four fragments and “Avalon Street”
as if in transmission
—c can live with this green
seeing I’ve slept with
stab-stitched detachment so
I write poems
like a habit
can be understood as every rooted thing
turning a strange moral tic.
and awareness of a buzz
I can’t stop writing the syntax of?
Let me ask again.
And do I swoon?
such pandering to antiquity.
the symbol of which the curl of many a thing I sought
then a phobia:
. . . and the bodies moved into
the names for
and always, too
that sometimes subject
the poetic imperative
but why bother
diagnosis is but
a spatial distance
My home brims.
How strange it is
“word,” I first wrote
the force of forgetting
at the level of our own
to wood wind.
and we are left with
beside the river
of our undoing
For Brendan Allen
They always return to us,
years later or more on some
corner between this line and
the next; given away by certain
skews of light, yellowing the underbelly
or perhaps staining strange windows
with images familiar despite the dust
distance leaves on our minds. In this city,
two adjacent pedestals mourn the
memory of monuments now defunct.
How could we have known any better?
Our time-bought tonics brought clarity
to facts whose mulling over required
safe distance but no concrete particulars
and now we refuse to be abolished by
chance. At day’s end they won’t find us
near ground swinging from the shoe-
strings of our has-beens but higher up—
branched in a tree of our own making.
You catch a ray of light with your mirror
and ever-present preparedness; cup
history between the palms of your hands
while I watch without trying
too hard to keep hold.