Aught, no. 8 (2002)

Eddie Watkins

Radiant Nicknames

Radiant nicknames collapse to igneous dimes.
My timed juggler tightens, then loosens to feed
slavering cuckoos. It is a thing that grips
up from the reeds to tangle with egrets,
reading in them an African sun.
A portholed hippo with a barbecue brain.
I am a hack nickel spread
on a robin's back. It thins to flared ear mastication.
Worm to tannic dust the evening puddles offer tongues.
A grieving of feathers. Elixir mulch
and frittering hooks matched to marbled scales.
The day's hidden moon pageant devours biscuits
with an axe to grind,
coins a Sioux museum. A piling of heads
into reddish brown, layering itself to cedar velocities
in a graphite grid. Marginal blue devouring
to a tussock heard by nasal pliers.
A numinous elopement in numbers that rain.
They set free a glance bottle in rearview tarantula
to weave a starling tree that scatters to stun.
More than in this other it compresses into four.
Shrub to a bug buzz and acrid expel.
Three divides into four to make a vegetal square.
Up there in forbidding slants a honey stain.
Honey from twisted versions. A polished spot
dividing rocks to ears that worms come through.
The doves divide my windows, settle into
rubbish nest. Gridwork stew
and a bucket needing syrup.
Midget complete.
Weed as king.
Subterranean trestle grab at turion tools.
To the manatee that flops from left off nothing.


Overcast Sundial

Cones of significance pass over our gestures.
No one can confine the distant shiftings
that muskrats have plastered into our past.

Star spread suspended in biology,
a profligate butter.
Road dips to an underwater vent
blurred by emergent eyes
and honey stains drop from trees.
The lash of primordial milk.

The autochthonic paper mines a skin patch,
devolves to innumerable tutors
from a cave's digressions.
We get it by the image pit:
after a troubling of the waters,
an arranged nimbus in a smear of cream
folded all around by crowds.

Dove flips in bright air thickened
by remoteness of swollen sorrow.
The distant is thick on here.


from "The Channels"

The dog behavior jumps up a notch
to glaring mistakes, as joined by a band of vapors
we bundle our philosophies in a transparent sack
to see which one can still be seen; and the fur in our arms
enlarges its appeal to include cats
when an extreme garden imposes itself upon my xerox. An occasion
comes loping up to rest in our window just as
the new magazine comes (a celebration of soup) to
clarify the opening that mixes itself with orneriness.
Or as our collective mother says, "The din
is only in your ears; but it is composed of strands
that, once faintly dyed with your attention, convey braids
and braids of meaning from who knows where. Now
get some sleep." We

forget our previous passage to focus on
the task at hand: sorting food by color according to
an unforeseen plan. It isn't in any of our manuals, but
a friend of a hairdresser flips over a rock
to reveal fruitful etchings; things that
corroborate blind probing. Clearly it is a case of

Mistaken Identity Camouflaged As A Sure Thing

then whistling of only erroneous grapplers. And we are fooled
by the orange on our hands — Who put it there?
Why now? And in despair
we recklessly orchestrate a bestseller to save face,
but only pimply misfits approach it (a bevy
of self-portraits in retrospect, paying homage
to our uncomfortable selves) so we stick to our fan base
regardless how marginal, fueling fantasy
like chocolate bars slipped under the mattress
to peel down the layers and turn out the light
(entering educational, in the best sense, maze) before
the afro-startled suns, even narcotics
measuring up the totem pole to harry covert gremlins
as the one witness is the museum ceiling. We hatch,
and continue on our way, medium-sized in a medium medium.

Copyright 2002, by the author. All rights reserved.
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