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Three Poems
Sarah Mangold


Public inscriptions are all around us   

She recalled the general pleasantness of the atmospheres during those last moments before she became for them a kind of monster—To refuse to return to the next—she was a misfit in domestic service—a crisis of expectations

She should have been a grenadier or a countess—Insert immanence going through the hall to answer the door—It was found he had access to money—She was a procession—humanity in disdainful movement—unassuming right and left contemplation—A world of people going into space—and at any moment might have the bad manners to go up in flames—Heels out between us—almost enough to make dangerous a fantastic intensification of everyday people

A hundred song magazines in order to make people attend—Love is a lavish language—Love is a huntress song—To his philosophy of astonishingness a bill of goods—The astonishingness of doors opening when you push them—It was going to be this sweater—She had spoken firmly from the context of her private speculations—Lots of big big revolution behind my eyes—one long moment of attention


The book made an emotion of the lost territory

                                                (for and after Bhanu Kapil, Dorothy Richardson)

There he stood a comfort and a reproach the event of the border.  How powerfully the future flows into the present.  How to translate migration into the work of the line.  And how on entering on experience one is already beyond it   so that most occasions are imperfect   save before and afterwards.


The border is unintelligible and only at the price of solitude.  Rewriting in neomuscular terms as gesture.  Perhaps everyone has a definite thought rhythm and speech.  If we breathe long enough   ashes in some kind of motion.  Rhythm which cannot be violated without producing self-consciousness and discomfort.  Continual migration   molecular.  The whole process is strange
strange and secret.


Always a mystery and an absence from which one returns to find life a little further on.  The Mansion of Happiness.  When the new volume arrives in its parcel   inflamed   one has to endure the pang of farewell to current life.


There is sound and there is needlepoint in their midst   threatening like a packet of explosives.  Every piece has a womb   a woman tied to a tree.  Serbia to Pakistan.  To open the book and to the monster is to begin life anew   cyborg   with eternity in hand.  You need the group to tell you the appearance of alien elements   of quotations and gleaning of facts.  To surround you with the empty
to hold you in place at last rising from a crowd of problems.


Lips smacked everyday at the centre of which stands the specter of one’s own ignorance.  All girls are sewing giant dresses.  Nothing to hold to but a half-accepted doctrine.  Threading film being versus becoming.  Becoming versus being.  Some use sequins to reform the domestic.  It is certain that becoming depends on being.  Are the “classics” just a life revealed.  Perhaps in the end things like beloved backgrounds are people    it was difficult.  I’m next to the pantry.  The night was difficult for them.


An equally deedy female

She gathered up the scattered sheets  
a non-geometrical attempt to supply information

about what was far and what was important  
bringing it down into life

and illustrating its operation there was good  
it was more like an expressionist portrait than an identification photo  

Perhaps this was a turning point
leaving panic behind    

It was for sinners not navigators  
these cupboards full of ranged freshly-labeled bottles    

the distance from Oberland to Jerusalem  
a ruler across a map    

Drawers of stored materials
newly sorted and listed

turned each way and each way is undone  
the multitude of charts and the many accounts

affect and atmosphere
the presentation so annotated and tabulated  

Her successor would relievedly find herself
the sport and spectator of fueled efforts

The world
of a super humanly deedy female  

canalled    
and could be lived up to


Sarah Mangold is the author of Household Mechanics (New Issues) and the chapbooks Parlor (dusie kollektiv), Picture of the Basket (dusie kollektiv), Boxer Rebellion (g o n g), and Blood Substitutes (Potes & Poets Press). New work can be found in Action Yes!, Little Red Leaves, Court Green, and Handsome. She lives in Edmonds, Washington.