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Thread: Winterface

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    Winterface

    i: hers

    Mute it utters ravage Guernican
    mouth in bleak December

    Busted-up lines of Poe:

    —each separate dying ember
    wreaks its ghost upon the floor

    January moon mouth
    phosphorescence purged in dark to
    swallow up the gone

    Too soon

    Dawn, twilight, wailing
    newsprint, breakfast, trains

    all must run their inter-
    ruptured course

    —so was the girl moving too fast she was moving fast
    across an icy web

    Was ice a mirror well the mirror was icy

    And did she see herself in there


    ii: his

    Someone writes asking about your use
    of Bayesian inference

    in the history of slavery

    What flares now from our burned-up
    furniture

    You left your stricken briefcase here
    no annotations

    phantom frequencies stammer
    trying to fathom

    how it was inside alone where you were dying
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    For Pat Kavanagh

    dark steps
    across this pale grass
    perfect with dew,

    dark steps
    so early, so swift,
    the short length of this long lawn ...
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    On the Slopes

    Because the bubble down was broken,
    we took the chair instead, went up
    and skied back down—to the black,
    the black we knew was closed:
    'risk of avalanche'.

    We weren't afraid: my son and I
    had skied the black already. Twice that week.
    It was bald in places. Soil and stone.
    Tricky, not dangerous. No signs of avalanche.

    We reassured my daughter.
    The piste was now unmarked
    (fasces, bundles by the edges),
    but we knew the way it went.

    I fell, for the first time,
    negotiating moguls,
    neither steep, nor difficult—
    except that snow had fallen overnight
    and then the sun had shone all day
    so the moguls were heavy. Sluggish.
    A wet weighty eiderdown.
    The mood of the snow had changed
    to moodiness.

    The slope seemed readable enough,
    but the punctuation was unpredictable.

    It was like ironing starch.
    Sticky. Awkward. Slow and sudden.

    Then my son fell. With a laugh.
    We continued, skiing carefully.

    The second time I fell,
    as I up-ended, both skis came off.

    One ski silently, slowly at first,
    slid away down the hill, for twenty yards.
    I watched it like a whisper.

    Inaudible. Unreachable.
    An anchorite serene beyond desire.
    A long ship anchored in listless surf.

    The other ski behaved itself,
    its brakes snagged in the snow—
    those wire-traps on the bindings,
    paraplegic, trailing like heron legs.

    My daughter and my son looked down
    from the top of the gulley opposite.
    Throwing the useless ski ahead,
    I crawled, first down, then up,
    towards them. A matter of yards.

    It was easier to roll downhill.
    That way I didn't sink. My weight was spread.

    Crawling up, I became exhausted quickly.
    The snow was a swallow reflex.
    The surface gave. It wouldn't hold me.
    The thirsty turquoise-tinted whiteness would.

    Any weight on my arm,
    and the arm was in to the armpit.
    My leg sank to my crotch.
    I had to haul my ski boot out,
    only to sink again. And again.

    The weight of the ski boot
    was trying my weakness.
    I weighed its enmity.

    My children watched.
    They watched and listened.
    I was panting. I couldn't speak without a rest.

    And then it came to me:
    that this is what my dying will be like.

    A few feet away, close
    yet in another country,
    my children simply watching.

    Concerned, but unable to help.
    Nothing to be done. Or said.

    They will listen to amplified breathing,
    rasping like a tracheotomy,

    as their father tries and tries
    for the top of this small hill,
    this impossible, trivial distance,
    to where his lungs can rest,
    to where it will be possible to stop.

    Nothing they can do. Nothing they can say.
    They only watch.
    There will be no rescue.
    My children will be patient, patient,
    waiting for the last breath quiet as the creak of snow.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    A Walk to Sope Creek

    Sometimes when I've made the mistake of anger, which sometimes
    breeds the mistake of cruelty, I walk

    down the rocky slope above the ruined mill on Sope Creek
    where sweet gum and hickory weave sunlight

    into gauzy screens. And sometimes when I've made the mistake
    of cruelty, which always breeds grief,

    I remember how, years ago, my uncle led me, a boy,
    into a thicket of pines and taught me to pray

    beside a white stone, the way a man had taught him, a boy,
    to pray behind a clapboard church.

    Sometimes when I'm as mean as a stone, I weave
    between trees above that crumbling mill

    and stumble through those threaded screens of light,
    the way anger must fall

    through many stages of remorse.
    Any rock, he allowed, can be an altar.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    Love Song with Ruin

    I've been thinking about thinking about
    obliteration, again, the time, all of it,
    I spent swept up in its romance.
    Dust before a broom's baleen maw. Circuit
    of the second hand which, even now,
    holds a magic or a beauty
    in its indifferent grasp. Easy thoughts,
    which on a lesser day, one
    that had none of this late light
    or the hum of the wind,
    would, or should, fix me with incredulous
    shame. For my own brain,
    floating in fluid laze,
    content to let the garden
    forget itself. For my own hands,
    busied with buttons,
    keying the codes of indolence.
    Important, I think,
    to accept the testimony of a shadow.
    To say it is gospel.
    To know there is no need
    to make peace with
    a world that has no peace.
    About bombs I was dreaming
    and Dresden, drained
    of the colors of ruin,
    newsreel footage flickering inside
    my sleeping mind.
    And then in your arms
    I returned to this
    world, awake, an old war dropping away.
    Just the tonnage
    of sleep, receding,
    and I felt the need to say farewell.
    To mark the moment,
    even with dawn
    and its idiopathic dumbness.
    But there you were,
    asleep, in need of none of this
    embellishment. When
    I kissed your forehead,
    I dreamed I dreamed
    your dreams, that I slept your sleep.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    Dear K

