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J A C K E T  # 6
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Lisa Jarnot
Valley of the Shadow of the Dogs
He could be so far outside himself, generating body heat, far from the
telephone, in a room, heated, with the outside of his thoughts, turning,
with precision, for the reasons he would know, nearer to god and the
mountains and the outside of the room, with the chairs, perceived as
objects, always slightly passed, looming, on the forefront, like cake,
looming, on the forefront, ambitious, like a sumac leaf, lovely, a wing,
with wings and made of cake, having counted let me count, one, the ways
that there are, unused, potentially useful, held at a distance like a
flower filled with tiny bugs, loved and lovely, without raccoons,
beside the spiders, smashed on the sides of the forks, lovely the form
in the meadow of the shadows of the dogs, howling, reckless, unusual,
unfulfilled, with the christmas lights, steady, and how close I am
to myself, and how close they are to the sumac leaves, lovely, against
the rain, falling out, fully heated, from the inside of his head, with
spiders, in a meeting, against the rain, given to this disposition,
equally talented, talkative, talking in tongues, beyond the heads of
the cows, friendly, on the staircase, friendly, where I waited and
the city moved, drenched beneath the sumac leaves, having fallen,
into the field, where the dogs are, looming, in the forefront,
in the shadow of the gods, dreaming of being alone, relieved, heated,
steady on the trees beside their wings, riding on the backs of all
the bears, and the bears, relieved to be the sumac leaves, and the
sumac leaves, relieved to be the bears, and the spider, on the plate,
relieved to be just so, wanting to be loved, where the city moved,
and then I moved, and the pins all moved, out of place, tetanus-like,
having syllables, wishing to love, wishing to love the ocean and the
ski runs and the sand, wishing to love the sheep, converging,
on the frontispiece, having thrown the ball, equally having thrown
the ball and having thrown it, into the leaves, near the trees and
all the dogs, meditating, on the coffee cups, meditating, on the backs
of all the bears.
Lisa Jarnot teaches at Long Island University and works at the St Marks in the Bowery Poetry Project in New York City. She has published Phonetic Introductions, The Fall of Orpheus, Some Other Kind of Mission, and the chapbook Sea Lyrics. 
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