September 16, 2009

Running water, running water
What are you running from?

Lamar Sorrento, The Death of Hank Williams

Disappearing Act
-- by Eleanor Ross Taylor

No, soul doesn't leave the body.

My body is leaving my soul.
Tired of turning fried chicken and
coffee to muscle and excrement,
tired of secreting tears, wiping them,
tired of opening eyes on another day,
tired especially of that fleshy heart,
pumping, pumping. More,
that brain spinning nightmares.
Body prepares:
disconnect, unplug, erase.

But here, I think, a smallish altercation
Soul seems to shake its fist.
Wants brain? Claims dreams and nightmares?
Maintains a codicil bequeathes it shares?

There'll be a fight. A deadly struggle.
We know, of course, who'll win. . . .

But who's this, watching?

-- by Sandra Beasley

You are the whole building on fire.
You are the voice of sirens. You are
the dumb crowd milling, the capture
of Weegee’s lens. You are flames
licking up the escape. You're the hovering
of a mother at the cliff of her window ledge.
You are the choice to drop her baby.
You're the chance of a beckoning crowd,
six hands gripping a sooty raincoat. You
are the only option. You're a simple drop.
Ten stories below they pray you're like a cloud,
soft floating. You are like a cloud. Grey
and you don't hold anything. You are
that moment before a falling, the falling,
a whir of falling, wail of falling, the sweet
thud. You are black blood flaring
across the concrete. You are a needle
to the groove of a very sad song.
The whole building burns with you.

i lie back on my red coverlet and contemplate
-- by Diane Suess

the paintings of seascapes we won't be seeing in the Louvre.
the miniatures of the infamous Van Blarenberghe brothers.
no rented wooden boats in the Jardin de Tuileries

though this is not about a particular lover or a particular city.
even i am less a woman than a ball of mercury breaking
into forty pieces of silver.

there was talk of Prague, the Klub Cleopatra, that bar called
the Marquis de Sade. as if poetry lies there on a gold settee
smoking a black cigarette in a red holder.

green dress. that Van Gogh green, the color of his pool tables.
the ceiling too is green, and the absinthe we won't be sipping.
the unmade love in unmade beds. small, oversensitive breasts.

Americans always think it's elsewhere. believe
in transmutative sex. i did, when a girl, scrutinizing
my queendom, a colony of fire ants, their thoraxes

gleaming like scoured copper.


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