Any place where you pursue history like a prefix, sending the new material down through the centuries. Page by seamless page, flat becomes what north never failed to be, and the new monologue of separate stars delineated by our growing astonishment sleep boldly in the isolated pockets of the sky.

 

IX

 

What I never understood before this moment: you are not opaque. A sheaf of light scalpels through you, exposes your organs – brushes aside mere skin and bone to flush the hyperactive proteins, excising every piece of failing cartilage.

 

X

 

I cannot see the sky tonight. I cannot see it, cannot see every car on every freeway. The sky is a repository of my energetic self – it draws a part of every new and vacant pearl, luminescent like a ball of purest plasma.

 

XI

 

The little boy stands naked. He stands alone, is freezing. He moves away from windows with their drafty underbellies, closer, with each shivering step. The boy begins to thaw. He dresses himself in the finest woven fabrics. He is alone and wears no crown.

 

XII

 

The evening glows like a perched parrot. It flies with silver silent wings and dips its ochre beak into my hand and the world is bold and new and filled with liquid radiance. A flight of small and indolent birds fly through the summer. Days become the smallest measurements.

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Water and Stone

~One~

 

Step out upon the bank of a river.

Set out, begin – the first day a radiant downpour

InundatingEden

The morning, an empress – the light slides in

Over blanket hilltops

The morning blue soaks your eyelids

Showers your face in filtered aquamarine – you are a prism

 

I am drawn to your softness and light

into your eyes like twin velvet statuettes

Encircled by an immense plaza

            A vast square made of the finest marble

            overlooking a turquoise sea

            spread like honey between round emerald hills

 

 

~Two~

 

On the high, sculpted banks of this river (it runs

gold against the figures of the grass)

You walk wreathed in tender pillowed cloud

            It spins up around your body

            You seem encased in it

            Your hair diffuses a simple red light

As if I was planning to run each of my fingers

separately

down your spine

 

 

 

~Three~

 

And the water was still, like new concrete

We who understood were standing, masked in moonlight

A current rippled up the silent river

It turned me to face you

Heaved me against you, left us

            touching gently

            only at the forehead

 

 

~Four~

 

There is water and sun in this new land

They flow like the milk and honey ofCanaan

We scoop them in jars, let them cool

Every plant here is like a salve: is an aloe, is a poppy

When I step out among the rushes (scented so green they become jungles)

no crocodile emerges to devour me

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Deluge

captured, like the sea inside

your glass, like the fractal nerves

            dividing up

and down your spine

 

your smile, replacement blood – it stands

                                    in for the colors

and the voices

and the vestments

not the touch of innocents who would

give all to grasp your boot

                        or soiled cloak-hem

 

                                    you walk upon

the grass, spin upon the earth

you dive beneath

                        whatever tombs exist inside mud

inside the breathing mud

            below the suffocating mud

                        that drowns the dead in unguent, sealed

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Everlife

Little lights left
on the blackest nest of all that is
reborn – the sea is stillness
your hair is a rocket

tremble, my feet – we are not safe in this valley
where all that ever wants to Be
Is born, reborn, and dies.

The elders gave us council with their mead and meat
And told us – the hills begin to move. And
Winter is coming.

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Fallout

we wake distributed
      around
behind the orchard where
I harvested the fires, and slung them,
            peppered ash, over the dying moon

admonitions (and a sound
      of rushing blue) where we
had targeted
      aluminum that bonds
            skin to
gardens full of ice

            hold, in sea a walking straight
the blue of day to
      enharmonic strains that
            undercut a hollow sky

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Elemental – Excerpt from NEW “Call and Response” Series

weightless, you move like charcoal
single exhalations turning lead
            to golden skin,
      you glow the storm clouds down

the clean-picked bones of cattle slope directly
      age by age: stone night
revolves the ghosts we carry
                  into frameless mist

how the moonlight marries you to air, how shadows
            merge, embracing you, the huntress,
      cloaked in smoke and blood and
frigid fire

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Information

I’m sure that those of you who read my blog regularly have noticed my recent “absence”. I’ve posted many fewer poems lately than the last few months. However, I want you all to get excited. I haven’t posted many of my most recent poems because they are a part of a series I’m working on with a local artist. It is a collaborative work which began when I sent her a poem and she offered to illustrate it for me. I was so impressed with what she produced that I immediately wrote a poem in response to her drawing, which she then subsequently illustrated. I then wrote a poem in response to the that, and so developed our project.

At the rate we are currently working, we should be finished within another month or two. At that time, I’ll post a few of the poems and drawings, but to get them all, you’ll have to wait for the finished product to be published, which may take some time.

I will still post poems here on occasion, don’t worry. I will also post updates on our progress with this project, and maybe even an illustration or two if the artist OK’s it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are as excited as I am to see what is produced by this synthesis of language and image.

-Nathan

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