Karen Volkman


Reticulation of a premise
emerges in even harm
volitional as a storm
or stanching of plot and promise.

Latencies—the loss, the minus—
consider the song of the worm:
“ Am sightless as wing, leg, arm,
under my raw seeps the rawness.”

How does a namelessness name?
Suppose it were better off dead.
Or its tongue were a species of beam

jouissance of the burning to seem
occult, aureate, aspect, thread,
not number that nevers the scheme.


The thing you do you keep or claim—
there was this reason, scattered squall
blurring its faces, random thrall
of crones and clones, replicate same

shatters its single, riven name.
Oh holy puppet, genius doll,
we like to touch it, call it all
the shunt of heartwork, lurid fame

some lucent lady cradles close,
and smiling, dimming, speaks one thin
immanent syllable, viral rose

hissing its petals, ciphered skin
no word will bleed, no wound you chose
deeps the speaking its noons begin.