Kelley White (USA): Three Poems

IMAGE: CRANIUM & DAHLIAS

the awful roots of the teeth exposed,
the worm tracks
of the sutures, the horrible
worms of the cranial vessels,
the awful absence
of the nose

oh eyes
what have you lost
in turning
to blossom?

IMAGE: DRIED SKELETON OF A CHILD
SHOWING VEINS & ARTERIES

It is the hook
imperfect, bent irregularly,
and the indignity
of the picture wire,
uneven, twisted, wound roughly
around itself, looping
like the veins
and arteries
we are supposed
to observe;

what we see is the mouth,
small, uptilted,
as if reaching for air, the empty
nostrils snapped back
in that same hunger,
cheeks starved,
the heavy red aorta
a keel
in the empty boat of the thorax,

the pelvis pulled open
like shoe leather,
and the arms stretched out, pulled wide
as if in welcome, as if to embrace,
as if in running surrender to whatever horror
brought her down

IMAGE: EIGHT FETAL SKELETONS

They shouldn’t be walking. Little faces, big heads,
so pleased to see us, sapling arms waving past
bowed ribs, chin up stitched toothless grin.
Small bones, big emptiness. As if
the eyes were forgotten
inside. What a company standing on their little toes.
Why stand them erect?
They should be wound
into the soft pouch of a womb,
not this wire up the back, this varnished
pedestal. They are too tall. Little darlings.
They shouldn’t be walking. They should curl
like any child. Like your child. Like my child.
Like a eagle in an egg, like a stone in the bed
of the sea, like a cotyledon folded
in a lima bean.

AnnMarie Eldon (UK): "...ing over death"

Brahma genes are said to have no boundaries depicted not as white blood or lymph presiding over death but as lilies. He was born from attendants both male and female, their cells crowding out healthy forms from solid tumours. His break from him closed in, ruled over a differing bouquet.

But Time had her emblem depicted with no represented things or normals. Her unstolen nutrients either cultures left behind or the household goddesses presided. Vedas are depicted with birds, with sacred trees, with the first two times they formed solid knowledge & liquid wisdom. Lord Brahma then was born from carcinogens to have no boundaries. I can't do theories behind the secondary meanings

Her tumours can't do theories behind the sword, with no representational things normal, pushing between the surrounding kamandalu and his hand. Genes are closed in The Rule Over Death. She is bear arms with birds, with sacred trees, with birds, with birds, with lilies. She is a serene soul and fertility goddess. Ritual dances beyond the water pot, flirting for the suruva sacrifices: goats, pigs, doves and the sport of the snake. Vishnu at the white blood lymph where tumours can't do theories behind Vedas.

Their cells break from them Carcinogens are also said to be cancers for cancer held Brahma and he the mountains for the sword, with birds, with sacred trees, with sacred trees, with birds, with no represented. Sacred trees in often open fields. And often the society, with the mountains, the white or blood. Ritual for me You are my kamandalu and a rosary respectively His vehicle is bear arms with birds, with baetylic pillars with lilies as weapons.

During tissues or a fertility, poppies have always been a check to menstruation. To represent things normal cells break from them chemically, physical, physical, physical, or mutated. This causes uncontrolled cells. Cells and a fertility. Poppies have always been a check to menstruation and a hand is the white blood or leukocytes. Leukaemia as the double-axe, is the goddess, and her travel the travel of barrenness or a fertility. Only the white

Only the goddess and travel of barrenness of sports were born from the kamandalam water pot, then it was a mother and the genes which were chemical. or mutated A huntress of malignant tumours has no boundaries. I am depicted with sacred trees, with no check to menstruation And the women would offer sacrifices such as goats, pigs, doves and the first two times they formed solid.

Chemical, is that physical, or mutated? I was a huntress of open fields I am a serene soul and I hunt in the mountains for the white blood or lymph. There we form secondary lilies I am overdepicted with male attendants. The goddess ritual dances differed, had a dominion of any man with no represented things normal. It was born from his eyes are chemical, his eyes are chemical, his eyes are

physical I have no boundaries. My cells a fertility. Only the hare when she was enthroned, is a serene soul and fertility no representation. Normal cells or infertility begins to birth from a secondary theory. Brahma it was, then attendants. The goddess always had been a check to menstruation. Had been a check of malignant tumours. Not all theories are cancerous, though some are white and some are blood and some are lymph. These tumours can't do theories behind household rituals.

