From Ocho 11 (2007): Mary Walker Graham

Here is a box of fish marked tragedy. Is it different from the dream in which your alter ego kills the girl? You are the same, and everyone knows it, whether tracing the delicate lip of the oyster shell, or sharpening your blade in the train car. The marvelous glint is the same. Though you think you sleep, you wake and walk into the hospital, fingering each instrument, opening each case with care. The scales fall away with a scraping motion. You are the surgeon and you are the girl. Whether you lie like feathers on the pavement, or coolly pocket your equipment, and walk away. . . You are the same; and you are the same. You only sleep to enter the luminous cave.

When I say pit, I'm thinking of a peach's. As in James and the Giant, as in: the night has many things for a girl to imagine. The way the flesh of the peach can never be extricated, but clings — the fingers follow the juice. The tongue proceeds along the groove. Dark peach: become a night cavern — an ocean's inside us — a balloon for traveling over. When I said galleons of strong arms without heads, I meant natives, ancient. I meant it takes me a long time to get past the hands of men; I can barely get to their elbows. How a twin bed can become an anchor. How a balloon floating up the stairwell can become a person. Across the sea of the hallway then, I floated. I hung to the fluorescent fixtures in the bathroom, I saw a decapitated head on the toilet. I'll do anything to keep from going in there. I only find the magazines under the mattress, the Vaseline in the headboard cabinet. A thought so hot you can't touch it. A pit. A broken jaw. A fever.


I Remember...

I Remember

If your I in the world has
life in the world, against collective
masks which are ramparts to
be pushed past, there is little to
remember but luck; even
anguish vindicated, even

discomfort blessed in its
wretched restlessness. You
were young & heedless then,
your I not noticing mirages
you were forced to splash
around in— brittle lips,
skins, faces, ointments

applied to pixilate against
the integrity of the real. Your
I was joined by others of
your ilk, possessed by
visions, narratives, stoned
on history’s absolute rocks.

Now, I remember how I’ve
been charmed— thunder &
lightning only equipped to
disperse the right battalions,
fighting in empty space for
the non-existent; heartiness

of nudes, on/off webbed walls—


From "I Will Out": "I See the Lines"

I See the Lines

Mine or someone else’s, lines
do disturb by just sitting there,
however you attempt to jounce
them into action outside their

accepted sphere— yet, I follow lines
out, year by year as I get older,
even if “towards” means nothing
but some vantage point I’ll

never see. When you or I read
lines the right way, everything
which means is tinted by
a fiery glow, against
the inscrutable nothingness

of things bald, if the fire were
false I wouldn’t touch it, but it isn’t-


From "I Will Out"

I Will Out

Strictly mechanical,
what propels us
towards recognitions
of what I am, &
the question, why
I must continue—

you either find
yourself continuing
or you don’t, against
or with internal
temporal currents,
exterior space
arrayed around—

as I continue,
the I which will
out has qualities
of being salvaged
far from expectation—

moves, breathes, directs
what currents it can,
as I will out, surprise
you dithering in
it, them, always—

 I See the Sunset

If you have lived
sans clarity, you may
be drawn to pretenses
against sunset being
what it is—

If you think at odd
angles, you can pretend
depth will manifest
sans effort, endowment
rich as gold—

but depth & clarity, as
endowments, can accrue
only to a mind edged
with clouded darkness
encompassing ends—

behind ends, processes
of decay, degradation, dire
plummets of stomachs
under dire judgments
beyond our kens—

then, lifts upwards,
arbitrary fits/starts,
something/someone judges
you real, towards
clear two-sided passages—

P.S. Apparition Poem #1307 in The Seattle Star


RIP Robert


From The Posit Trilogy

Murder Dream

There was a concert somewhere, I was
there with a college friend who wound
up betraying me, & I murdered the son
of a bitch with a shot-gun; they told
me I could get off scot-free if it was
only one murder, & as I sat in the
balcony trying not to notice a show
of cadavers onstage I angled my
behaviors so as not to offend them.

Next shot: I saw the dead man's life
pass in sequence before me, & he
was bound by a five-year contract to
die shortly anyway, which is probably
why they let me off, even as the cadavers
played invisible instruments into open air-