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Lisa Samuels

from «Metropolis»

     Immanent domain

Too true, think the teeth set in the skull
whose engine traceries divest their sleeves of individual
wizardry in a pose we might call forgetting
(excepting we can’t nurture purify the scene
we set up feeling it as natural embroidery, umbrellas
and settees providing all the celebration
stasis warrants)

Laughing silently in the jaw line set
along the water’s edge for passing feet
to wedge on, those are stones
whose alibis are silence, trees whose every
vein runs deliquescent in a half-opaque scrutiny
of the scenes unfolded something like plans
something like contusion metaphors
nearby the wafting permanence of the trees
and the satisfied quiescence of the grasses
set for carpets seeming port of call

In the middle Kelly felt herself to be
the principal dealership in coventry arms,
the sole manifest liquid in a realm of solids,
core seeking heat or mandibles touching
every surface on a seek for what to seize
the leaves yield that fellowship at night gently
inspecting the range of soft machinery
plugged in:

Trudi hears them damaging minutely
the attaseconds of the glass
over her window frames inside the ceiling
brushed with treacherous openings for that visit –
She imagines scores, pianos without tones, ocean heartbeat
a whole soundscape plugged on disks whose
frames declare the extant fits like music, whose caws
penetrate slowly through artistic suppositions
of created worth. That’s when she’ll be willing to lay out
her skin on boards, to place her ears like pearls
on the ends of swaying treetips to decorate her eyes
on the tops of passing waves (right there at the slightly
foamy crests where eyes can see without) her bones pressed
inside edges of the quite unstable earth to make the
paths we pass through diligent for separation’s holiday
secreted on those nubile paths

Her pinafore obligations excite the kind of motion
we convey with schism,
all this more or less written on the frescoes
of the imperial bank building on the premiere corner
we thought a lot about. Firstly, many came forward with
image abounding pioneer martyrs
with soundtracks gathering from outside
their glory was short-lived.
Though precedents were multiple still in situ what we
wanted to elucidate was heterodox, as pianofortes
are neither what we called nor calling’s reprobate
manifestations here (according to the frescoed walls
whose miniatures are really the amazing things
pierced from outside with waves obtruding bounty
that you see only when you and one other see-saw
bank) but that leaves out the words

You’d be amazed what you can see when seeing’s multiple
Syringe has docked it eye to eye: nothing’s rotten yet
We banished wood to make this granite face wield
Tiny words whose filaments confound the passing eye
Of Trudi trying to make out tribulations:
yield thy stone face
ammunition fields bore down
for shaking stilts breached
to town’s full warrant
chimes to boot
Such granularities impeached their ends immediately

Though someday there’d be hand reading
to teach us how to know
we’d lace the words with fingertips
and press them from below

(in the shadow of the gangplanks they read
granite speculations on materialism — those same kind
pried apart from our ability to manifest that language
As we pass by on our way appointment’s fell
logic ordering our legs that Trudi thinks
might read instead with rhythmic pulses
slapping on the ground, convey a message
to be heard by inkling children whose
magnetized responses were recorded by the
implant wares they manifest through ranks
and birds and dress)

that terabyte’s a score transfixed to lobe’s insistent
beauty wraps, arms alleviated rightfully in the smooth
alcohol of preservation in the porous granite
promises, where someday 3D albatrosses fly
with people plans and see the built-in cavities
of temperance: if you let them model it
they will relinquish real ideas, if you let them
stylishly pronounce they will confine themselves
to teacups if you smoothly rank them they’ll confine
their wooden ways to beveled soft inclusions

what did it really say? We ground the bird bones
fecklessly and spread them smooth on stony surfaces
(and still no news) we carried sand inside our purses
And coddled it for weeks and still no messages
Reached us then we captured city silt that true stuff
Pushed it on the frescoes after hours and still
No revelation. As bad as bat dung scored
Bad as cawking point-eyed birds on shore
Bad as trilobites hidden in cavities bad
As anyone confessing scattered ruins (for there are no ruins here)
We know the outlines are traversable as stencil kits
Reviving all that energy again it is a kind of campground
Where we’ll wot it seeking, where slowly on the ground
Our Kelly proves the deep decanting of her love
For retrograde ideas bound in soil

Where you can bring your polished gear
And set up happily, the fine sights gently
Sweeping you along for mobile ecstasies
You activate by touching with your eyes
(they hide when night falls gentle
Hide when no one’s mouth caresses them
Hide inside the ears of shells’ caskets
Those gold immobile silent wisps)

And in the morning breathing fine
You’ll brush your hair back with your hand
And all arises fresh sublime your partner
Blinks the darkness back your social register
Accretes the absence of your social car
You mean so well that meaning’s clear confession
Breaks the books you left, they split at home
Their softbound clefts and all their language
Spills the floor immediately absorbing more
Than it will ever tell (but that’s so far away and you
can never be there ireless
ubiquitous as you are)

Lisa Samuels, photo by Tim Page

Lisa Samuels, photo by Tim Page

Lisa Samuels teaches at the University of Auckland. Her new poetry books are The Invention of Culture (Shearsman, 2008), Tomorrowland (Shearsman, 2009), and Throe (Oystercatcher Press, 2009), and she has recent poems in Landfall, Veer Off, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. Current projects include Metropolis, a fantasy of urbanization, and Anti M, a book of omitted prose.

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