CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Ten Poems
Kerry Banazek


We Hear to Know:

Get in at the who’s-to-tells. With the firsts and a first Pacific mouth.

Full of cold sand. The where-founds and learning-to finds and. Tackling the mouth-test for epiphytic licorice ferns. The boom and rush, shrill. Calling and breakers. Pulling-back memory of a friend-of-a-friend’s maidenhair-and-root tattoo system, and the pullings on and -in and -with and all the coast-coils of slippery rock. All the spawning, reds, and floodbellies of fishes.


We’re a Saying Stable, a Horse with a Star in It.

That’s giving up on a myth. We’re not from the kind of place where theorems get to have a fist full of faces in them. But we’re learning a little bit about it up here, the way air goes green. Each of us is something like a bicycle made of bones. And we’re learning to test each other along with the weather.


Each Self Is a Skill-sick Eye That Finds.

That knows to find. That almost knows the word. For danger packed in paper boxes, the sound of trying-to. The list for journeys loosening, the way. What to take when going. The way only Novembers tend to:

                                                                                           Sweater skins, ceramic bowls, a wire map. Grown by hand, a wing. A moss crochet, magnetic vodka in. Plastic bottles. A glider wing grown inside some kind of hive. Books of paper sheets. For folding into female parts. A tin of waterproof matches. A body.


Preemptive Introductions Keep Us Touching:

All the technofields that pass through the highway. We nurture rational ecologies. Give a wreck in the face of subsuming.


Androgyny, a Borrow Pit.

Alchemy in a mechanical culture. Aerial excursions, mouth-viewed views and all the types of invasion weed. Glacial silt and-or ordinary runoff. Phototropes. A body cellar. A sudden flock-or orchard-or warren. Some beautiful-moving-slowly that makes a tree mean part of the sky.


Thinking Like a Peninsula

We ferry-boat, drive out to see. Over tight. Tongue-neck of the deepening sound. To. Into and in. Arms of biggest. Big temperate trees that move. To live for. Fog-tooth breath rolling slip-by-bit. Off and of morning ocean. Epiphytes and epiphytic and temple moss branches.

Hot springs drying themselves out on the side of the road. Bruised air. A delta of vowels. Travel like owl eyes. Dancing coins of tidal light. All this. And not to say. The rivers with their mouth names. Fingerling salmonids. Pelvic fins. Silt-blue dreams that stretch. Our terror at. And of. Having-faces.


Tyranny of Balance

The far reach of the green. River’s confluence mouth gorge and farm flats, flood ready and always. Us with our walking on. The danger-do-not-enter logjam logs. In turn. Hidden by. Behind. Slipped fence and Northern Pacific. Railway bones. Wet rootballs and the naked whites of trees. With eyes that. Blink.


Tyranny of Seeing

We. Stoop together find: a caddisfly. Hairy wings and membranous. Mud banks getting stiff. Sudden summer. Heat. Sky ripped reflection of cottonwoods with. Leaves that say. In breaths of shade. Do not push too. Hard against the waiting. The cascade snowmelt. The coming and-or cresting.

           Bubble-skin elderberry dead in dry earth. Not metaphor. Just. What is. I want there to be. Something. About the electric. That is a. Dialogue between parts of my lives. I mean. I think. I want. Anatomy to exist.


Tolerant and Salt-licked

Like a waxed growth or knobby shore pines or naming pinnacle species to succeed. And all. The what-can-means that billow into. Futures we long to imagine or. Have imagined and. Imagine to be full and full of and full of the fillings and filling over and filled with the names of textures and. The sounds of all the city things. Which we name as they come to us like fingers reaching over the curl of the land. And the way in.

                                                                     Defense of our own bodies we. Are always choosing to take the long long long elevator ride just to watch the ferry boats shrinking into their tails. On the surface of the prickled tin Sound because it helps us to imagine. Ourselves as selves with lines that hold. Their own. In the face of facetings, other sun-spun spillings. Other small disasters. Of seeing.


How Exhaust Becomes Urgencies

The baldness of touchings—the situational restraint. We tell: accidental remaining, not alchemical or hunger. A tire spilled open on that once and rural road we took to bring. One version, surging home. Mistaken for corrupters or. With a miniature siberia as our critical node: one moving aria, one long-blued way to suppose.

                                                           The turbulence of gargoyles. Circuits askance in our hands, we who. Set the wood to clack and later crackle. We hymn and watermark. We batch and know. Distortion: a throbbing stretch of land. In once and changeful times, a beach fire set to. Drifting against a storm fall. Folded tongues of. Failed and tropic wind.




Kerry Banazek is a writer, teacher, and sometime photographer with ties to Northern New York, Western Pennsylvania, and the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry and microprose has appeared or is forthcoming in the Seneca Review, Sentence: a journal of prose poetics, and elsewhere.