Adam Fieled (Philly, USA): from Apparition Poems


Wood-floored bar on Rue St. Catharine—
you danced, I sat, soused as Herod,
sipped vodka tonic, endless bland
medley belting out of the jukebox—
you smiling, I occupied keeping you happy,
un-frazzled— suddenly sounds behind us,
the bar wasn’t crowded & a patron
(rakish, whisker-flecked big mouth)
lifted a forefinger at beer-bellied
bartender bitching back, soon a real
fight, violence in quiet midnight,
I, scared, got you out of there

but you had to dance, you said,
had to dance so we paved Plateau, tense steps,
found nothing, you started crying & stamping
your feet like a child, I grabbed you & dragged
you back to our room you stripped, curled
into fetal position, beat your fists against
the mattress, in this way you danced
through the night, dozed & woke ready for more—


The father’s gaze (depending which gaze
you happen to be referring to) is panoptic.
It goes in without leaving traces. So if you
have several fathers that leave no traces, &

merely invisible gazes, there is or maybe a
sense in which you have no fathers. I saw
all this happening to me, along with every
thing else, many years ago, before I could

visualize the cell I was in, before I knew
how the walls stank of fresh paint, or saw
that I was getting smeared at any juncture.
But, as I saw this, my father who was my

father turned, spoke down to me in such
a way that I listened. I took what he said,
gazed at my cell, and watched the paint dry
deep into the night before I busted out to
 watch the dawn break over the Delaware


“Be careful what you handle,”
I told her, “you can get to me
even if you touch another,” it
happened in an office shaped
like the foyer of a huge hovel,
built of mud, etchings of bugs
on the wall, perfect perverse
kids scampering among clods.

“You know what I want, and
how I can get it,” she replied,
as she took another out, put
me in, but only inside a brain
used amiss to find a level that,
shaped like a foyer, was past
office, into brick, sans mud.


Every live body has a dialect:
to the extent that bodies are
in the process of effacing both
themselves, what they efface, I
move past dialect to the extent
that there are no no-brainers
here, what’s moral in this is the
belief that properly used dialects
emanate waves to hold bodies
in place. As to who’s saying this,
I heard this on the street last
night after a few drinks with
an ex at Dirty Frank’s. It was
a bum who meant it, it worked.


Follow Abraham up the hill:
to the extent that the hill is
constituted already by kinds
of knives, to what extent can
a man go up a hill, shepherd
a son to be sacrificed, to be
worthy before an almighty
power that may or may not
have had conscious intentions

where hills, knives, sons were
concerned, but how, as I watch
this, can I not feel that Abraham,
by braving knives, does not need
the one he holds in his rapt hands?

#555 can be heard on PennSound here.

#1603, 1607, 1613 can be heard on PennSound or IA.

© Adam Fieled 2010