Aught, no. 11/12 (2003)


Ian Randall Wilson

Dear It

I've left the is beads behind
and you small without breast,
you the fourth,
you the little then,
you of the you—
no sense shoveling hair for the hairshirts
my burning immediate context fresh.
The you words
close their distance in air.
The mauve are coming
with their swatches
and history read with water.
Torsos like mine amply express
time's bitter beer.
I've become the living damn me.
Perfume never
falls into my bed.

 

 

Encyclopedia Entry Under I

I have learned much from a sage teacher who once said if I got stuck to
throw in a little Catholic lethargy. I will try though I am Buddhist
having trouble with his zazen. I must meditate longer than the longest 8
minutes of my life but since moving into the new condo four years ago I
have lost my meditation wall and besides, there are many back episodes of
"The Bachelor" to watch.

At Halloween we lowered the bomb shutters and waited in the darkness of
ourselves. We feasted on miniature Snickers bars but no one came. All the
children in the building know the sign of the poet and so they avoid the
door. Something went wrong with the mechanisms and we're still sitting in
dark. Occasionally the Beloved pricks me with another needle to make sure
I'm awake. In her acupuncture classes she is learning the 6 points of
certain death and comes home talking about how interesting her teacher is
leaving me to worry if I should be worried or wonder if I should be
wondering or some combination of the meats in column A and the vegetable
items in column B — and for $3.50 you can select something else from
column C.

Now this holiday season the Shaker hutch is here, the bookcase credenza is
here, the massage table is here as is a bill bearing too many zeroes. But
I have already foretold my younger siblings to expect me in their
guesthouse when I am in my dotage and mumbling, a condition very close to
the one I find myself this moment as the strange attractors rush off the
desert and the air is not fit for breathing.

I would like to reconnect with my nose and reestablish cordial relations
with my bronchial tubes but there is a distinct lack of bi-partisanship in
the Wilson body this afternoon. I am happy to report that after the doctor
plumbed the inner depths of the lower Wilson those passageways are clear.
My older friends advise me to buy a medal from St. Regis the patron saint
of decay and keep on keeping on, an expression I've found as opaque as back
in the day. What about back in the month? Back in the year? What about
back in the late Precambrian Era? I mean, imagine who wasn't around then.

Meanwhile, the cats are dining on plantation shutters and plastique and
when they are not French-kissing the Beloved, they are walking on my head.
Perhaps other cats are more genteel but these two believe my hands are
birds, my gray-socked feet are mice and on me they practice their prodigal
attack. I have scars of varying degrees of freshness on my wrists and legs
and one might think I am a survivor of long-term physical abuse and not a
large, ungainly man playing with his cats.

We have thought about a vacation. We've thought about trying to fly up to
anywhere for the night but if there is plastic, one of the cats will eat
it. If there is wood, one of them will bite it. If there is paper that
can be unrolled, bottles that can be overturned, cupboards opened, pictures
broken — well these cats are your men. Which is why we have been unable
to leave them alone for longer than 8 hours for fear they will burn the
place down. We had to stay overnight at a hotel during the bathroom
resurrection and we brought them along though they are lousy travelers but
they've loved their new room. You would love their new room, too, at $285
a night with a limited ocean view. Limited means if you lean over the
railing as far to the right as possible with someone holding onto your belt
so you don't fall 18 stories to your death that little patch of gray —
that's the ocean over there.

 

 

Empire

We are a complex us
living in air the color
of deviance forgetting others.
Dusk holds in the rhythmic earth
everything name and lacking content,
flame it must.
From the clamor I extract a national blue,
a land something, unconsciousness under capes,
a modicum of if.
From the grove an extended son and no promised end,
the world body erased
its coated form thrown careless.

I mucked about in a deity haze surrounded by confusing
spirit guides, a ceremonial do-wop dawn.
I was one of the coat common watching my silhouette.
I worked to separate the beautiful from the dusty out here
by the river of funny beneath an idiot night.

In the human archaic mirror,
our intellect, our hallucinatory naught—
it recalled it, the disheveled much.
Time to feast again on dull aspirin,
leave kind do nobody and wait
like brewers' children for the casual end.

Me Kansas, you Jane.
My head is an empty summary,
my present suffers from a case of cat owner's lap.
Nothing tears great things.
Now past story I'm writing of somehow, thinking
of some way, planning for something
as rain ignites disinterest.

Some gifts are tractors
the blue be
and oil of small charity.
With a distinct lack
of the visionary it,
the visionary here,
the visionary why,
we watch out for a doll burst,
come camp wonderful,
we give each other the psychiatrist's clasp
then exchange bright ferns.
What are a few decibels among friends
working back from the laughter formula to a city system
to my home my America where language falls dark.

 


Copyright 2003, by the author. All rights reserved.
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