lunes, julio 23, 2007

Six New Poems From Amanda Silbernagel

dichotomy of grief

in the mind of a train no one exists; no
'something lovely' in noise dystopia- thrummed
from a boy-and-girl's brain: we could live
like this--
and you'd heard cancer
from the southern coast, called it funny;

corroded voice corroding a system
of wires/ an acid bath-- (not yet)
ready to join the Atlantic in forever.
falling away-- eats a path to your ear,
delta-hospice waiting six states north
to catch the contaminated Nile

(you did not ask for this. you were not born
for this) kind of waiting: shiver and scotch/
white noise trapped beneath the thrum/ a train
denies this is really happening-- dichotomy
is strange; we are. (not yet convinced)
of the tressel's strength/ that its giving out

would be tragic. theoretically- we should.
feel ashamed to be both: mute and mouthing
beautiful-- (we are not.) convinced of this
theory; and tar can be chic for a moment
like cricket decor on sulfur-- gleaming
studded as if it knows allure. is fragile:

hang on for dear--
heartbreaking awareness:
this is not a life. but a now- famous bridge
unconventionally stunning as an end/ as a
slender trickle leaves Jackson: laced
in chemical and pooled in a phone's vibration
the train negates its existence (we do
not argue) you were not born a theorist.

Green Italy

in the curious city the moon has fallen
twice through the power lines/ staggered;
like tripping-- the second; slow
enough to feel
cool ivory skim your feet-
skimming the lethargic planet

[a stick pin for green Italy/ swirling Atlantic/
a fascination with painted globes]

younger. you measured the months with sleeps,
called unconscious 'night' or a thing
you'd never witness
: child methods. [reassemble
in strange time zones--]

-- a pigeon abandons the gutter at the precise moment
another abandons flight; a swapping of sorts; mission
for lack there-of--

wind veteran crumbles on the schizophrenic runway
of a power line, or nerve path spread thin

through cloud/ high-strung from
undecided tug of the each-other-- dialogue.

mimics the pigeon's wings: syllable's rhythmic
pulse turns static. from effort. word-bones
weakened against stubborn will like the wind's
lost appeal: dead air (miraculously) entices

[hence still wire. stop. claws grip the cord.]

a cable measures when circadian rhythms fail; universally
marks the ivory trail--again; the moon asleep,
without you-
without the each-other you long for/
warm milk; a cedar tree the size of god

to get lost in (until tired finds you) potent
branches to shroud the skin reassembling softness.

needles: resembling stick pins chart places
the each-other has not set foot/ pine:
unnoted on the globe

a week doubles in the city
as a plastic canister breaks- breeze scatters
pins through the breadcrumbed square/ tugs
the sagging runway [the pigeon positioned for take-off]

curious mix of metal
and crust-- a moon-- dreaming for you--

this is green Italy. you have so much

to learn

subjects whose names do not apply

the wild we had discussed: sequenced sand and my hair
grown out to compliment the wind and a cause we called
"asymmetry"-- we were rebels then. when days were
long and flat as wine; a drink that complimented
everything: flight notions/ two-man tent/ an inner arm
that could carry the world (asleep) through desert storms
unshaken. a planet gets heavy, i guess-- they say

it was dry fire, a dead Saguaro set off by the sun
(these natural disasters happen) i was the flower--
remember? how scary The Blossoming had been; i do not
blame you (for creating me)/ a magnifying glass
to applaud my loosened dimensions: exotic-- called
Cereus. (they say a child will become the name.
she is given; onomastics suggest we're all doomed, or

becoming-- a secret. document is kept by the fire;
nightly, when you sleep/ hard/ solving an impossible
the journal is nearly full: i've described
what we don't discuss: the places you've taken me.
(away from the garden)
i've recorded the heat's precise
degrees; exact dimensions of flame-- you'd be amazed.