But dances forming secondary tumours have often fallen in open fields of malignant learning in a monotheistic society. Women would offer to the sacrificial suruva, the mountains, goats, pigs, and doves. From knowledge & wisdom, Lord Brahma, with kamandalam, (the suruva missing) in each hand holds a growing goddess. Chemical, physical, or mutated, this causes uncontrolled cells to begin to crowd.

Crowds take over life and of barrenness do lilies from attendants travel. The emblem becomes depicted as blood and lymph. The depicted is represented with weapons. During tissues or infertility poppies, and barrenness of the goddess battles fertility. Rituals come from mountains and from the mountains blood and from the blood symbols. And Brahma becomes goddess.
Ritual dances for the mountains; Lord Vishnu at the white male attendants.

Lilies with no boundaries. The goddess is depicted in rule over life and the mountains, especially over the mountains. The malignant cancer turned from Brahma to the things of things, as protectresses. with baetylic pillars upon me with baetylic pillars uphold me

Ritual blood dances form secondary tumours. Tumours can't do theories behind the sky and a there is blood and a rosary respectively. Vishnu is bear and in his arms he is holding fertility tissues and me Poppies emblematic are depicted with lilies. Always a check to menstruation. Always a check to menstruation. He who sits on a lotus & his eyes are chemical and not mutated. This causes uncontrolled cells to steal nutrients from the genes. The checks are said to have always been a check.
And for the check, only the goddess dances for the cancerous; then it was enthroned, sacrificial. Plus not all cancerous, not all tumours.

Some choices.

Then it was a different goddess and the goddess becomes depicted in ruled over bouquets of lilies. The bouquets can't do theories behind cells. The Vedas travel from them. Carcinogens are chemical, physical, or mutated. This causes uncontrolled menstruation and the travel of barrenness of malignant tumours.

A crowd begins. Plus, the tumours and the goddess, and the goddess with lilies from the carcinogens are closed in open fields of lilies. When the end of one deity.
forms a solid, tumours in other goddesses with no representeds to things normal – break.

Cells break from the first two time and so it has been such a long time They form secondary differeds: differeds of lilies and goats. Menstruation steals nutrients from attendants. Fertility is a huntress and as different from a goddess as a ritual dances or forms secondary tumours.

so whisper mountains, whisper blood, whisper lymph The goddess of lilies has always been unchecked to menstruation and the goddess grows from Brahma alisten "mountains, blood, poppies, lymph, dances Dances hands each hand is the blood and our love leukocytes and we grow from the Lord to gene whispers with no representations no other listeners pillars

so to whispers goddess to goddess not mutated but chemical not representeds but original not hunted but whispered not secondary but deities not bouquets but menstruating no others but our whispereds our
whispereds

Feature Poet: Rachel Blau DuPlessis (Philadelphia, USA)

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, author of the long and continually evolving poem “Drafts,”
skillfully blends elements of Objectivism, Language poetry, and standard lyricism. “Drafts” is a tapestry of wide scope and marked delicacy. DuPlessis treats the engaged reader to a sophisticated, cerebral, emotional, historical, anti-historical mélange of themes, thoughts, images, and allusions.

DuPlessis shares the post-structuralists’ fascination with “text” as an alternately equivocal and viable entity. DuPlessis’ text is rooted in a sensitive, finely-honed appreciation of its’ own “textuality”, the roots of language in more language, ending in final, unspeakable loss. Explorations of loss (whether personal, political, literary or otherwise) seem central to the logopoeia of “Drafts,” and Duplessis responds with a word-built mandala that transcends the ephemeral and ultimately affirms (a degree of) faith in the powers of writing.

An interview with Rachel Blau DuPlessis.


DRAFT 59: FLASH BACK

1.
A half glass carafe,
a half-filled glass,
a choice red ochre chalk,
a felt-blue paper,
particular words for things
incite lines whose shadows
break in cryptic outlines.

The paper blue as sky, the chalk as red as ground.
These “vigorous scribbles”
do suggest “deep space.”
Lighter feather touches
fluttering letter-farfalle
do recall long scrolls.
Calligraphy crossing depiction,
scrolls sometimes annotated
by their owners; aside, say,
the four-stroke egret,
a note by the reader,
as we might write something
in the margins of a book.

Depth, length
and continuance
become responsible
in glistening webs of letters,
learning their ethics from poesis,
during fabrication.
Streaks, points, gleams, and transposition
articulate various desires,
and textures cry with pleasure
exacting the price of their plethora.

