Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mark DuCharme

The Unfinished
To sing to ourselves while the dead inform us
Although we are not here
Although we sing, at a transitive distance
While we are naked, being dreamed.

By whom? Our guardian imposters?
By the weight of cities which can’t bear us?
When you go to sleep, do you sleep?
Being awake, though artless in the postures

Of unthinking selves’ positions
We don’t take. If we do take anything,
It would have to be something there’s
No word for.

Describe. Defile. Deny. I can’t
Do any of these
Things seriously,
Until the weather changes character—

Our positions in the archives rendered
Useless by material
Flinging. If there is a we;
If there is a place.

I’m afraid of numbers & bumblebees,
Of tightly resolved cities,
Of the impositions of selves on others

Wide like daydreams of the obscene
Parade, “that old-time religion,”
Or anything else we wish we’d

Patenting objects for reply
Until the weather changes character.
To refuse
Abandoned futures, root them

In the ground.


23.  So what?  Or whom?  & To what end?  The ends which come of raw beginnings.  Poetry is a ledge.  Jump quickly.  Being on the spot, or spotted.  What end does it describe?  Or does it end, & why?  It is coming from the source, & not that pure.  Everything becomes writing— that table, perhaps, or the door.  I had thought what?— but now it’s not.  Now it’s knotted, like estuaries.  Like vestiges which pry the rains apart.  The rain is not a part of this poem.  Wind falls down.  To think in streams of summers rushing.  To use summer as a material.  A dead heat, swallowing the eaves.  Under the placemats of what grieves.  To grieve for all of time passing, or to burn like summer, swift & indelicate.  To feel the crashing of words upon the tongue.  Never to be won.

24. What are cities made of words?  Whom did you call?  What love frees us— being freed or fleeing in the attractions without charge?  Without mechanics, without voice.  Our cities fail us, as do our journals full of ghosts.  Light falls on the roof slates blithely.  It is indifferent to its role in poetry.  (This was not always the case).  We are charged with the creation of animal cities.  Our cities, like our selves, are often stolen.  Stolen, at the intensity of looking at light for the first time ever.  A red toenail; a subjective barrage.


Write a composition on the forms that silence takes. Become immersed in noise.  Bleed only when the need describes a city.  The city is a complex exchange.  It is a host, entirely resistant to architecture.  It is a means of going forward, a clap of wayward grace, an intent to occupy (or become occupied).  If you become occupied, think hard about the needs of the occupiers. If you become lost, enter a city so that you will know where you are, what limits you reside in.  The bleeding limits, going forward into silence made of words.  The wind, in the reversal of complex trees.


The Unfinished
The poem is another way of vanishing.
Ghosts do not remember this
Who live
At dark borders of the door.

There is a clock at the edge of the
Bookface. Is it
Who’s being stopped?

When you are stopped, you are free to begin
Like the poem & its ongoingness. What
Is there            to believe in what
Is there                        to stop, or look back at

In your ongoingness the wind does not
Believe you
It sings in the crevices
Of what’s explicitly not            when you are

There, you are free to begin
You in air, & books don’t wake
        You. The only books that do
Are those not written stillborn

When they are written, they line up
& Sing like ghosts
They make city noises out of poems
Which build like rooms when the ghosts wake


The Unfinished

Is it, in the minutes we don’t
Pass, into a space, a city (city
Which is partly imagined)?
Is it, in the moment of its
Parting? Is it that we don’t go
When we go? Is it out of tune?
Is it what remains?
Is it capable of being put
Into words? Is it what you thought
You needed, but now don’t?
Is it what you needed
To think, until now? Is it what
Remains of night
(Night, which embodies us)?
Is it that the Earth & Sky
Have an empathic relationship?
Is it some kind of residue?
Is it made from what departs?
Is it an act of grace? Is it
Something a child would understand?
Can it be described using words
Like ‘glassy’ or ‘high-strung’?
Is it something you are
Smitten with (someone)?
Is it breakable; & have you broken it
Yet? Does it resemble the moon
On the rim of a shoe?
Is it a stalemate, crossed energies
From which nothing can proceed?
Is it interior to some? Is it frozen?
Do you sometimes wish that it was never there?


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