20130812

Jac Nelson


LIBRARY POEMS


YELLOW BICYCLE AND GLASS

what polemic
what architecture

what polemic what
architecture

what

what


WAYWARD OR

WINDOW IN THE NIGHT WARD, VIEW OF THE WET COMPLEX OR

HAIRPINS LOST ON THE WAY

indeed something – something which was in a shell which was in a shell (something like a pith, in a walnut shell, in the shell of κοσμός) – something had loved you.


LANGOUROUS FLIGHT IN THE HUMANLESS MEADOW

dead with light,
dead with silence and wind,

the boundaries of the fauna paths melt under the wide mouth of the vacuous heart.*



*“heart” must stand in place of another word, which we don’t have, but by which we would understand something inside which is at once both a source of


emanation and a lake of return, or body of return,

(though it is no lake, nor body, nor heart).


THIS IS NOT A RECORD OF WHAT HAPPENED

in an airplane, the tape rewinds, then runs forward again over itself.


THE POET RUNS FROM THE POETIC EYE

this poet –

this deranged and naked lung,

or Fury on panicked feet –

this poet comes screaming out

from some deprived envelope,

waving briny hands,

frantic,

the poet has lost it, a lunatic.


the Poetic Eye is an entirely different creature,

a cold scanner,

making:

this object is not gray

this object is not black

draining:

ix




rescue trains

2-D ocean

dropcloths

ocean

gray, black or like-darkness


the Eye does drain and make gelatin prints



the poet has gone screaming away from the prints,

which look negative,

like a planet under eclipse

like an eclipse as it snuffs out the light


SPARTA

the king shared his tent with the Pythians who retrieved the oracles on state business

the battlefield

some footwork


SOMEONE IS WATCHING, THE CANDLES ARE KEPT UNLIT, OR NO ONE IS WATCHING

some kind of recovery keeps blowing by

forest of books in the bed

always what for

forest of what for


is anything outside of the wood, casting its circle, what for


SAID THE SKINNY BROWN-HAIRED CO-ED AT THE AVANT-GARDE PARTY LAST NIGHT:

poetry is dying 1
____________________________
1 I will promise myself a few things
for example, never to take a boundary as a limit,
or to take a boundary as a delimiter,
never to take a boundary as having any relationship to time or space,
any certain relationship,
any relationship to these which is determined outside of itself.
that is, the boundary might have a relationship to time and space,
but each relationship is specific
to each boundary,
it arises endergonically,
moves outward from the boundary toward time and space,
time and space accept this movement,
they are accepting phenomena,
or entities,
they might be great machineries,
which somehow can accept any kind of coupling,
of linking,
and here we [suddenly] might be talking about God,
or Torah,
how somehow before Creation,
or maybe coming-to-being coincidental with Creation,
created with Creation,
or responding, but simultaneously,
to the creation of Creation as Creation is created,
that quality of God or Torah which is not Fate,
nor Destiny,
nor absence of “free will” –
some kind of being locked into Space-Time –
but rather an assurance that every interpretation,
every exegesis,



x




die

die

die

die

die

die

die

die

die

die

die


_________________________

every coupling, linking,
every possibility,
every way,
is already a part of God,
a part of Torah,
a part of the great machinery of Time and Space,
so that we are always folded in,
and holy.

so the boundary links with time and space
according to its own subjectivity.
(Derrida: the subject is that which is identical to itself.)
links but not locks.
nothing is locked, ever.
the linking things which cross the distance from the boundary to time and space
are jiggly, flexible,
they can undergo great stress,
and the boundary,
and time,
and space,
are suspended in a gelatinicity. (Auto-spellcheck suggests gelatin city.)


die


NOR FLESH ANYWHERE ENTIRE

kneel

windows

linoleum

tribunal


MAKE

Try the hands of Penelope,

or her eyes

which

make

the vision looming.



LAND WHAT LAND

again the remote is more remote

now ask why
again
the remote is more remote

make sense

now ask why
now
never
now ask why

now divide

now begs

what would have thought

which with


xi




which such

an
a
or

any perfect thing will

who
how
how
but

what

depends on

right?

cannot not

cannot with

now ask
never
now
why


II. 18 AUGUST 2011

I have heavier, darker things.


I. 17 AUGUST 2011

weird opening

weird hollow

the hot wind



DAPHNE

you cannot rely on the sensual.

night after night in the library


faces

faces are             some whiles like charcoal
                               some whiles like ash
                               some whiles the linen in a white breeze

their moistures wicked out by a dry sun
scattered over a wan stream
or hurtled scattering
over a cliff

faces are             taken
                               or whispered
                               or burnt down to coals

scattered or hurtled toward the grand taken stand, escarpment.

fire!

and afternoons in the library

while the same trees are flagging
and the same causes are drawing the cypress up and out of the ground
and drawing the daphne up and out of the ground
and making the tree an articulate make
making the tree with leaves, cells, with libido in the margins

[while…, what?]


oh daphne,
long mornings in the library,
north reference,
south reference,
the forced air like a song
the keyboards,
the doors to the bathrooms, almost the clock with its second hand,
its minute hand,
its hour hand

it's your long intercalation


xii




the spiral staircase
the special collections
the bricks
the daphne

the long sighing

the muscles

the deeply muffled groaning

daphne |dafnē|
noun
a small Eurasian shrub with sweet-scented flowers and, typically, evergreen leaves. • Genus Daphne, family Thymelaeaceae: several species, including mezereon and spurge laurel.
ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting the laurel or bay tree): from Greek daphnē, from the name of the nymph Daphne .
Daphne |dafnē| Greek Mythology
a nymph who was turned into a laurel bush to save her from the amorous pursuit of Apollo.
(source: “Dictionary.”)


CHILD’S QUESTION


what happens if you stop clinging to those questions



what happens if you just start moving?


ASSIGN DEGREES OF URGENCY TO (WOUNDED OR ILL PATIENTS) 2

crime and
title
and titular
tryst
trying
to pry the
treacle
[beast
molly
sentimental-
ity]
in triage 3
triurnal
diurnal
consequential
olympic

kilter
and
colonoscopy

grandmothers
wasting
grandmothers
away

he tied my hands
around my body

the submarine.
its periscope.

frightful.


_________________________

2 the dictionary, where everything is hypertexed, what is hyper.
3 from French, from trier ‘separate out.’ The medical sense dates from the 1930s, from the military system of assessing the wounded on the battlefield. (source: “Dictionary.”)


xiii




fruitful.

can you tell the difference,
you wholly-entire
ingrate
?

you.
wholly.
entire.
ingrate.

ingrate.

crime.
kerosene.
colonoscopy.

telescop-eee-
-eera-
-sure a
lake.
in maine.

a tin roof.
a random murder.
the random murder of someone you know.
someone you know.
a random murder.

restate thesis. help your reader.


ABSTENTION

the sun now atones


he finds me 4



      in the morning5

_________________________

4 softly
5 waking





and lingers over me6










































_________________________

6 coquet light




xiv



UNTITLED (FOR LIBRARY POEMS)




listen

                at night

                               to dwellers



                                                                            love is


                               hear

                the night open

the mystic’s body




...

thunder

roams               

the mezzanine                              



a word                                                                           


pacing                              

the stacks               

a panther



















xv





Jac Nelson has been out on loan for three years and now has a degree in Classics & Religion from Reed College. Her poems appear in c_L, Homunculus, Peaches & Bats, Otoliths, and Reed College Creative Review, and have twice received honorable mention for the Mary Barnard Academy of American Poets Prize. Jac’s backyard is a parking lot in Portland, Oregon, USA.
 
 
previous page     contents     next page
 

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger