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Thread: Leave Nothing

  1. #1
    THE FRIENDLY GHOST Active Member Rank CASPER's Avatar
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    Leave Nothing

    Leave Nothing

    1

    Sour milk, lard scum, skillet scrapings,
    sweet potato peels, eggshells, tobacco leaf,
    pipe ash, coffee, cornmeal, burnt crusts,
    moldy biscuits, water from a dishpan,
    spilt pot likker, ash, dust, and kitchen sweepings—

    in the evenings Webster lifts the slop bucket
    from the kitchen floor, sloshing its weight
    down the back step, past the chicken coop
    and smokehouse to the wide yard
    with its lean-to and wooden trough,

    calling Swee Swee Swee-ah!
    Heah pa-g Heah-Heah!

    Hearing his voice, the mud rises
    on dainty hooves.

    Be careful,
    he warns the child beside him,
    a girl-child slanted on tip-toe, watching
    the mud-plastered humps.

    Be careful, he says.
    The child listens and understands the danger,
    listens to the snorts, grunts, knocking snouts,
    smacks and squeals of piggish maws
    buried in a trough of leavings and gone bads:
    they eat it all and leave nothing.

    Sows and shoats raise snouts, clotted
    with slops, to sniff and watch the bucket
    (empty now), the man (in no hurry),
    and the girl (tagging-along) before lowering
    their rumps into mud and sleep.


    2

    To root (verb): to dig,
    ferret, burrow, to search out.
    The mind roots, grubs. The past forages.

    Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman
    buried in an earthen dam, a dark rain,
    dark rain, Lord, a dark rain in Neshoba County.

    Thompson said the young men screamed
    so loudly that their voices reminded him
    of "pigs squealing."


    3

    She said
    They hung the hog by its heels
    from a scaffolding and slit the belly
    with a butch a knife: blood everywhere.

    She said
    They had two large cast iron pots filled with water
    and a fire going under both pots. Said
    they scalded the pig and scraped off its hair.

    She said
    The pig blood spilled everywhere:

    The kudzu vines drank deep and ran wild,
    swallowing everything in their green maw.

    The cotton drank deep, cotton bolls dry
    and sharp as tusks.

    The earth drank deep, blood-sopped, blood-quenched.
    There was red dirt, blood dirt, everywhere, everywhere.

    She said
    She never would forget.


    4

    Wallow (verb): immerse or revel.
    The mind wallows. Sunlight, sun-slop
    sun-likker spilling over a magnolia blossom.

    from W Gmc. *walwojan, ... "to roll"
    (see vulva). Figurative sense of "to plunge
    and remain in some state or condition."

    In the front yard, a child digs a hole, fills it
    with tap water, and steps into it: oozy
    soap-slick of squish, toe puddin', toe soup.
    A mud bath for her feet and her ankles.
    A mud child, the mud's child, a child in mud, wallowing.


    5

    She watched Webster (long ago) slop sows
    and shoats. Listened to Anna's stories
    about hogs and the slaughter of hogs.
    Now she sits, looking into the night's trough.

    The past is leavings and make do and salvage,
    the moldy scraps and remnant, a swill—
    what she has, what she's offered.

    Be careful, Webster said.
    Did he mean appetite? Did he mean desire?
    Be careful.

    She tips her chin to take both in,
    swallowing goneby and mightbe.

    How hopeful pigs are,
    how satisfied, as if there were always
    some sweetness, as if they would always rise,
    lift themselves from the mud.

    In the dark, she hears Webster's step,
    the pigs' grunts and snorts, the way they eat
    whatever they are offered, always seeking more,
    squealing, squealing, squealing all the way home.
    .






    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.”

  2. #2
    THE FRIENDLY GHOST Active Member Rank CASPER's Avatar
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    Re: Leave Nothing

    Rotation

    1
    I was going to praise the transpersonality of print over the individuality of
    handwriting
    I was going to praise the viewer constructed by monochromy
    I was going to describe the remarkable comeback intention is making in new music
    and praise that
    Desire for accessibility flaring up inside me as I praise the fantasy of corporate
    personhood

    In the brief window between takeoff and the use of approved electronic devices I
    believe great change is possible
    I believe it while banking hard to the east to find smoother air
    When I can't tell if a person is joking I believe in the power of poetic modality, to
    hear this as music,
    to see this as an experiment in the collectivization of feeling, no matter if failed

    Red glow of the clock tower visible from our window and red glow of the alarm
    clock beside the window
    collaborate on a claim about color and synchrony until the former loses minutes in
    high wind
    Then the claim devolves into a sigh acknowledging the futility of administration, a
    fallacy
    I praise for its mutability and enlist
    2
    I cannot express in the language of logical entailment my love for you, the second
    person plural
    on the perennial verge of existence, like color almost becoming surface
    I reach for a verb that isn't there but experience its shape, then back-form a
    phantom subject
    with whom I identify, walking through the park at night

    There is nothing more beautiful than a vulnerable grid
    glowing in late empire, which is how I think of you, street lights flickering
    I think of you as a friend who continues to speak to me, not realizing the call was
    dropped, or as
    my denied freedom returning in the form of atonality

    not when breaking glass wakes me, but when it enters the dream as orchestral
    innovation
    I guess I'm waiting for you to read this back to me in a voice I can entrain into the
    actual, tiny wings
    brushing the lips, beginning to make sense, oceanic
    tone suspended undecidably between exuberance and flatness
    3
    I have almost none of the characteristics of the well-made man Walt Whitman
    enumerates
    All I have is a kind of supersensitivity to harbor lights and skylines, which come at
    me hard
    It's like smoking with the patch on for me to be in time, like waving to someone
    who was waving to someone behind me for us to correspond