Such filiated evanescing “it” ‘s are there among
the apple gests we set to tempt the dead
with the happiness of making,
with the open bright of listening
as if to larky twits of finch
through light surround of air.
Awe-full Emily
dearest Sapph
weirded trumps of Gert,
alas, they cannot hear
although we talk to them.
We hold out a red box
and walk toward them,
the rainbow threads between
unrolling and reknotting
wanderful languages.

Splay of cardinal-pointed questions make a rayed-out rose
flooding the heart with alternative directions,
the rose of desire inside the poem’s patchouli
and not ironically.

2.
How did desire get here? Hearby. By they-her or elles.
By elevation. A leg up. By He-and-she and birds,
by little one, big one, dog and good-bye dog,
baby-milk cup cracked and gone.
It was abrupt:
one death and then another
quick turns of the rope, like double Dutch.
And couldn’t hobble-hop those fast-turned twists.
Got dazed.
And tripped.

3.
Was there enough kindling?
Dream of packing a dead girl
in a fold-over suitcase.
And therefore Years were lost.

Of covering women over
with gigantic cloths, of snagging them in nets,
was not a dream. More Years.

I zip my body bag, donate myself to science:
“feminist.” And secular to boot.
Wall-eyed between suitcase and body bag
I asked “are alterations possible?”
A poufed-out plastic bag blows by,
“Pathmark” ® is what it says.
This is an ambiguous answer
whatever the question.




4.
Question:
Why use the alphabet to organize,
or why not? Discuss.
Suggest another mechanism of order.
One form and then another.
Something that sort of ends, but sort of not.
The alphabet is existentially funny.
Lettristic vaudeville, a blood-orange horizon.
Such obsidian wings
as talking points sashaying into zones.
I mean there’s satisfaction arriving at
(English) “zed,” and (American) “zee”
but no insistence that anything particular be.

Other end points where “arrival” is dissolved?
Maybe a grid with limits.
Maybe lengths of ribbon simply
cut to tie these presents.
Maybe qwerty or another
job-lot keyboard.
Pessoa’s was azerty.

But this is controversy
without particular point. One form or then another--
it means something, but in itself leads nowhere.
A Form itself, abstract thing, is not
self-evident in meaning.
It’s not one Anything.
“Form” is its particularized clot,
its histories and extensions, its situated outreach,
its power and prods.
Who has designs on us? and Why?
What is the force of our conviction?
Something had gotten away from us:
urgency for justice, intensities of ire,
lime-green as the after-image
in the eye of orange.

Where is it?
What are the real goals of this desire?

5.
My words get alphabetized, montaged in Flash.
The frozen gits and their long, sweet liberality,
like talking points, dance.
Not to oedipalized,
Duh to enterprise,
Me to non.
Could be Anyone’s words,
Owed to Oz, or owed to ez.
Splitting words into letters’ high res
at the point of their affirmation
casting the pearly bits adrift.

How quick to fly they are.
Like cartoons, they’re bonked and clunked
but always return. See, they return!

I put my words in flesh
they flash in shadow,
n-wards, pull and probe
thru fleece and flask.
Something propelled this urgency, this task.

My words are here among the layered pages
inside quickly moving time
intricate knobs with “wormholes”
breaking cross themselves and turning inside out.
Dark matter they seek,
sediments of unfinished business.
These layers slide across and enter
each to each as naked palimpsests.

A page: where every line stands up affright
porcupines that run ahead
in sudden light.


6.
Come
words-away.

Come-words,
away.

Not here, not here, not here.

I’m wanting
to erase all words I ever wrote
they do not answer to what is.

And now
how
unbelievable was that?

7.
Since every word is three, there is multiplication
that can not stop,
can never be called finally to account,
but is always accountable,
can only be ridden like a wave and then another wave,
folded in a thick green danger.

Since every word is four, there is concentration.
Blue light swells from earth
then black and there are stars
without lines and without stories,
no names, no myths;
just stark and starker far-ness.
Perhaps it is comforting
perhaps the rage of matter
overwhelms
but whatever else is there
we’re
living out our atom-laden recklessness:
fruta da época.


8.
I wanted to know about making art and telling the truth.
Niente da vedere,
niente da nascondere.
And then the precise opposite
straining to see an other hidden side.
It is the way the day is
a yellow stain, a pool of pink
is it autumn? or spring magnolia?
The seasons fold
and pile upon the bone and slash.
The truth? It’s true.
Although I also laugh.

