Foreign & Domestic
The rapt me warns, a world
without X is a world dissolved;
who am I watching the big, dumb
fly on the sill in New Zealand, amongst the winter-themed Xmas decorations in the hard-edged hot light of January; in the knife-edged bright sun. Bright experience of sun, thinking of the fly and the story
of the fly and its dragging leg.
I was surprised that the lamp
turned on, as Nova, first name, questioned me on Socratic Method. They don’t give you a certificate, you know.
You know what it is Liz? I notice nothing, truly nothing.
The fragrant air is truly too much
for me, it is my child’s self-remnant and bucking under still-pale, still- strange skin and I can barely keep a lid on it. I live around churches, always, and here’s one right now in the musky muted dark as I walk in bliss with its edge of lavender and edge of growing, of a past mind unformed. How can
you convey that, that you cannot, Hydrangea. I see the sum of me in––delicately streaming soil acidity levels that pull in gradient colours of the things that grow up. I derange ya. I look up. Come visit ya ninnia.
Watch the wine-bloated stanzas, Rawiri said, and I asked the worst thing, I asked where
did you get that. And he said,
‘go fuck yourself ’ and the room narrowed with the collision.
The green trim on the cottage and what the property shows in
a man on Te Pahu Road.
5 little clocks on top of the
fridge tell different times,
I fix them sometimes that’s
all you can ask for, the
mechanical metal calm
of the mended thing.
What hues? Stop attaching yourself to the mystery,
yours truly, you haven’t found
it yet. The rose-tinged jasmine bushes are mixed with their proximity, and hue, and where does a scent end and another begin,
and what is a spoor, a trace,
of what once was and now
I know in a city of ships what
it means to be unmoored,
and how it contains, how
it planes, those 2-for-1 sides: pursuit and escape.
The Cook Strait is a
funny colour, it is too easy
to see both the blue and green in some marine form of undoing, the wind pushing around its layers it’s just
too well mixed for my taste. I’d never wear it on my body but I wear the wharf
on my feet, boozed and bruised. Another calls out and I just can’t take it anymore, I have
10 mins left of sanity and
you took it; I no longer, neither virginal, nor slutty, nor motherly, nor manly
I’m not gonna ask you again, are you a white male poet with a soul? Because I’m tired of it, I’m just so fired up that I lost an entire layer of skin to you, I’m tired
of giving it all and taking no thing away from you. You have nothing I can have and you have everything.
I took the bend too sharply,
woke up to ragged lace curtains, outside, the neat rows of dog daisies and queen anne’s in spite of or because of their self-seeding.
That resilience I no longer
feel. It’s what you don’t take
a photo of, that’s what you’re searching for, and I’ll find it
and cut it up so you won’t recognize it and I’ll kill it
with sticks. Walking around
the house in long lace dresses
and a Keith Haring sweater
in the light of the day subsiding, the costumed glass makes real
the mask made, thinning.
Cry was the snow from the north. I heed nothing from them, too
wrapped in my selfsame, my
burdens. What is the expression that approximates the distance? ‘The yesterday within tomorrow,’ the parallel life I lead to them & their familiar rhythms and how they cannot possibly know my day, their night. A world without X is a world unseen. I have a student who knows how to look at a person as if she is seeing
she or he for the first time, and
I told the class this, and they agreed that it was a version
of an increment of time. The bur- den’d boughs, laden and
sick with it, the winter I cannot feel or know.
Let us go now to watch
the century demolish,
the worded elevation gives
a perspective: up is home,
down is town; outside is hell, inside is hell. I went to find Marty still in jet lag lug and I found him with his beautiful stained-glass ceiling and I said here’s an IPA and I’m sorry
for your loss. And as the Sydney Hostage Crisis unfolded on the flat-screen TV, with movable shelves, floor to ceiling,
ceiling to floor, of vinyl records; and while we listened, he shook, to The Chills, the news on mute, he said ‘this is weird, this is the third I’ve known in the past year.’ And I said I’m sorry, I’m sorry, ignore the texts. The different
crises unfold in my time, for once, I’m here and not there where it had already happened there and not here.
Further away but pretty close, amongst ivy and
Agapanthas, nonnative illegals, they were everywhere, they kill everything, and I was everywhere in that scene, too, the futured mess and the milky sky, the animal moonlight mauled just so for birds’ breasts rising slight in
the sleep of it, that night.
My severely glowing skin in
that light was like several
selves unleashed at different angles, broadening hues that cling to opposite sides of my features, separated shades of white
until I’m not it, until I’m
not anything to be seen.
I’m interested in suicide contagion among the young men here. I say. And it happened, just like that
the version of colourless I can remember since I was a child,
the scene’s semblance drained
and faded, and faded, until a 0.
And Ra said nothing, he said,
it’s not your demographic, baby. But I’m from here too, I’m
from here too, I’m from
here too, I’m from here
too. I am from here,