I glimpse you
-- if the beginnings of night have spilled, a glimmering welcomes me.
The moment you cross the blackness, a trumpet blast cancels you;
you are the irremediable sign of the cities and the brilliances.
You are on both shores, in me; in the far weaving you inhabit smoke and hill
and the woven rain resembles what you've abandoned and what I will never inhabit.
As soon as sorrow comes, I search for you in my sorrow.
-- when I was a breath and an arena,
where, what were you doing,
you are inside yourself but in reality you would not be.
You beg me, melancholically, to reshape you as a fountain, black-stockinged sorceress, lover, sometimes, of oblivion
-- habitant who knows she doesn't exist, who doesn't elude seeingness and feelingness:
it's hilarious, that I am and you are not.
Your life without me, it's impossible to consider.
May your voice be present; forever here,
beyond whether I will hear it or not.
Be present, always be.
From the dead one, gazing from sublime heights at the twilight's last shudder,
a faint heat has been left in you,
the blue form's trace in the firm chord that rocks the wind with faint heat,
it is in you.
May the silence offer a bit of sweetness, break-off from forgetfulness
so it might die in a forgetfulness
and dilute itself in you and pass away in the pour of rain;
and may all things be language unfolding at the sign of a sigh.
And may a ship from the skies discover our flesh and our hurt.
Don't play that music
-- when it's cold, the forms crave an exhalation from your grace, a sibilance and a falling dew.
The chasm of your weight is moist, and the sphinxes avert their eyes from you,
if what surrounds you is yours and scrubs you clean, you eye them, being sphinx
-- the surrounding watchfulness radiates from you in the alpha and omega of your symphonic life.
I want to discover what wind carries you and what rain, and your vision's essence in the country of first causes
-- I urge you to come and wake me, astound me.
The night's transience compels and undoes me;
my body is parceled out, and no one is able to see it or to see me.
I lie down -- if I sigh, or touch, or look at myself, it all would end: transparency's hope,
life itself; the promise of tresses and lights in your apparition
and the welcome of the temples and the greeting of the songs.
My voice acclaims a feat; the furious motion of the black hand writes that your avowal is fruitless.
If you don't plan to sleep with the fishes, if you don't utterly change,
the extravagant black music will plunge into water, and the city will flow away in a sibilation.
Sink your lips into shared death, sheltered by the fingers above and below it,
bury yourself in the unargued and unstated, in the half-light of those who die in vacillation
-- for death comes not just from life, but also through vacillating.
(Death, full and harmonic, has nothing to do with death by vacillation,
and I don't mean that those who don't vacillate might be immortal.)
If you don't sense a spider's scent and can't read the stillness, you die;
but never if your brow were bitten, only so long as you didn't dream it was your own brow biting you.
When you haven't vacillated, death waits for your brow to be bitten in order to receive you.
Still, love leads me to clamor for your safekeeping in luminous echoes and universal tasks,
in active and motionless masses that freeze and proffer joy.
A wild clamor sustains your preservation, your particular time beyond temperature's sign.
May my wish be engraved in solemnity, in warmth and in wombness.
LIKE A LIGHT
In the hour of the star's dying,
my eyes will lock on the firmament that shimmered with you.
Soundlessly and like a light,
lay the transparency of forgetfulness
on my path.
Your breath returns me to the patience and sadness of the earth,
don't divide yourself from evening's fall
-- let me see, on the other side of you,
what remains for me to die.
YOU ARE VISIBLE
You stay and stay in the fragrance of the mountains
when the sun goes down,
and it seems to me I can hear your breathing in the freshness of the shade
like a pensive good-bye.
At the threshhold of your leaving, fire-like, these clear images will yearn for you.
They are rocked here and distantly by the evening's wind;
I accompany you with the rustling of leaves; I watch for you the things you loved
-- dawn will not efface your passing; you are visible
In the furnace of your form my blood flows, in the air of dreaming
you are the weather for aloneness
-- a shadow sings in the water's depths for you, to the rhythm of my heart
and in your gaze my eyes are quiet from the music
borne by light's breath
in the sky and in the darkness.
Tonight I gather your form,
the echo of your mouth at the core of a forgotten song
-- and I embrace you.
Come; I am nourished by your depiction
and by your redolent melody,
I dreamed of the star that could be reached with a song
-- I saw you appear and couldn't grasp you; the song carried you an unsettling distance,
and the remoteness was too great and your breath too faint to reach the light-burst of my heart in time
-- my heart, drowned in a compassionate rain, fiercely efflorescing.
Come, nevertheless; let my hand impress on your forgetting an unforgettable force,
draw near to witness my shadow on the wall,
come once; I want to fulfill my passion for good-bye.
You can also read
five shorter poems by Jaime Saenz
in this issue of Jacket
Kent Johnson’s author notes page gives more recent information.
Jacket’s ‘author notes’ provide direct links to various pages in the magazine that feature more of an author’s work, reviews of their books, and interviews.