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Storm, lustral

Blue as already the shoreline
is breaking, are you a
lakefront the question is
lacking, house with one
door with a corset of glass
its secret about
                         to pass out of
earshot, blurring its poker
face breaking its fall, apart
from white of which yellow
is part, sanding & sanding
the slivers the hook the
ask and it shall
                         open unto
cold blood & two
carat how are you
overcast how is your hinge
brokedown the half note
in laudanum light:
frost at
                         the window was
etched with such images
what if the dark does
not know to watch & what if
morning still biting its nails,
bent with etcetera bent with
until, breathe
                         a straight razor
notched like a tooth, to
break with the second the
third time around
a fretwork of shuteye at once
& awake, roomless for what I
wasted on the way


A carmine book, graphite red
book of rain will squall to blur
the first, the final page,
dusk at water’s edge undress
the edge, a tantrum of fog
                         what used to be you:
birds filibuster a poplar
& stay the conductivity
of night, in this landscape
sampling another samples
others, wind with nothing to
stop or
                         gear it down: not if
the half moon rig its pulley
roof to roof, sun make the
usual rounds, if let me have
my life it’s what I have, if most
be fair in love & war but we, we
were never—
                         a piece of weak thread
& faraway thunder are work you
set your fever to, an oil
can, a threepenny nail, leaf
come in from the cold,
or this space I call,
for lack
                         of a better word,


Panning the river of where
he went for signs of where I
went, the gunmetal blue in
hemlock & water, rush grass
panic grass,
                         I can start
again can start again:
the moon is awaiting a
makeover, sun plays
satisfied with itself
& a speedboat
its destiny on the dark
for don’t know who,
do not know why the wasp
the pebble, purslane &
tree line, unable to
stay on the coast of a
concept a singular
thing that only happens
                         hail, rain, wave
upon wave, someone,
somebody else: & his
ragdoll figures of difference
with their foreign, faceless
god, that it runs,
                         runneth down,
rattles to & fro
before running out
as a woman, at the end
of a party, will up &
leave her
                         scarf & gloves
behind, the sky eliding
from damask to cobalt
varicose over the barn,
aluminum puddles
& zydeco light
                         around the
yard, open never open
enough in a winter at one
remove— oh look a
cloud that slipped its
drift & got
for good


Rainstorm oiling a rusted
track, orange the farther
the fiery end: nonplussed & no
nonsense up up from zero
revisiting zero, refusing
to fold when the dealer
                         to sever each
premise go back on one’s
will, consent to be riven
then breach one’s consent:
why feather why do you
ice & erosion, playing what’s
meant by a
                         color betrayed,
nothing from nothing not
triage or whisper, night it got
busted got put back to pieces
tale of the splinter &
wind burn it got, frayed by
an absence that
                         rendered it seen
as sunlight can fissure
the arc of an echo lured from
its ashes the violet
lam?, shadowless wave &
nerve pointing nowhere, filthy
& fucked up & bent
                         beyond fixing 
even insomnia sawed off &
gray or tinted in gaillac or
black Sunday best: bulletproof
heart will you walk a ways
backward empty of
                         other than snow


Anorexic & off-kilter, a snowflake
done brought the mountain
down: reckons well what voice
will latch, beckoning
the dark, fathoms how a
halo catches fire,
                         alike knows why
from now until never
if one be unslept to oneself
a kiss come wreck
this body & rearrange
our limbs: winter not
relaxed nor cut
                         the haywire of
its blear, but dragging
gaunt calligraphy over
the blue, sharded glass
of being there, gone & left
a fraught, laconic poise
for none did see:
of sunlight marry the floor


Surrounded by pinyon
& parasol pine, dog rose &
flowering plum & so far
ahead of ourselves I
                         no longer see us
where last we were seen
looking into one-way glass
unsure which side is clear:
mirror that sharps
                         if interrupted
mirror refuse to shatter
by the deadpan, ambient chord
of being alive with you
& almost alone:
                         why everything hangs
in the balance
even the balance


Although it is neither your
language nor mine, not
in the eyebright & not in
your name, no matter if
driftwood if pollen or cirrus
hauling their muted shadows
vex the dune: although every
written must
                         other its author,
a daybreak sonata, horizon
chateau, the private archives
of lakewind & loss, a claret tide
that’s closer to me than my
self: although wet japonica
as if by default, melissa or
ambergris, coltsfoot or burr
                         a single stroke of
sun: give & forgive us
our tagalonglight
our fjords of crashing 
through thaws of ourselves,
anglesea & veer from an arsenic
sky, like a child who guards
a sand castle against
the afternoon,
                         tapping a wrinkle
of salt water,
telling the ocean to stop


Believe the weather will
strain its back for
someone no longer & never
was there, for things that tremor
& things that hide &
things that lavish
                         their future in
a flood: pastis green
of bowstring pine & indigo
trimming the veins, a bridge
that flexes like scissors below
& current that wavers
unbended untorn,
                         in nil-nil time
turn without turn, don’t let it
break let it rest let
it break, red that unfreezes
a riot of red, may all my
arrows be written down in you


By shot light & shadows of,
overhear a took-off man
nearing the fence, the folds of,
hop across its
                                 talcum code
& piston the ditchwater of:
river level at curtain glass
junk awash on the bank
he swims ahead of an
stands for himself
if he had one, as a life that
partway happened leans 
testing each
                                 movement of
& clouds collapse in seigniories
gone mint, medoc, cassis:
& not the forest
unseen for the trees
                                 but I can’t
see any trees, flying the
gravel or gravity of,
organon & the opera
of, deluge will cover
                                 his twilight
track his get the hell
out of here of: recycling
what murmurs volt after
volt, goodbye
                                 it’s okay
goodbye, white flame
in a white fog
in a windflower
coming to meet us

Andrew Zawacki’s latest poetry volume is Videotape (Counterpath, 2013). Conjunctions’ 2008 publication of his translation from Sébastien Smirou’s My Lorenzo 3: The Tournament appeared from Burning Deck in 2012. His 2015 publication of Smirou’s “The Dodo” is one of eight chapters from See About, which has been supported by an NEA translation fellowship and will appear in 2016 from La Presse.