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By Alice Rose, from «Buddha Box», a novel in progress, by Laura Moriarty and Standard Schaefer
What happens to the language happens to us.
The floor is restored by fire. Metaphor by
Knights in Block Letters. We receive
And transmit what has survived on shadow
And succumbed to raw ash. The horizontals
And verticals in the anarch’s falsetto
Are no match for what doesn’t belong and
What are its measures. Flexors and extensors, water
Wheels and their agents, specters, Sphinx-eaters, rarely used books
Haunt the feralist into something like life–
The surliness of the image against ponderous type
Peace is the motto of war
We propose a revision:
In case no one comes no one goes
Progress is averted
Up to the clouds
Write the daylight out
Write the blazing complexity out
Radio and Martian
For a sense of place
Wherever pragmatism intersects carnival
Citation as a form of agency
All detection is visionary
There is nothing to eat
Space is the pulse
The idea is simple
The hand is the mouth
Wherever pragmatism is literary
Meatloaf for a sense of place
There is nothing to eat
But the hum of the bees
Are the psychopomp
Through a mongrel’s compendium
Days diffused by forgeries
Rifts in the crypt
Wolves into spiders? Today it is more like Vermont
When it was Vietnam. Happiness is a style of loss
They make bicycles from it wherever houses are seasons.
The wolf remembers when the wolf was the boss.
Spiders when spiders would do. Too much pedaling forward
When the point was to film backward, from the point of view
of the wind.
Myth of Creation:
“Not believable but persistent which comes to the same thing.”
Upkeep is the form of honesty prose follows. So like knights
Narration is a realism and yet there are realisms
Narration can’t even describe. Become simple.
Become what the house does
When you lose concentration
The littoral is the conceptual
Wind between peaks
Neither vice nor virtue
Only horologicals and echolocations
Ghosts unite with modes and their extensions
Such that the substitution of the double
For agents of the singular
Leads multitudes into x-rays
“The sexual aspects of storms”
Physics of the standard order
Sluiced noir and beamed back
Through the open end of the mine
A rip in the clamor, moths
Honestly, prose develops
To detect crime
Where wolves and spiders
Oceans from a broken patois
Place from the music of exiles.
Post Script: In an age of austerity, beauty is the superfluous.
Standard Schaefer is a poet and fiction writer living in Portland, Oregon. His books are Nova (Sun & Moon Books, 2000), Water & Power (Agincourt, 2005), Desert Notebook (ML & NLF, 2009), False Purgatories (forthcoming from Chax 2010).