Mark DuCharme

Fool Mirror

There are no absolutes
In poetics, only

Words in this strange world
That no one lets us leave

Mirrors have fingers
Of minnows & straw

You have left the lake in the rear
There it is on your pillow

You who would flower
Only befoul me

With the irritations of dull

The cuneiform uniform wasn’t
Worth it

Night is adjacent to summer
Leaves tossing

In moody ink
While children devise new & better folk songs

Is there no one to lift us
From this despair?

Come to me, shadows
While the lake is blooming!

Vital Orchids

He senses someone looks at
    Darkened skies
While other somber hombres wander
        Off & dither. What first

Attracted you about distanced
    Learning? Do you live in a place
You already wanted to
        Die in

Before vital orchids rasterized
    Your lungs?
I used to want to be a rooster;
        Now I am

President of Cambodia
    (Ha-ha!) plus lots of
Random, urgent ballyhoo
        Filled with music & bright lights.

But just as an aside, bitter
Doesn’t always lead to life coaching.
        Is it unfair to say someone’s

Work’s insufficiently
    Lively? I’ve got cinnamon rosaries &
Desperation psalters. In case you missed that
        Memo, we

Are abutting tangled moments no more
    Subject to paraphrase. Standing in place
In a floral emergency
        In ancient protective rain gear

Where, human, I seem
    To be without ghosts—
Sent in light with birds to meet you
        Who then suddenly depart.


Someone Else’s Tongue

The peace of birds won’t swerve
All you meager reivers. The protégés had been occupied
With turnips. We held them in quarantine
Until all we could muster
Was a subjective mirage.

We’d been deceived by distanced forms of things before 
That we don’t need. Life can be awful
If full of limp zinfandel. Come to & stumble
While the wind still isn’t true.

Perhaps I’m not a novice yet, but
All hotels are full of vacant skies
& The sounds of those who jabber

About rooftops in winter
Feigning a mild gaiety—
A fatal impulse to leave things behind.

But What Does It Sound Like?
                                             for Randy Prunty

Cold    & the leaves bleed
    At the hour of no one’s birth
                    Where did the child go            who didn’t know
            & How many hours                   are left to go

I thought about it all                   in the time we had left
    In the snow where you didn’t                land or keep falling
Above where the shrill                    night beckons
        Helplessly                        without a verb

    & Any sound you know                    will go
To name in the snow        or echo                        then fall
Behind it        flittingly                   but once again to resound
        That silence is the absence of sound        or snow

In a flicker or timbre    in the cold            autumn cries
    We are given birth to                        in or around
                This act of                        sound
            While histories accumulate               & rush past the dead

Who are you    in a moment       etched                forgotten
            It didn’t take    the eyes have made            such strangeness
       As it hadn’t needed        to bleed        distilled    in days    it tastes
   All we are is        all that we               remember &        redeem

All is all &        everything                near it
Wherever we go we go &            round up the bitter
        Days stutter &                there will be others
            Friends remember                    breath skims

Mark DuCharme is the author of We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film, Counter Fluencies 1-20, The Unfinished: Books I-VI, Answer, The Sensory Cabinet and other works. His poetry has appeared widely in such venues as BlazeVOX, Caliban Online, Colorado Review, Eratio, First Intensity, New American Writing, Noon, Otoliths, Shiny, Talisman, Unlikely Stories, Word for/Word, and “Poetics for the More-Than-HumanWorld,” a special issue of Dispatches from the Poetry Wars. A recipient of the Neodata Endowment in Literature and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home