I want to come to terms with my vaulted
interior, with the clocks stacked in my kidneys,
with my face of a radish
draining tears into a tile sea.
And I do not want to come to terms with this vaunted
faculty, with these mer and men maids
calving right below consciousness.
Fuse and refusal,
torque of the Vallejo legacy.
To mince the baby wind-
to feast on nothing.
When I was a woman
I smiled, the arrows bristling from my face,
an old-fashioned woman, a rooted flow.
Then I became a winged pilgrim, intestinal offerings
bumping along the ground as I flew.
My ambivalence worked my negations on looms.
Now I am gutless,
peristaltic in ascent,
radiant with memories of menstrual wastes.
Sitting under this outcropping, thinking at
the speed of limestone, I hear waiters below
struggling with diners, diners sparring with food
a breeze sweeps up the sound of gardeners
locked in combat with shoots, swimmers intercleaved
with water in the hotel pool,
the spermatic flex of yesterday's wind,
the eyes of the deep past open at what we call the bottom.
The beautician combs out Caryl's hair,
I watch a workman shearing the earth's head, revealing
its timed skull, limestone time, soft and openly dead,
not closed and alive like us, fighting with
everything we touch, trying to become headless crosses,
gods below the horizon, gods of the mystical hollow earth.
The reason you came here
has dropped away. You have butter on your fly.
You write because your beanstalk is raced by giant Jacks.
Because the midden strata at Laugerie Haute
strikes you as the origin of fashion.
As best, a zipper meshes dualities,
the zipper of the mind interlocking its own flight.
It is so moving to hear someone say
something veined with reflective and suffered pleasure.
Awake as if drunk with the last dream,
ready to remake whatever
—my life, my vision, my love-
to see through is to have nothing to resist,
is to lose the resistance for which one secretly lives.
Poetry from the beginning is posited,
based, on resistance, is a work against
whether with flint or quill
it is to convert one's boring into a lateral spell,
an ecstatic wandering
in which one lives
as if weightless on the hunch of a finger tip-
hunchwork wondrous release of the body
poised on the burin of itself.
five queasy pieces