Mark DuCharme

Faint History of What You Didn’t See

The moon arrives like fruit
Or a plaster redaction no one sees
The past in who we are
When we come up for (burnt) air
No one sees inside (us)
The past is now, as much as raw

        Earth & All that’s

The moon arrives, perhaps with a guest at the scene
Of a crime when you read or
Then imagine how to follow
It knowingly, to the scene
Of the plan or its reflection
In a creek or (burnt) stairwell—

        We fear least what placates
        Our throats in fields of

Moon arrives like smoke—
‘We’ isn’t ‘us’—
‘Us’ isn’t anyone we recognize
Anymore— we do not conform—
(You) who (is) not (‘you’)
(Is) us (or almost) all
(You who still) aren’t thralled (by you or/
                To think in mortal hardware
        To wear the face of someone else
To wear the face of the moon at night

                Full of reasons
                Not to bleed



Tampico Henri isn’t through with you yet
Midnight’s crazy with buybacks

The ghosts of arcade stranglers gum up the landscape
Winds whisper through rotten motels

I know the reason you don’t whistle
Polymaths glam up at the first sight of kitchenware

Until forests also spurn the new
Math or its variants

On a Tuesday             weather permitting
Let’s meet behind the fence just once

If you whisper rotten sandwiches

Sometimes the trees
Don’t need any examples

Winds may go
By other names

What River

Evening washing away the lanes.
First body paragraph: not
Really a nap, but not
Not one, either. Light

Folded over music as
Disruptive peace. The colors
Were garish yellow, melon, umber,
Puce or prune, mint-

Purple, cabin-fever amber, wilted
Green, pale chicory & peach-
Lemon, out-of-tune synesthesia of a partial
Lavender or turquoise. The froth of ice in

Wine when it melts. Second
Body paragraph: the truth comes in
Stammers— see
You where the fishing nets hang

Loosely, down the building’s
Exterior. A can of fish solder
With garments set to go 

If you can’t wander off, I won’t
Look for you later
Where you still don’t know
What the river feels.

Landscape with Muffled Cries

Regulators stuffed the eucalyptus trenches
Like the voices of those near us who
Do not reach the end

Asleep in the sculpture where the moon won’t
A hungry risk, or bag of worn-out

Lemons. Lather or ladder? An elbowed
Demeanor. The sun is low
& We aren’t far. The pontoon is loaded with sand.

Crisp density. Swollen eyes.
Now is the time if you want a parade; the
Avenue is hungry.

Put your foot on the bandana & stumble.
I’ve had enough of boutique smiles. The picture
Flattens the ligature—

Pieces of bird matter in the linoleum filter
Being neither depth nor arcade. You aren’t here.
Erase pediments while fierce crows beckon.


Your life in reach I never will
Dream of Tuesdays without stars.

It was destiny never to meet—
The cake uneaten, the notes destroyed

Or lost to time’s shuffling.
I had wanted to warn you about

The privet halls & their oblique
Sense of wovenness

But the pipe clipping had been delayed
By bitter dowagers who soon burst forth

Despite our weary exhortations.
When you live in Greenland, must you do

As the local new musicians do? There it is
On your hat rack. Do you believe us now

As we whistle past the eddies to the next appointment
With a Mr. Cooper, who is overly fond of the word

Sagacious & repeats it often? The trees
Now in leaf & flower will soon be

Driven to barrenness by harsh winters. Do not fail
To irritate the woodpecker, for he will respond

In kind, & with a gravity proportionate
To his steely allure. Meanwhile, women are weaving

Bongos somewhere— of this, you can be sure!
& The polka dot arrangements seemed gaudy at

The time, but we persisted with the nostalgia,
The febrile curiosity. War had been averted,

But our hopes reduced to ash, & all they
Embellished to an ever-expansive narrative

Framework, like a loom, onto which a tapestry
Had been woven the wrong color. No one will notice,

You said, after time undoes it, while we shunt
Forward to decay— a little closer with each passing day.

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, E∙ratio, First Intensity, Indefinite Space, New American Writing, Noon, Otoliths, Shiny, Talisman, Unlikely Stories, Word For/Word, and Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary. A recipient of the Neodata Endowment in Literature and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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