9.
Is it possible to say what might be found here?
Every decade another list of shadows.
I was holding this list in my hand
optimistically. But find I am deceived.
It is getting harder and harder to read.
My eyes? smudges of the writing?
a twist of the eyeball tightening into hard blur?
the magic marker streaked in the downpour?
Dry tears over blood-type headlines?

Someone came to me and showed a place
where basic flesh had been cut out, hole deep,
and in the dark invisible fingers pointed.
That was one, one real dream.

Listing and listening
-- a great swath of names and citations
and the question was what were they
what had happened
these suffering bodies
riddled and scarified, bandied, branded,
can the poem speak of it, of this
injustice, rage, despair
large amid the subjects
it must confront
at the bountries where it stands
to reckon
with, to
recognize.

I was sentenced to this bounty-boundary task
because sentences came and then I made them
but did not make them come.
They are skeletons that move their bony oars
and pump through sky
pulling their way across the wakes
of mist-laden
mote-dridden air
dedalean annunciations
of our yearning and failure.
Where is justice?
How to get it?


10.
Along the cross-hatched backwash
is a pileup of boats to purgatory;
the dead are pulling the dead
up out of the water.


11.
What co-insides with this?
vertigo.
gap.
where you leap (and where you land)
is the poem.
Being abandoned among detritus
in a plundered world.
I have lost a milky trail; I will never get it back,
but pick out well enough
red ocher marks randomized on turquoise skypaper.
Furia azul. And talk of this in reddened lines.
Enraged by our time. That simple.
That’s what I flash on.
So, now, with no further adieu,
I stand here in absolute frustration.
“This is an orientation to the crashing parts of the world.”

June 2003, October 2005

Notes to Draft 59: Flash Back. This draft was very loosely inspired in the aftermath of a chain work initiated by Dodie Bellamy for the Buffalo Poetics List in 2000. I participated with an untitled statement that proposed the instability of gender and sexuality in dreams and then offered a homophonic translation of this thought, thus creating a kind of “chora” or babble that matched and doubled the analytic proposal. The respondent to this was Brian Kim Stefans, who constructed a work called “The Dream Life of Letters” by alphabetizing the words in my statement, arranging them in mini-sections, and, using a Flash program, made, with serious wit and visual acumen, an animated text and a web poem from the words and letters, certainly transforming the text I wrote. The result, in his words, was a “long flash animation poem with a twist of avant-feminist lime.” URL http://www.ubuweb. In the poem “Not to oedipalized, Duh to enterprise, Me to non” are from Stefans’ index of the units of his work. In an e-mail interview from March 2001, Stefans also briefly discussed this set of tactics with Darren Wershler-Henry. Wershler-Henry asked whether the transformational tactics of this work did not compromise the feminist speculation in my statement. See Stefans, Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics (Atelos, 2003). To say I am of two minds about this event minimizes the minds; however, I have no critique of the fact of appropriation, nor any longing for “origin” as in “the original text.” The “wanderful”: Marisa Berna. “Vigorous scribbles” suggesting “deep space” is from the Jasper Johns show, February 1999, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Modifications of “Come, words, away” are based on a poem by Laura Riding. “From ‘Come, Words, Away’,” Selected Poem 2003. Niente da vedere, niente da nascondere means nothing to see, nothing to hide; it is a motto of Alighiero Boetti, from the Italian Arte Povera movement. The last line was said at a conference by Bonnie Costello. Donor drafts are the whole “line of 2”: She, Cardinals, and One Lyric. Originally published in CONJUNCTIONS, 2004.

DRAFT 60: REBUS


The task is to see the riddle.
Heidegger, Epilogue, “The Origin of the Work of Art. ”


A moonlight fall across the ground
makes the dark nouns brown.

Owl passing through this place
frightens the dark, a moment rent.

Quotidian = astonishment.
This wind arrives from outer space.

How to articulate fermented strangeness,
how tell the junctures charging us?

What syntax exposes these relations
these helixed twists of filament?

To juncture, we are sentenced
inside a suppurating, blow-hard time.

It is the res, rebus conjugation
that offers of as pigment.

What visits us announcing where we are?
To say “angel” gets misunderstood.

But even a handkerchief, even
a spent bulb speak doubly

at once of loss and of ineffable
winged flashes of time.

Not possessions of possessives
but things requiring our Being,

equally breaking, slashed and torn.
Who speaks; who writes?

The dead. But they stay silent.
Who then moves words along

a little screen, blue-gray like sky?
C’était, ma soeur, la providence awry.