    But we do correspond, like a crisis in easel painting and a dirty war
    Soft glow of the Kindle when the train enters a tunnel, I would probably reach more
    readers
    if I went on tour, but I'm dead and busy with teaching
    I'm standing before a kind of allover abstraction the placard says I'm part of,

    unprimed ground returning as figure, figure coming at me hard
    I carry its afterimage into the park and lay it down like a lily where a falling branch
    struck a child
    While I wait to be reanimated briefly by an as yet only hypothesized force,
    I keep my practice virtual
    4
    And there are real forces at work in the popular, I acknowledge that now, I am
    seeking out forms
    of acknowledgment, this is one, let me know if it counts for you, brother
    That's a great word, like "bread" or "death," let's add it to the list of things to recover
    for the noncommercial
    floating city I'm building out of trash and hair, the car alarms that follow thunder,

    out of rain and thunder and bread and sex, this is a model, not sure if it scales
    Like the princess in Sans Soleil, I am making a list of things that quicken the heart,
    and you can be on it
    I am having a frank conversation regarding the permissibility of violence during the
    long transition
    to re-enchantment, and you can leave comments

    Out of the bright, perpetual midnight of the truck stop, I saw a man emerge barefoot
    Out of the empirical fact of contingency I saw a relation of great delicacy grow,
    trellis and vine
    and thunder and work, I acknowledge that now
    I acknowledge that dark and light as modeling tools must cede to warm and cool
    5
    I just learned their screens don't glow, they depend, like moons, on an external light
    source
    I had known, but forgotten, that the moon is slowing the Earth's rotation, minutely
    lengthening the day
    Learning some facts feels like remembering, as they fit into a place other facts have
    prepared for them
    We can carry the shape of a fact we don't know around like a photograph

    of a missing loved one, though any isolated fact is useless
    The steady stream of isolated facts we call information distracts us from a basic fact
    whose shape we carry
    This shape has a volume and we try to fill it with colloids, smoke and foam
    When we encounter this missing fact, we will for the first time experience integrity,
    which will feel

    like remembering, reemerging from a tunnel into rain, I know
    I read somewhere in the dark that a transpersonal subject capable of ending the
    permanent war
    is the still unconstituted whole, the poem
    its figure in slow rotation, and each of us carries a volume
    6
    This is the short transitional phase between organic imagery and a mature
    vocabulary
    of great rectilinear severity, the sun gone cadmium among ambient particulates
    This is the brief window in which the beautiful etymologies return, when you can
    intuit a future usage
    in a slur, vinho verde on the roof, skeletonized foliage where we saw those
    iridescent beetles mate

    A kind of mock vampirism is spreading fast among America's teens and we must
    support it,
    their desire to be marked and live forever, their refusal to reflect, salt on the neck
    maybe the best salt there is
    I am willing to stand with any experimental form of sociality grounded in twilight,
    and it is a ground
    You can sift a handful, see flakes of mica sparkle

    in the moment before the acrylic dries, before it's recuperated into the white walls
    of medium specificity
    Because of expanding underwater plumes, a desperate pluralism has obtained, and
    you can say anything
    in loose hexameters, help me gather these
    quickly, before the night work on the bridge begins
    .






    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.”

  3. #3
    THE FRIENDLY GHOST Active Member Rank CASPER's Avatar
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    Re: Leave Nothing

    The Airy World

    You've begun to breathe, brimming your lungs
    with my small sea: practice
    for the true thing, the first tug

    of air into your slick, cresting body.
    Even now, you might survive
    if pushed from the deep.

    With each false breath, you are drifting closer
    to the airy world, this place where we'll touch
    but forever be parted, and parting.
    .






    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.”

  4. #4
    THE FRIENDLY GHOST Active Member Rank CASPER's Avatar
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    Re: Leave Nothing

    Sex Rubenesque

    Unleash the excess!
    Bring me cleavage and rumpage,
    one heftable breast, then another,
    a buttock untrussed
    and rhapsodic for humpage.
    Begin the maneuvers,

    purge girdles and covers; undress
    each strumpet of frumpage
    that revolts a fat lover. Release the noblesse,
    the cankles and haunch, trot out the lumpage—
    Deliver the flesh!
    .






    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.”

  5. #5
    THE FRIENDLY GHOST Active Member Rank CASPER's Avatar
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    Re: Leave Nothing

    Buddha in Sunlight

    Our old dog lies on the front porch in sunlight.
    He moves as the sun moves, follows it
    along the porch, rising slowly, never

    going further than is necessary
    to stay within the warm curve of worship.
    He yawns, scratches, sheer minimalist,

    conservation of energy. This morning
    a rabbit hopped into the yard,
    nibbling clover.

    He lifted his head, eyed it for a moment,
    then lowered his head,
    closed his eyes.

    This is what Buddha taught:
    take no interest
    in the arising of thought.

    The sun moves off the porch;
    he descends delicately the way
    a nude descends from her bath, and

    he finds a place in the grass.
    The rabbit nibbles away,
    undisturbed.

    Let it be, Buddha said;
    it will settle
    itself.
    .






    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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