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This issue of JACKET is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
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Phillip Foss


dragonfly and hummingbird · or the shadow
beside the object of your adoration : these then are the choices

                                                         ( or you perceive
yourself as a crane )

                                                        you are a lutenist · the sunlight
remains orange ·
its perimeters defined by freezing

this is a fence based neither on exclusion or introversion · but on hue

                       a hue

you measure in years ·
the dilution appearing upon the body
as if it had consumed an ever-receding horizon

        this · of course · is where you stand :
beneath a canopy of receding · for sacrality or comfort · believe it a hue or ·
in desperation · a meaning

                     there are windows
which do not open into the soul but away ·
these are your exit · name them : lithic conglomerate or forest litter :
minute distillation of matter

                  ( you are merely another organism
synthesizing light ·
the trees are red · the sky white )

                        this is the white symphony :
enough metals in the brain to make the nerves sing · or the room turgid

this is your vocation :
to define your deficits : lifetime of askance apprehension ; ear blow out of pitch :

a projectile which the yellow autumn blossoms deflect

perhaps there were winds in that music ;

         perhaps there was a choir
other than ravens directing the falling leaves ;

                                                                   perhaps there was a pure
momentum like a single bubble ascending
from the lake’s black mud

                        probably not ·
yet the seasons continue to rachet · species of delerium

perhaps there were other methods to contradict this unravelling —
spindle or nomenclature —
flesh fraying off · any sleeve · around the bewildered soul

probably not · then who is the infant that sits down ·
always astonished · in the puddle of melted ice

                     no one · surely

the plan was to capture something beautiful :
voice of a scarlet bird ; bit of crystal from a star ;
even an ideal human being

( doll of a god fabricated from corn husks

                                                               is adequate ) · these were elusive ·
true · yet there were the flute-toned whistles of elk seemingly brittle in the fog ·

there were even minute black beaks
picked up from the forest floor ·
                                                     even beautiful eyes

why is your face coated with graphite ? a gilding of that expression?
even such a gesture is futile :
there is sobbing or drunkeness or icestorms

even that night-blackened ribbon of ice terminates above some white sea
where you will · perhaps · always fall

                            into such notions

of disease ; even now you believe yourself a numeral

the ninth · as in a white note · the singing always about shame

here you should disembark · forsaking
even this fragile shuck ; this shameless combustion

then slippage or wreckage · the field is fair ; course clear ·
some say even the notation is lost or defaced

                                                 a transmigration of the ideate
to the embodied (ceramics of teeth)
and dissolution (silt) moves
tangentially across the cliff wall untethered to person · thus (sleet) arrived

you : dismembered

relic of memory (heron impassive) ·
the bell or voice · always calling · the way · every way unmarked ·
each song sephardic (or sleep)

                        this rope
upon which you are strung is a road · confused · ambiguous ·
always arriving at any paradise                                            

New American Writing # 19 and Jacket 13   Contents page
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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
published in the northern spring of each year by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover
369 Molino Avenue, Mill Valley CA 94941, USA
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