The living. Toggles of shame
and flame leech their veins.

Between these riddles,
Things present themselves like speech.

House bridge well tree
gate jug window tower

They say: it’s so beautiful
couldn’t you do better?

Or: you have made it; but then
you insisted on worship.

Thereupon
destroy.

Suddenly from this mattedness
in and out of nowhere in a fettered place,

the pure Too-Little
swivels inside out

becomes an awe, Too-Much.
A plethora. Magnetic urgency.

Hinges of light, hallways, staircases turning,
spaces of being, force fields of ecstasy.

Now we feel surges of the overwhelming;
now we have a different angle on things.

Major dreams with guns. Must rescue children.
Everything I saw then was premonitory.

Everything goes wrong. Like a stone
a grey bread grows stale.

Can’t cut it, can’t soak it, unspeakably hard,
it’s a twisted loaf we thought was fine;

it is the rock of our politics
looming on the table.

I wanted another desire, one bread after another
the green or greener guide of lune

I wanted a whirling list of hopes
hopes hopes hopes whole alphabets of H’s

to evaporate and leave the sweet encrust,
a deep powder, a power inside the poetry

and inside the mind. I wanted--
it doesn’t matter because

I could not get it easily or even
did not understand myself in this,

wanted a new kind of climax
at the center of day, the Of

specifying itself, as juncted connection,
as counter-force, as transformation.

It seems as if I’m not living
on earth any more

at least the one I know.
The name of this place is--

Loss of Wishes?
Uncounted Dot? No-taste Fruit?

Headless Doll? Barbed Window?
Burning Book? Over-padded Chair?

Are these new Constellations
in our bell-vast sky?

Some They want to own the sky as
proof that They own us. Our Of is

our resistance. The poem offers
an exchange of rebuses, not a game.

This is not simply the world as such
but a world stained with other times

the riddle of rubble
that still speaks of

uncanny shame, of
alternatives that did not happen.

It’s strange now that the Constellations
lie upside down as if tumbled from behind

turned into another hemisphere:
the W of Cassiopeia now an M,

and it stands for moaning and
muttering, for occluded humming

and for wolfish maps. Why such misery,
why such merciless management?

Klage, Klage. The disinherited.
Malarial muck for drinking water.

The twisted limbs of children
servitude, desolation.

I wanted to show you things,
the patient code

of things in a row to read--
rock, rope, doll, well, road

crystal glycerin rebus
of an empty snakeskin.

What will we show now?
To whom shall we show it?

If I were to cry out,
who would hear me?

June-December 2003

Notes to Draft 60: Rebus. Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies (1922), especially certain lines, have long haunted me. Taking (on) some version of his lines and phrases and some of his situations finally became inevitable. I have underscored the citations, mainly using the A. Poulin, Jr. translation, sometimes with slight modifications. In his Preface to the Houghton Mifflin book (1977), Poulin says “I hope someone else will find a word or phrase to steal from these versions.” He meant other translators, of course, but I thank him for his generosity in any case. Donor Drafts are on the “line of 3”: Of, Philadelphia Wireman, and Of This. Originally published in LITERARY REVIEW 48.2, 2005.

Steve Halle (Palatine, Illinois, USA): "supermarket tabloid tableau"

buy one get one free
teriyaki pork tenderloin @ $9.99/each
buy one get one tom cruise,
buy one loaf Brownberry, get one
jar of Hellman's real mayonaisse
buy one katie katie holmes?!?

buy one new & improved angelina-30
get one brad-41
bye one jennifer-36 (gown by vera wang) bye

buy one more tom-43-i-feel-the-need
for katie-i-love-you-dawson-26
tom, i want your baby baby buy buy buy.

buy two (anna nicole) smooth scoops vanilla
get one (j-lo's controversial dress) sweet can of
(aisle six) pie filling free

buy one britney's (no waiting lane three)
hit me baby
get one justin (ten items or less)
get one cameron.

buy one addicted (TGIF on ABC)
buy one cute, anorexic twin
get one crash buy one
(i watched you) pill get one
(grow up) diet
(mary kate) free

free sex sex tape one tape paris two
gena lee buy one baywatch babe
buy one colin farrell (bad boy buy) get
"unauthorized commercial
exploitation of the highly private
and confidential (FREE SEX) videotape

Good quality of information--"

buy one get one free
buy one get one
get one free

"exceeds all bounds"

buy one
get one
buy one, get--

"of common human decency"

you may hate me
but it ain't no lie
baby
buy
buy
bye.