20140905

John Martone



                                                                                                                                                      for Richard Gilbert
Passing the night this way’s a self-inventory of emptiness.
Clove hitch, sheet bend, square knot, figure eight, no more to
your story than these — tied properly, they come free with
a single pull placed right. Carrick benk, bowline, double half
hitch, rolling hitch, fisherman’s bend.
Tie them at random,
sitting in your chair, standing or pacing your rooming house
room. Halyard bend, hitching tie. Knot them sitting on your
bed or the floor, eyes shut, elegant mudras, till they’re deeper
than muscle memory, too deep for words. Butterfly loop, icicle
hitch, sheepshank, marlinspike, fisherman’s eye.
Catch yourself,
wanting calculus, much less topology, grasping the laws of
planetary motion in hand. Cat’s paw, lark’s head. So much for
all those radio wires, Don Crowhurst; you made it all up, out
of those helices. Your boat’s never where you say or think, &
neither are you. A figure-8 at the end to grab hold of, the heft
of a line-heaving knot flying out.







aching
a good start







morning
rigging
his body







body — mind —
feelings — thoughts & deeds —
old skerry!







empty soul
empty boat
perfect fit!







inner
turnbuckle
stand up straight!







(it’s
captain

nat
herres
hoff’s

turn
buckle)







a day’s work
the day
begins







mitosis
splitting
his pill







buckets
of tomatoes
you know what’s next







tomatoes
for breakfast







(his tomato sauce)
take the lid
off & let
it thicken







turns off
the oven
when he goes out







the greatest
gift

a little
while







microscope —
typewriter — sailboat —
it’s a trap!







who was
that
w/ you

at
the end
of

harbor
road?







whaleboat
who’d
have thought

day
would come

you’d be

so far
away







floating
floating







log book
all’s lost







norfolk pine
all the years you thought
rhode island







knotted
beads

on
a string

for
your wrist

re
member







axon — dendrite —
getting confused
his line-heaving knot







lark’s head
all these years not
knowing your name







knotting this line
look at the size
of your eyes!







should’ve learned
to tie these knots

when you were
a boy







fisherman’s knot

you’ll never work
the equation







swans
swans







the bitter end
of nylon line
to melt & crimp







(thinking of jean gau’s atom)
essential knots
those p & s
orbitals







every
day

a new
knot

his
undoing







tying — untying —
the flow of wind
& water







bowline — reef knot —
sheet bend — clove hitch —

all the nameless







a good
knot

falls
apart







let
go of

the last
thought

—northern summer, 2014




John Martone’s most recent work, monera immerses his short poems in homemade photomicro-graphs. An e-version of the book can be found on his scribd page. Print copies are available in color and b/w formats from lulu or the author.
 
 
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