at the colors a burn victim can name at an interview/
wild with dementia: first was periwinkle-- then
a deep magenta--
an index of shades (orders the names)
of suffering, i do not blame you-- for my obsessions:
list and number. violet and umber. wild despair.
for a cactus; it was natural, the disaster:
without matchbook or gas-- you named each flower...
before raising the glass

only as real

to find yourself in a vacant alley is to learn the great intruder
humanity is not. to come (uninterrupted) to the final brick/
each step a riveting conclusion to the question am i relevant:
is real. or a necessary point in the human experience like betrayal.
when i left him: a scarred field-- earth turned back like
kindling's bark from the fire/ felt the torch in my hands-

preceded an ethereal notion: what i carry is a common accessory
to weep in the final movement when a symphony succeeds/ exceeds
impossible; whittles senses to carve you: vulnerable, a bridge
crumbling into yourself and --all you finally feel--
is what shrinks call "breakthrough" or a crucial ability to come
unglued from etiquette-- begs a question: but why here?

(she was immovable. a stiffened reed at her father's funeral.
a blade cutting currents.) begs an accusation: but you didn't
weep in the alley--
and when you knew you were a factor
in the weight of a planet did you starve yourself a little?
with the gift-curse of influence comes compulsion to fall

to your knees on the staggered scale/ grovel at the equator
for mercy; a reaction to the reaction you casually caused
in a Universe's delicate alignment: a planet is knocked out
of orbit-- a river, sliced through the chest-- rise up,
daughter-- you are only as real as this moment--

assumed as connection

as if happening upon a budding flower (that knew their names)
they chained themselves interminably to the universe.

voodoo daughter rises
with dark-flicker; fire insists upon motion-
a black furnace masked in flame
fuels (is fueled by) her
feet circles, goatskin arms whipping night

caravans (we cannot see)
stir the dead and dead soil up for air--
an earthworm stretch-slinks desert and hill
as prophet: home is where they will have me,
hear my vision--
dust robed segments; wagon to wagon
dishevels a forest with story and wheel,
slips back under ground-cover we cannot see--

the wasted brain stem erupt silver.
as hunger artist claws brick and bone/ dissolves
(lighter) into light.
(beneath ribs: a black furnace)
a famished neuron ignites as ash, reawakened

ash sleeps with her (body);
a leather whip laid limp by cindered logs
voodoo daughter- tangled in dreams
of budding flowers. at their center, a black furnace-
speaking. to feet circles/ a famished frame/
the caravans chained to her voice

let's discuss:

and what i wonder to the blue-locked moon
is what passes him most quickly:
the cloud seductress slinking black gowned
across his face; the train racing her (flighty)
motions, consistent over tired tracks
in a town half asleep; or your breath
-quickened- at the quivering curb where
we wait for silence

in a desolate field; knee-deep in wheat
one discovers two opposing forces:

[a young boy's voice]
what are you thinking about?

overgrown grass grazes his chin; a cancerous
seed-- cumbersome amidst pin stripe rows
sewn tight/even to fertile cloth
tied off stitches the young scientist
can't see, one awry-- infected

[mute energy] of a seamstress, hidden
in till and yarn. earth stained fingers
weave the ancient pattern/ ignore his question
-the tumor shares his breath- two beings:
mutually aware of the other's presence
presents a problem for the asker: put on hold,
cells multiplying within reach

to know a theory (to have it explained) is
a (prevalent) legitimate desire in one
seeking connection to another. call this nature.
call this lonely. the scientist is relieved
to receive word:
"results show that the brain responds as machine
to sensory data- translation precedes sensation--"

a technical being understands magenta
before the retina assembles a sunset and accepts
drowning for what it is before stark realization:
this is how suffocating feels--
knowledge provides a platform for responses
evolving endless. call these echoes.
of a single voice given/received as such:
the being is not alone--

train and seductress slip from sight
(from retinas now responding)
the moon ignores my question/ i,
your quickened breath

Amanda Silbernagel was raised in Fargo, North Dakota and currently studies English, with an emphasis in writing, at Minnesota State University Moorhead. She is taking a year off school to promote her book Centrifuge on a year-long North American tour with Minnesota visual artist el_perdido. The Lovers For Fun tour will consist of readings of Silbernagel's poetry alongside el_perdido's art shows. Tour dates are available at Silbernagel's poetry has appeared in Red Weather, Love Child, 27 rue de fleures, and Hamilton Stone Review.

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