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A Tonalist Poetry Feature

Standard Schaefer

Feralist Manifesto

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

Child soldier

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

Water wheels

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.”

                                Laura Moriarty


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
Pure California

Ghosts unite with modes and their extensions

Such that the substitution of the double

For agents of the singular

Leads multitudes into x-rays

Extra hours

“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

Practice reclamation

Oceans from a broken patois

Place from the music of exiles.

Post Script: In an age of austerity, beauty is the superfluous.

Standard Schaefer

Standard Schaefer

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).

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