CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
From The Lichtenberg Figures
Ben Lerner



§

When a longing exceeds its object, a suburb is founded.
Goatsuckers spar in the linden. The redskins are hunted.
When the hunt exceeds its object, the past achieves
pubescence. History pauses
for emphasis. After these poems are published,

money will be no object.
Money will be a gray bird known for mocking other birds.
The stars will be adjusted for inflation
so that the dead can continue living
in the manner to which they’ve grown accustomed.

When a dream of convenience begins to dream itself,
the neighborhood’s last bamboos reel in their roots.
The children make love “execution style,”
then hold each other like moments of silence.



§

My death was first runner-up at the 1996 Kansas State Wrestling
   Championships (157 lbs).
My death is the author of The Complete Posthumous Poetry of César
   Vallejo
.
My death was the first death in my family
to ever graduate from college.
My death graduated from The University of California, Berkeley.

Your death was the 1996 Kansas State WrestlingChampion (157 lbs).
Your death is the author of César Vallejo’s Trilce.
Your death was the third death in your family
to deliver a commencement address
at The University of California, Berkeley.

Her death doesn’t care about your death’s fame or physique.
Her death is the author of Tungsten, César Vallejo’s social realist
   experiment.
Her death likes to run her hands through what’s left of my death’s hair.
Her death would like to start a family.



§

The sky narrates snow. I narrate my name in the snow.
Snow piled in paragraphs. Darkling snow. Geno-snow
and pheno-snow. I staple snow to the ground.

In medieval angelology, there are nine orders of snow.
A vindication of snow in the form of snow.
A jealous snow. An omni-snow. Snow immolation.

Do you remember that winter it snowed?
There were bodies everywhere. Obese, carrot-nosed.
A snow of translucent hexagonal signifiers. Meta-snow.

Sand replaced with snow. Snowpaper. A window of snow
opened onto the snow. Snow replaced with sand.
A sandman. Obese, carrot-nosed. Tiny swastikas

of snow. Vallejo’s unpublished snow.
Real snow on the stage. Fake blood on the snow.