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Animator pt.1

 

some predicament 

 

personality’s constancy, if and with

 

 

ripples in the chain, cracks in the china: 

 

it won’t disown me, I wouldn’t define it, so 

 

it will be left alone 

 

 

and when polio takes the right, it will be sinistral 

 

 

duly repeated theories: 

 

the world as hologram, 

 

the haystack as the needle obscurer 

 

love is labour 

 

change: inevitable 

 

but the change coming now fast and heavy-handed 

 

there are strange occurrences in the fragrance of these parts,

 

saffron, maybe brushed metal 

 

and there is a strange and foul and white noise, but worse:

 

all nights in the yellow light of a bare lamp 

 

stupid electricity, she says, 

 

you don’t get it 

 

you open your eyes 

 

with difficulty 

 

dried crust of injury holds them together 

 

like mountaineers hold on to rocks and achievements 

 

there is that 

 

and there’s a 

 

stranger leaning now on the 

 

awkwardly low windowsill 

 

picking between her toes with her fingers 

 

that’s the body-language for 

 

so what the world is coming to an end 

 

we are still going for a stroll 

 

 

a deep shade of patina 

 

whatever that means 

 

falsely timid, shoulder-patting, self-acquitting at every turn of the earth murmuring to himself god is love and 

 

love is patience 

 

but the world is young and not gentle 

 

i go through these churns of the stomach, 

 

when my heartbeat rises, i mistake it for emotions, 

 

i do my own version of the Philoctetes on the island 

 

in mine he lies on a bed of lavender, and that is 

 

pretty much that

 

*

 

i don’t know how to silken what’s been coarse 

 

the loud thumping is just replaced by 

 

a forest of juniper trees, and so 

 

there is a forest, also of, 

 

the shadows of the juniper trees 

 

(come under) 

 

you call, someone asks 

 

who it was; it’s everyone’s business don’t you know it

 

rosemary 

 

 

some impressively beautiful oddity of the body 

 

like a hand that won’t work and/or a learned mouth that won’t speak

 

so what do you do 

 

you patiently teach it to think and you learn to write with the other

 

so arduous that you hallucinate from trying 

 

it’s only as strong as an allergic reaction to fruit hair 

 

still, it induces feeble apparitions everywhere you go, you

 

don’t know if it is because you’re new here, but you know you

 

want it stronger 

 

at least that’s what you say in your journals 

 

so that everyone knows a thundercloud that’s you 

 

 

years later i touch buttons, they summon the 

 

radical history of stuff, 

 

of drab stuff 

 

of vicissitude 

 

what you believe believes back 

 

that you are a guest on the earth you tread 

 

her mother thinks 

 

she is 

 

a guest at her own youth 

 

mumbling tar and 

 

feathers, tar and feathers, tar 

 

and feathers 

 

 

you slowly tie the tourniquet 

 

rock back 

 

someone begins to shout 

 

 

a bit of fear in your palm, 

 

your trousers take the shape of your stride 

 

and your liver grows larger, a bus departs

 

you put your last gum 

 

in your mouth 

 

 

they make ice with electricity 

 

they lay very still 

 

at night in 

 

rooms with water damage 

 

you wonder if the sun each day is a new one

 

or if it’s in regress 

 

because time moves in spirals 

 

and the ailment has no cure, 

 

you put beeswax on your scalp 

 

on your clothes 

 

people open their doors to you 

 

you go through them with a false pretence

 

time is what passes between two appetites

 

the senses go reeling when you see the

 

sun light up only the top of the trees these

 

are known as the wax years 

 

 

for dew collection you need two hands one

 

walk in the forest and all is forever pastoral

 

including a half-rotten fox 

 

a bed of apricots 

 

frozen soil 

 

you have one bad toenail 

 

 

she’s got a few 

 

 

the beach is littered with smoothed glass

 

could be that people sin somewhere else 

 

 

or a miracle took place 

 

 

there’s a path with nettles on both sides

 

that’s called education 

 

walking it is diagnosis 

 

not walking it is a bedroom in an old city

 

you don’t want either 

 

someone gives you a lock of their hair

 

and in your other hand an axe handle

 

you hit a walnut

 

you touch the wood milk 

 

you collect its leaves 

 

you boil them 

 

wash the hair 

 

with its broth 

 

 

duty called and the duty 

 

responded: 

 

have faith in ourselves: 

 

some of the past is there in your face 

 

the rest is in the distance 

 

landscape’s god’s garden 

 

you are god’s dog 

 

this chalet is where you rest your breast 

 

a sharp piece of a word rolls around your tongue 

 

a faun is whispering 

 

don’t say it 

 

your eyes put death in doubt 

 

this minx is calling you to duty 

 

to your home 

 

away from home 

 

 

her hands on the beads 

 

marble body in ecstasy 

 

but you pan one-eighty and there are 

 

wastrels in the marshlands 

 

with clean eyes and mouths 

 

in the distance 

 

(some of the past yes) but also 

 

a young soldier 

 

in the distance civilisation and 

 

vilnius 

 

 

now for the baby 

 

the hours turn into weeks and years 

 

and the hours belong to the lord 

 

should the fig tree turn clear, 

 

oblivious, but tranquil 

 

should it chant an anthem 

 

life in your thirties 

 

in the year nineteen-thirty 

 

should you deny privilege the planting of red flowers and green leaves

 

should all your filaments light at the lightest step 

 

and so the dumbfounded days turn into

 

shark weeks, turn 

 

into shark months 

 

and the battle is between faith and disbelief

 

between the ample and the supple

 

basically: 

 

if it is all a lie 

 

then they should erect breath-taking

 

creaking houses in the wake of your step 

 

 

they should draw a bath in your name

 

a spider should enclose an ant in silk for you

 

may you not be up to knees in parcels

 

returned to sender 

 

may it all be reciprocated 

 

like lightning to the rod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote this poem while I was a resident at Rupert, Vilnius. It is about two poets: Rosemary Tonks who denounced poetry and became religious, and Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas who renounced his priesthood and turned to poetry.

 

*
  1. Artun Alaska Arasli

    01.05.21

  2. eva susova

    01.04.21

  3. Simon Asencio

    01.03.21

  4. Mitchel Cumming

    01.02.21

  5. Helena Grande

    01.01.21

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