Nigh on sense


My captor rules that
no line may flow.
Pat; words might sit 
snugly between synonyms
for white cliffs.
Thump: a boot may fall out of a sentence.
Someday I might be given paperclip
to hope you’ll think
about Sancho Panza’s last words.
They made more sense.

A burst of leaves
on a blur of mannequins.
Do you see it? Really?
All I see is everything else.

years without punctuation
I wrote about magic like a thief caught at home in bed undressed and drunk on
helicopter lights.
Listen to the whipping rotors.
Sniper drops his boot and
somewhere I skip a word
and it feels uncomfortable, doesn’t? There’s only one kind
of linguist who likes the feel
of jeans without underwear. 
Your picture frames
imperfect textures
in mixture; I’m stuck here

in a French basement.

Words are not enough
so tell them I said nothing.

(They let me write you a note.)

Once, this poem got up on two meters
and walked. Don’t you wish
you’d seen it? Standing there
by the clothesline drumming thread to
pencil. Needle. Text to textile.
Went over to fold something. Listen
to that crinkling.
Sang, upbeat: when flattening fabric, every fold
fumbles fistfirst into fiddles.

Read that again. Little faster.
Imagine that specific thing all wizards chase. All captors can cut

but no line may flow. At some point in the riverbed, a language
opens, shimmering
teal, veined with himalayas.
Listen to that. Deep and lilting.
The translator wipes
sugar off his jeans
and I get an earful.
All captors can cut tension with a word so

fine this line won’t flow either. Listen:
Syllogisms rise,
fit snugly between
jagged sky and mountain bite.
Wind crisp and crackling light.
Rhymes to seams
unnaturally bright. A torch
shines through a window in a French basement.

O captor my


With constrained poetry, every
word must bear stretching.
Listen. Pat;
the flaxen phrase pops right out. A tight fit
for text. Flown’t? Fine.
Needling through.

We’re long past the vanishing point;
winds roar into a blur of neon peaks.
Frame fills with structure
and sways. Pat, slide, falling water

stretched; needle drops. Pencil scribbles.
Nothings line the vein
drumming at your temple.
This line won’t flow. That line won’t flow.
Shimmering teal, veined with whipping rotors.
It’s useful to pack your last words
in a cliffy white box for rainy days.

Just in case.
Let us pray.




Note: Image is from the Codex Seraphinius by Luigi Serafini.

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