Geof Huth

       Which When Becomes

now a pen
draws me into paddock. That
is the way this urge infests
the blank rage of morning
with thought;

if a third child approached
unbeaming and sloop-shouldered,
the sinister clutch
of a pencil belying intent,

I would wrest the inchoate thought
from its hand, crack the waxy shaft
into soft shards of color
(which would glint upon an ink-stained page)

and knead the lumps into the linty
fabric of the sheet. The results
we would sit down together to read,
mumbling forth whatever

dull afterthought we could churn out
of those sinuous stalks of sense until
we were satisfied. The sun
would pulse light down upon our tablet,

I would wrench the latent pen
from the table and chew with its nib a few
marks into the dried pulp,
underlining each word we could not
fathom forth into snow

       lingering perdition

stand and stare, they sought
in desperate acceptance, a reason half
to care to believe that every loathsome issue
were a dream evaporating to
a small blue stone,
a vow purified into action, an essential
lozenge they could swirl on their tongues into
some vague recollection of triumph;
fiddling with gowns they wore
to Sabbath sessions, they found that hooks
held fast against any desire to open
the fabric to the entrance of flesh,
a pudgy shoulder against the air,
a rippling of sweat across the crook of
neck, their brows wrinkled
into washboard worry
so much
that no endurance against resistance
could defeat, so they settled
down to leave as was the only was
they then knew, toenailing their wispiest
desires into a fluttering future,
neither flesh nor solid, a gaseous
planet the crepuscular flight of any bat
might break into beads of wind
so cool, so refreshing,
that none of their children would ever require
any liquid to drink.

       for want of wine

letters lost by generations of illiterates
ravish virgin memories that slave against the verge
where the smallest birds ascend to the highest
canopy; there remain,
underfoot, slumbering, a thousand hollow tendencies
that infect literate thoughts
with meaning: the thundering
footfall of adders, a number greater than
a fallen eight, one coursing banquet
of sumptuous silver, slivers
of seeming, the border between bread
and broad—wider than wight,
a slight turn of attention
to a solitary seme, where each
knuckle of g and knee of m
accumulate into an homunculus of crippled beauty;
then wonder of sound might
find that last fight wrenched
to bone of one earward
glance that torments the half-blind kin
with wings.

       Any Movement Forward Stopped

quelched, shirked, and snubbed,
the line of thought, of words concatenated,
interpenetrations of shape, sound, sense,
and thought; he wrought
a perfect shroud, pure white,
encumbered with symbols,
a shambles of words,
unheard yet seen, unseen
but heard. If on a snowish day,
he perceived his car as pen,
the snow as page, the tread
of tire as printed word
in longing lettered pause, impermanent,
immanent, then
the sudden shudder of frame against frame,
collapse, a folding in of fender,
bumper, trunk and door,
would be the just-found thought
imperfect, haunting,
hurt and right.

       water with berries in’t

a spade turning in a mind:
shovel, leaf, spearhead, a black bruise;
a languaged Caliban, unassuaged
by tongue, to ear, twists through
dwindling twilight to the edge between
reason and ocean, a wandering
line leading neither forward nor
backward but
circle, ball, breast, a turn
that leads an eye off to query what
thing might, thought, then be;
the pendulous catalpa pods droop
toward lawns greened by summer,
wet with sweat, and yet if
this subtle green, sure and simple
in its singleness, were nothing
but a pate of shaggy blades
leaning upward to sunlight
then nightfall, that same Caliban might wonder
whether the hot sand of the strand
were rock or pebble
or maybe a beast too large
for any to recognize,
a beast too large
to merit

       It All Comes Back to You

the envelope of pity, a pretty
thing—how it purses
its lips, the wide thigh
of its mouth flattened fat,

judging your life astride
this brace of woes,
finding fashion in the swale
of pattings, your left shoulder
polished, sheen of skin
in the bare sunlight of

your own stubby sorrow
itself now a swollen burden,
a burlap sack stuffed with sodden
puppies, each of whose cold soggy hearts
reminds you of your own,

pittering within your ribcage
unable to escape the press of regret
that holds
your frame together
across the oncoming surge of minutes

Geof Huth is an American who has lived on most continents on earth (but not Australia). Over the years, he has created visual and other poems in a wide variety of formats: lineated verse, prose, paintings, drawings, and films. He has been published in venues as diverse as The American Poetry Review, Dreams and Nightmares, Kalligram, Lost and Found Times, Modern Haiku, La Poire D'Angoisse, Prakalpana Literature, ZYX, and atop bandaids. His chapbook of visual poems, "Out of Character," will soon be published by Paper Kite Press. He writes almost daily on visual poetry at his blog dbqp: visualizing poetics. Geof is one of the two Geof Huths in the world; the other lives in Australia.

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