7 She Said
The basic symmetries of the Lie are four: Lies of Shame, of Disgrace,
Lies of Need and Lies of Comfort. Each of these engages metaphor,
irony, and poetry. Or, Self, Other, and Us. Or, the lie is a common friend,
full of foreboding but willing to hold your hand in the dark hours
when bright anxieties await just beyond the corners which need turning.
8 Group Theory
This is not to say, she said, that I forgive you. She said this unhooking
an item of clothing. It was a small item, nothing that would be noticed
but by one who understood the nature of need, the kind of need he would
feed on, self-cannibalizing need which required at all cost to be covered
by some sort of clothing, some small wisp which could be secretly
hooked into place while no one, or she, was looking.
The tetrahedron, too, has twelve symmetries.
What One must Not Touch: baby birds, fallen,
the emulsion side of the film,
oneself, others, delicate objects,
delicate subjects, dangerous objects,
open sores, close-friends’ children,
the children of strangers, the actual
eyeball, the exposed interior.
11 What It Will Become
A casual survey taken of his own erotic fantasies left him quivering.
For no one can bear his own her own despair sexually embodied.
No body can bear its own weight but will soon and seriously reject
symmetry, all mirrors turning opaque,
all echo silenced.
12 An End
My breath is continuous and dimensionless,
“Dimension,” being simply what is needed, the space
within which you can show what it is, whatever
it is; for instance: I have a balloon in three dimensions
whose surface is in two: I drew her face on my balloon,
tears in her eyes and mine.
During the night my breath did escape—
a whisper from her throat, my Love’s, a dream at some distance.
Bin Ramke’s tenth book of poems, Theory of Mind: New and Selected Poems will appear from Omnidawn in the fall of 2010. He teaches at the University of Denver, where he edits the Denver Quarterly, and sometimes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
All day I said goodbye and then I failed to leave. The lie was uncertain;
was in the not leaving or was it the saying itself?