Douglas Messerli




Although clouds nudge one another
in the real horizon, the theoretical
plains at their feet slip off
into territory…the dark mother
of night stacks the indefinite
into something almost perceived: is it
common thought or a sudden
miracle of the particular's
desire to erect out of nothing
a possible formation of mass-as
that gel, that pool of hot acts that begat
the first living…amoeba
perhaps…which rose as an aphorism
in the sea of disgust? Brack, not black
was the nurse to the chorus of first
spasms, to fires, feather, fins…
the imitation of a dream no one was there
to. I saw it!

I saw it detach from the dark,
naked silence, leaning
like an old man's fist
about to strike
for blood: on the other hand
the pearl of treachery
without a shadow of the bones
beneath…the threshold of flesh
stretching taut as a tomb
over the thump of what is still
the leftover of what was.

Bow clouds! enter my mouth
before anger comes to earth
in memory of that slow cook
that burned into heads the difference
of that without: hate
alas was not taught, but taut
as the tension between toe and heel,
the little finger to the thumb.
Indifference is not what history
is about. We are not that miserable
mass attempting to become some
thing-we know what separates
the imagined and what
is because it is
ourselves. Perhaps.

Perhaps I am the motion in the dark
to become emotion-a lover
of the possible impossibility
of no thing. Perhaps
I shall simply sit
and watch the sinister forces in that field
or ignore what they might mean: a war
between "me" and "it."

Come here, my dear, and hit me hard.

February 3, 1998