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the beauty of synchronic rule

The orchestra rises. The trombonist
is inexplicably gloved.
There is news in his horn.
The audience is crowded together like husbands in a canoe
none of whom know each other
though they are all married to the same wife.
She cooks with fenugreek.
When she dies, it will be quiet
enough to hear pollen falling.
The vision of her furniture
moving among the trees,
the lone horncall in animal dawn. Have the
world, it’s yours: rivers so abstract
only the poor drown in them.

Most hated ghost of father
drop your pears. As, my orchard, in
the court of Louis, you swayed together
in the beauty of synchronic rule,
all night your fountains lapping
at their boatless oars.



the pinwheels of goshen

For centuries men have thought
there are arches asleep in women that hold men up.

For decades men have gone to Goshen,
for decades men have been

men, and posing there

with apricots, carillons, with
drowned men in the lake,

and have said and saved themselves
in saying it: all the poses hurt.

But decades are a dangerous measure.
By them a man can say

he knows himself and
scratch with chalk

beak on the pissoir
the icon on the coin.

A sun sets in a mirror, sets
in a killed sheep’s eye

sets on the pinwheels in the porches of Goshen

of Kentucket, generous sunset,
kill the lion, kill the loin­—

The first wisdom is to eat what comes.
From this comes taste

and then the family line.

Likewise a man
will strip copper for cash to pay

rent on the little house
and he will set the house on fire

and similarly a person will fold
up in his semblance and live

and touch another
person from this position.

And there are men asleep
in men that are time’s measure

as man is time’s measure
as any wrong is still a motion of the truth.

And all creation is alone in its weather
but not like my father is alone

drawing a doorframe on the kitchen wall
with a piece of chalk

sketching there the handle,
there the latch, saying

in his doorman’s voice

his hoarse
unhearing need, here I am, come in.

 is a poet and translator. Their first book, The Thomas Salto, will be published this month by Fonograf Editions.

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October 2023

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