Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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The First Light of a Quantum Plenum
     —for Hannah

The sun paints the obsidian blade, a green
quarreling with liver . . .        the Olmec
cross on the hillside
like a pink-black bird over a plague city.

One in twelve Jesuits missing fingers
on the gloved hand,
digits fitfully sawed off
with tiny white shells
by North American savages . . .       more sums
over histories, a predictability of sun
not trusting the pus-and-gauze of empire.

Mexico City and Montreal shake . . . 

     we do not enough attend
     to what passes within
 . . .
          —Percy Bysshe Shelley

The madness starts here saying
time was once just another dimension
of space, stilled and nearly solid, then
provoked again into movement: splitting
burly cathodes, silled and projective.    The lamp
of privilege that gets to ask the question.
Albert, do you still
love the one glove of entanglement?  What are
the ten biggest banks in Argentina.

He doesn’t refuse the confusion of little
red sleigh bells in the passing big hair
of the very small woman walking out of water
in a graying Berlin.

The madness starts here with the patent
on an active unspeakable
refrain . . .    a turquoise piano
filled with ice cubes.  Gin in their shoes.  Again.
Not Germany, but a geology

past redemption, it was
literally bound to happen to us,
the infinite condition of rigor
in a breeze, in that stand of trees!

(The Planck satellite blinking off in some
quick inflation, a fairy tale now
in the burning frontier ramparts, a failed
ramshackle mathematics calling
Taxi, taxi-loon . . . 

The hermitage re-districting across the microwave
background of yellow donkeys.)

This arab winter selling matches in the streets.

Love, the question is about burnt meat and potatoes.
An ethical meal of bone.  In the smaller quotations
of bone.
Naked, she pushes
aside the fried potatoes and jam.

Someone in television arguing that the beauty
of a woman’s breasts is classical.
Just perfect nonsense rising into trees
beyond my balcony.  A reminder
of the kite up in the big linden.

My cat’s been dead now for two weeks.

That ragged kite is my right bivouac,
a paper hinge of existence
lodged in the darker branches. 
The cat watched it like colored

strangely-dimensional pages
turning toward the sullen ferry
bobbing out on a nearly frozen lake
with folds of fading water, lots
of blood in the sputum. 
Our sun
an undiscovered sunken riverboat
of margarine.

It’s a simple matter
of how much importance
you’ll assign to a discreet molecule
that has never met you.  And
that wouldn’t ever want to . . . 

This silence is for Shelley.  His wife’s
chin was thought to be blunt
but classical.  I miss
them both like a toothbrush.

Or pair of sandals.

It’s like those ignorant Italian fishermen
plunging their long sharpened poles
deep into the beach sand
hoping to find the hastily buried corpse
of the drowned Shelley.  The widow
protesting . . . 

Suddenly a much different sound,
not more da-woush,
but something modern, a wet sand,
skin, thigh-bone!  Birds screaming up and off

the pinking cliffs.  Our government
weaponizing viruses. . . .   miles
of open trenches
from the hedgerows to the sumptuous sea.    

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