Mark DuCharme

from Defacement

Defacement 1

To have slept with anyone who is not dying

To have slept with the wind in your pillow

To have

I am not erasing creatures in the norm of showtunes &
                Creosote snapdragons in dead            rivers pulsing

    Riverine curvature in all the dead cursive tongues

Language is a river. It takes you where you
Go           want it or not
                        & Wanton, teaches
No regrets               regression, or retrograde alloys

It seizes what it does not reach

It reaches no closure, but exhausts its own

It is immanent domain, a grasp or a staying

                            As thought, which is
Not thought (embodied)

        Having become embedded

& Being, then, erased—

Defacement 2

We are not done with colors leaking
    Down buildings’
                                Sides, & we

Are impertinent as stars at dusk,
As biotic caveats to anything we could
Randomly redeem

        If we aren’t irredeemable ourselves

If no one’s
                    Watching us

                                            If your breath is paper
If poems

                Are merely ideas, depending
        On agreed-upon
Then what is money?

                Reverberant sliding?

The sides of grim ‘nourishment’    out of which ‘everything’ else flows?

Everything, but what’s
                            Necessary, thus is
                                                        Necessarily spilled—

                                                                                                 for Amiri, not Ezra


Defacement 3

‘Visible light’ dreams night, negotiation
Everything is music, if you listen
Everything light, until you see
                                                What’s visible

Everything is troubled in its features
Its creatures, its impacted harmonies
            Its trebled impact, leaking after dark

Daylight is what
                            Most needs us

If you need something, describe it
            While pretending to be Charles Olson

If you are Charles Olson, then you are dead

If you are dead, stop reading

If you aren’t, continue            until breath

                            Catches in night’s machines

Defacement 4

Facing, as against the light—
                        Or touching

            Whatever midnight
Fails to bring

‘Light’ & ‘midnight’ are easy metaphors
        We wish to complicate

Crushing metaphors is an occult project—
                    A de-naming
        Or framing still
                                        In other light

When you come upon a project
        You have to accept
                                        Its terms, but also
    Must create
                        Your own

[Wait several minutes, while readers create them]

[Stutter, then applaud]

If you are a reader, stutter, then resist all conditions

If you aren’t, go back
                        To the book of displacements

Mark DuCharme is the author of five print volumes of poetry, most recently The Unfinished: Books I-VI (BlazeVOX, 2013), in addition to several chapbooks. The Found Titles Project was published electronically in 2009 by Ahadada. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Big Bridge, Bombay Gin, Eccolinguistics, New American Writing, OR and elsewhere.
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