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no ideas but in wounds, I is that wound

with its slight aura, archival glamour, gaslit corridors,
its famous sunsets that day-glo on water

the storied rays travel

to consider wounds that grow through life, illuminate,
and expand into a primal struggle

to be able to say, I was here

an everyday annunciation the wound lifts from sorrow,
and it grows, taking years to love

a wound in all its glory

days go on watching clouds change into the mirror
of the world, which is my face

which is a threshold, a name, a proving ground,
an education in wounds

I can’t explain it, I know it’s true, like when a dove
becomes a scarf

this is what it feels like to come

the skyline bent in the window, autumnal consonants,
a musical light, it was good

the imagination fanlike shadows the garden reflecting
the primitive

a scent of camphor

Photographs of Campbell Park by Wouter Van de Voorde, from his book Death is not here , which was published in November by Void © The artis

Photographs of Campbell Park by Wouter Van de Voorde, from his book Death is not here, which was published in November by Void © The artist

days go on broadly scattered and move from a state
of unknowing

to a condition of the unknown

consider the wound with its canonical doubt, call stories
and testimony

indexical zeal for origins and etymologies

wund, wuntho, wunda, und

the mother opens every wound, the wound opens
every word

the asymmetries of a body in the act of elegy, ungainly
in its pilgrimage

trauma in the genes

a cellular memory of torn events

walking beneath a shadow of warplanes, shadows falling
on the wild flowers and timothy grass

days with their loud repetitive phrasing spiraling down
the scale, carry and echo

their uneven sky of development

and the magnificence of a backward glance, proud trees
and hillocks, proud lakes

the privileged nostalgia of that

or the podium in dead air and the sound of power, dead
air in which we wait for the candidates to enter

the sound of dead air and the dead metallurgical sound
of power

a static gunpowder sting folding space

to feel the wrought-iron columns and buttresses rising
in the boy

welding the triumphal history of the industrial dawn
to the soft tissue of the body

a full bleed

who replaced my child with this ledger, this ledger
with a screed

the heart in the adult measures five inches in length,
three inches in width

the average weight varies from ten to twelve ounces

days go on, warbled notes, a jumble of fussing

even the first hours of agony are still new, ancient
wounds trickle fresh blood

will I still be standing, when nothing is more than

to be nowhere

I could live there, far from myself, along with the crescent,
free to shimmer

and outlive my sorrow

consider its eerie call and every shape of pain

wounds of the field, how they grow, they toil not,
neither do they spin

consider the flesh, its tendentious commentary,
its kin rituals

its shrill monotony like a sewing machine, days with
their glottal rattle and high trill

what was it you wanted? were you talking to me?

days whistle and tweet their spackled feelings

wounds that neither sow nor reap yet the air feeds them

if a wound could speak, what would it say?

the ride is a dream?

windmills and war and children, sleep and waking,
the grifting of time flies through everything

for every wound belonging to me as good belongs to you

days go on, a harsh croak, a low quacking

consider the wound, to refuse closure, to not let go,
to lose myself

in a majesty

tears soften the heart, welcome them into the theater,
let the salt run down my face

it may be the last thing I see

days with their systems, the mirror staged

days gone into a heady blossom of joy and sorrow,
a complex ecology

a necessary weather of becoming

the world woke me at 6 am, outside a field, a hollow
and an oak, the morning star above

the wound woke me with its light, hold on to the last
things I see and can’t explain, to know its truth

to have felt this as a boy

soloing inside, worrying the syntax between wound
and wounding, a carnal dance

alive in a dark theater, what I can say

retreats back into a wound wrung out into abstraction,

I want new vistas, viscera, want earth in my mouth,
a collective breath, sweet noise of becoming

a kind of testimony

a disordered proof, a part of sex, more than sex, it was
time, the nature of time, I sensed happening

that death is happening

all that was left is where I am now

 is the author, most recently, of Now It’s Dark. A new collection, Fierce Elegy, will be published by Wesleyan later this year.

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November 2015

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