She wakes and takes
no look around: only knows, and
yells at the fellow by the side of the road,
tongue lolled and slapdash, the days'
heat risen porous and spongiform, devil's food
cake for a sky cackle-mooded and bright as
unfunny tin, this mood that she's in -- like the
hammered white tile of the hotel's ceilings --, this
feeling drips out, just a drop in the hurricane
bucket of "How does it go?" With a quake, that
most mountainous thing, and I've
gone and calculated its end in bare feet.
Oh, I've pebbled them smooth. Now I
live thatch-roofed at the foot of the pile, sooty
blond and chimney streamers black smoke for a while.
(Can't I undo a Solomon yell, be unwise,
slice the blade -- wide open -- and smile all
fourteen hundred missing teeth? Like the
blocks of old ramparts, these
muscles used to make the heart ache.) All of this is
unreal until the only woman wakes: the feelings
she and I used up in
shell games and rubber sticky cement. What I meant was
"Yes, I guess I should have known better how
goes any gangle of slender webbed feet, the
scale beds and horny protrusions." I know that
all of this is an illusion, uni-
corns and mermaids can't meet, can't settle
down, she already knows, and so she
wakes and takes no look around.
(Edited 12 July 2009, transcribed 5 July 2009, begun 1 June 2009. After Donald Revell, "Unreal precision of the houses". Trying to balance wanting to say something -- to speak at all about a particular thing -- and wanting to say it well: is there a sort of 'poetry of sufficiency', where language draws just enough attention to itself?)