Jac Nelson

And What Do We Find There?
(Or, Two Aspects of Encountering the World)

[                ]:
a staircase,
a mezzanine,
a place, a definite place,
fencepost, any other of many kinds of posts
telegraph post),
something a person can touch with his hand,
which he can later claim to have touched with his hand,
which he can give directions toward,
so that a family member might go and touch it too.
tending to be a singular noun, maybe
one that is a name for something we’d say
                     isn’t living.
a house, a pasture.
a train, an automobile.
a steak, a highball.
a nightclub, an alley.
                               [an alley?]

next, [                ]:
words don’t accomplish this task,

                     which is,

turn abstract
                     to matter.
instead words
are white
for example:
I thought I just saw someone in the kitchen.
I thought I heard someone say my name.
You were in my dream last night.
The pipes are knocking in the hall.




With Dynamite

an art museum is a temporary curative.
and deli sandwiches, seltzer,
observe people cycling the mainway.

coldcut / decalcify
master / crudités

nobody wants to pinch you hard or make you squint.

But the windy boats with their anchors sunk in super deposition,
and wounded, the tuna, like the nail-biting clergy,
whipping, migrating, whiffling, a fraternalia, a prize-walk.

ground / boned
expression / three sheets

as long as you’re working this might be tied down. But

I was in a park.
I was in Central Square.
I was the center of a vast circle.
I was circumscribing the knowable,
with dynamite.

control / feral

A lathe worked me like cherry,
I was shavings and dust,
I was a bowl, I was a twelve-bore,
we were mitochondria in our great-grandmothers,
we were miniscule,
the hypnos of water
picking over an alley behind the wax museum.

                [cf. “belief” “normal” “firearm” “tool” “science” “language”]

Tinbergen’s Four Questions

the biologist’s sleep is a light sleep

the wind which rouses her is a late runner

gleaming with orange nightpaint

our desire for knowledge
hangs from the eaves of houses
at night ringing

our desire for knowledge is musical
I hear it ringing in the night

the biologist has a bell metal

it strikes bronze questions into the solar system

taut tower of birds
taut philosophers’ ears
taut timpani of desires

roaming the passageways of the body:
organs, tissue, cells, matrices, proteins

our desire for knowledge is appetitive
we would gorge ourselves

micro cosmos
macro anthropos

                                                                                           filling emptying baskets of apples
                                                                                           empties out like milk from the amphora

becomes nothing

[desire for sex
desire for chocolate and wine
desire some pinnacle, the whole world
trees, water
living, breathing
some whole system of living and breathing things]

a certain pure desire

which floods like a milkbath

Jac Nelson likes to read other people’s poems out loud. Some poems appear in c_L, Homunculus, and Peaches & Bats. One in particular received honorable mention for the Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Prize. In Portland OR, Jac spends time translating the works of St. Kassiani – a 9th-century poet, musician and nun in Constantinople – and reading poetry out loud to sporting loved ones.

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