Aught, no. 8 (2002)

Ian Randall Wilson

An Illustrated Text Aimed at Engineers

The Beloved is having needles
stuck in her again while I
I'm constructing the marathon sentence:
this is the other death,
by the adjective, death by the inaction of verbs, the subjunctive, the
inability of subjects and objects to agree in any case, death by gerund,
death by dangling participle, death by the present tense, death by
etymology, by the scientific binomial, the secondary variant, by undefined
run-ons, the bold-faced colon, syllabication dots
and the dead professor who,
after parsing the last few sentences,
will fail me and I've heard New York
is not as easy place.

Someone said that any one event
is nothing in the horizon of events—
unless you're the one doing the dying,
it's your burned house, your gun's
echo between buildings near the vacant lot
and some say New York is not an easy place.

time us

If one stares too closely
at a word it may stare back
because New York is not an easy place, I'm told.

I know the new cat has been showing up a lot lately but that's because he's
always jumping into my lap when I'm writing and insists on burying his face
in the cup of my hand. All this purring and stirring in my lap—I have
to admit I like it though New York is not an easy place—for cats.

  That line was what makes the next line possible
that and a vocabulary to describe
the underlying patter of life—
if there is any in New
York which is not easy for a place.

Starched parts point to somewhere material
like plastic conduits for the fleeting image
the single life has to slide along the ground.
Profound or just another door shut against
the odor of sounds?
Only death can raise the dumb object.
I read something like that somewhere
but never learned
what it means. Still it sounds
at a time like this with New York
an uneasy place.

Confusion is futile
doubt has many kids

The I of the moment produces a pain jacket
to speak of the death of representation
an attack on mirrors
I am made up of bits of it
I am going toward cities
I have made a mountain from a paper clip
and planted it on a map
and they say New York is not easy

Something is blowing up downstairs
and the cats are hungry
and I am hungry
and I'm covered in child ash
and flying through the natural security skies
and some say New York isn't a place for the easy.


A Lack of Correspondence to the Familiar World

Perhaps I'm misspelling.
Perhaps I'm guilty
of present-tense vandalism
or dumb to the proper settings
of poetic space heaters.
To get the point across
the weaker of us lean
on the defaults: smoke
and mirror mannerisms labeled three,
fake dream drawings,
full-spectrum pronouns.
Don't hit me with
your speech act theory, man,
your dark mountain couplings,
your language barriers
because that jumbo don't work on me.
There's too many in here
for me to keep track
and I'm not even sure
of my own self.
But let me misquote Ted:
It's not a little exciting
to keep a sponge
in your back pocket
and it's not a little silly,
too, it's what's happening
in California and the rest
of the world at the start of 2002.

Copyright 2002, by the author. All rights reserved.
Return to Aught, no.
8, contents