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Bruce Andrews

Strike Me, Lightning

A. 1.

catechetical [cathechismal]
gold placebo
star milk, Milky Way
practice modesty of the eyes
dreamy idolatry
Ocean of Colors
outside of time
none of my loving
magic lantern captivity
Please destroy this letter

A. 2.

Let the night have its way with you
in blind circling
white incendiary adoration disguise
& cast a spell
the common mantle of night
following me around like a pair of scissors
property of dispossessed daughters of Eve
inanimate unloved
to memorize
albino shadows
curfew bells
lunar eclipse
the bitter pill
back to the straight & narrow

A. 3.

noosed fate
sensory bypass
crepe-light mea culpas
bride of Christ picking a wall
how far
subscribing the hand
world closed to the future
lips prison incense
auto de fe
fetus exemplar
unknow my event
womb, library, conch shell
house of echoes
phantom magnet
you without yourself
thus far
& no farther

A. 4.

More, I am not in charge
conducted to this happy death
the imitation of the imitation
invisible I, the worst
woman in the world, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
or incubus —
wish you were here
another sheep for your flock
as the net closes around
cloistered unsex virgin
pregnant cloud
rosary noose
thermal panjandrum

B. 1.

The Divine Verb
coincidentia oppositorum
how violent-wanting
leather bites
Pandora’s Box
felicitate me
stutter stammer
make a foam
try not to flinch
seashell heartshapes
prodigal with
ardor, incendiary
risk appreciates
I, the least worthy of all
of fragrant vanilla
smoke slips through her fingers

B. 2.

Don’t forget me
ostentatious sweet
ecstasy hounding
heart unattacked
pang, mi bien
puppet mate
echo chest
turned it into a toy
syllables stars
syllables stars
diablo romance
bonds bind tight
ink, black teardrops
humid liberty
silk of flesh
heart carved away

B. 3.

The best steel must go
through fire
or amiga
transgression —
do not repent
provoke touch
to loco loca yourself
& sex too
sweet fiction
that acquiescent skin
twist so tight
always a stranger
love incendiarally
echo = voice
overflows on its hinges
to beat the chocolate into a good froth
blaze of
in black ink
in invisible ink

B. 4.

What I would prefer not pass my lips
if all the parts of my body were
voice thick as powder
forms —
your homicide
delight of homicide
without sin —
seen sin
make fantastic silk of you
senseless venturous liquid
humor dare to cross
the question mark
prototype triumphs

C. 1.

turn time
spinning tops
the soirée & the cell
a Catherine-wheel’s
delight without blame
a microscope fianchetto
our lady of Guadalupe
swears by the foreskin of Christ
revive the dead & marry them
to un-know
through her telescope
the tenth muse
for you yourself
doing what you’re not supposed to do

C. 2.

stars, little words
hothouse acrostics
circumferential circumstance
gobbling turkeys
of the Guadalupana
friend forever
your hands are translating me
vamos, muchacha
no solo
say you are not mine
two heads on one neck
what can we peel off
the power of the verb
hope hurts

C. 3.

be your own organ
magic squares
questioning the mirror encore
encyclopedias, helioscopes, astrolabe, kaleidoscope
crazy hoping
lively equal
in every
in every
Let us pretend that I am gay
tense equal rebellion
pleases command
by what logic?
what is it?
what is it like?
always an intruder
human, all too human
irk you
the love possible
with pitchfork
they only kill their masters

C. 4.

Calla Lilies
no love impediment
heart-shaped mouth
help yourself to more chocolate
Political Simulacrum
swallowing eggshells
to appease the enemy
indexical heart
sound is the curiosity
ape of light
combatant desire
eyes can hear
how the world is made
reprimand —
hang on every word
what actions do I take without fear?
to publicize fire —
‘the world was filled with light,
and I awakened’

Jacket 22 — May 2003  Contents page
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