    Found the passage you asked for
    it's lovely I know you think
    better of me that I like it too
    that's a joke my sweet the war
    bruises everyone until and even Nicole
    is afraid of the government and
    I miss you it's crazy to talk
    this way but it must be the time.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    Dear Michael (2)

    The wound cannot close; language is a formal exit
    is what exits from the wound it documents.
    The wound is deaf to what it makes; is deaf
    to exit and to all, and that is its durable self,
    to be a mayhem that torments a city. The sound
    comes first and then the word like a wave
    lightning and then thunder, a glance then a kiss
    follows and destroys the footprint, mark of the source.
    It is the source that makes the wound, the wound
    that makes a poem. It is defeat that makes
    a poem sing of the light and that means to sing
    for a while. The soldier leans on his spear.
    He sings a song of leaning; he leans on a wound
    to sing of other things. Names appear on a page
    gentian weeds that talk to gentian words, oral
    to local, song talk to sing (Singh), and so
    he goes on with the leaning and the talking.
    The wound lets him take a breath for a little
    because it is a cycle of sorts, a system or a wheel
    a circle that becomes a wheel and is not a sound
    at all, the idea of a sound and the sound again
    of an idea that follows so close; say light
    and then is there light or a wound, an idea of being
    itself in the thing sound cancels. Is there ever a spear
    a soldier that leans in, a song that he sings
    waiting for a battle? This soldier is only a doorway.
    Say that book is a door. I say the soldier
    and the local, the word and the weed, the light
    and the kiss make a mayhem and a meeting.
    So then that the voice may traverse a field
    it transmits the soldier on a causeway to the city
    leaning on a spear and talking, just after the wound opens
    that never creaks and closes, and has no final page.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    What We Have Done

    My mother shrugged off life
    Three thousand miles from Paris,
    City of her birth. It takes
    Two weeks of bureaucratic tape
    Before I fly her scant remains
    From Buffalo to this historic place,
    May 9, 1975, a fine night
    For being scattered, if ever
    There was one. Co-conspirators,
    We creep beneath the Pont Neuf,
    My mother and I, she beneath
    My coat in a cold container,
    And then I dump her in the Seine,
    As I promised to do.

    How her dozing old bones
    Must gape at the ancient stones.
    How surely my mother laughs
    At what we have done, laughs
    To have come home like this,
    Laughs and laughs from her sandbar
    In the Seine where she lies
    Like fragments of an old ghost,
    The ashes of a medieval saint,
    In the mud of her resting place.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Winterface

    1813

    —after Thomas Love Peacock's
    Memoirs of Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Miles still to Bracknell, as the woman shifted
    Three parcels across her mountainous lap,
    And in that instant, accordion of skirts lifted,

    Petticoats above the knees, Shelley watched
    Her calves collapse, molten flesh like poultices
    Leaking through sackcloth, tubers gone to rot,

    The carriage air fetid and contagious.
    He swaddled his head with scarves—a filter
    Created too late; abruptly weak, flushed,

    Her affliction routed through his veins.
    Who insisted that travel was a tonic?
    Arriving at the inn, his intricate skein

    Of symptoms unwound and unwound—an itch
    Beneath his chin, nematodes burrowing deep
    Within the lymph glands, an aching right wrist

    Sure prelude to that arm's unbridled girth.
    He dreamt of dead elephants floating
    In lakes, then woke feverish, the nightshirt's

    Wrinkles stamped onto his chest. Mirror-bound,
    He monitored each ruddy crease until it faded,
    His neck became porcelain again, and a barren

    Day seemed utterly impossible. How to recapture
    Those dusks with Ianthe, pacing, his daughter
    Close at his breast, no fear of lesions or fissures,

    Singing Yáhmani into her vanilla hair,
    Yáhmani, Yáhmani, Yáhmani, Yáhmani,
    A road, horses cantering through summer air,

    His three syllables of secret journey
    Chanted to invoke a child's solid sleep,
    And dreams of the distances between cities.

    And if the ulcers erupted, seeping purple,
    Who would whisper, and lull her, and sing?
    Certain nights even the trees were instigators,

    And the wind. Branch shadows, dark hairs
    Stirring on knuckles, blotches on his hands—
    Weather and illusion would turn to portent

    As the poet, comparing his wrinkles and limbs
    With companions, contorted the evening party
    To prods and pinches. Show your thumb!

    How thick is your ankle? Are we the same?
    Flex your elbow! His guests always obliged
    Though this warm evidence never calmed him;

    Their perfect correspondences, foot against foot,
    Thigh to thigh, were not enough. Only Peacock
    Could quell his friend's panic, retrieving books,

    Quoting Lucretius through open parlor windows:
    Est elephas morbus, qui propter flumina Nili,
    Listen, only in Egypt, Gignitur Aegypto ...

    That woman in the carriage was fat, nothing more.
    A balm of rationales spoken aloud each night,
    Until one dawn his body returned, proportioned,

    Flesh taut and pores invisible. The sweet skin
    Beside Ianthe's left earlobe, Yáhmani, her scent
    Was what he'd missed the most, the whole inn

    Still asleep and her cradle brimming with sun.
    Outside the landscape was hedgerows and rills.
    No pyramids or sphinxes squatted on the horizon.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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