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Four Poems

And in having “lost” a person twenty
years back as if out in these woods as if
looking    will find will be

secessionist deer
currency    waiting
for the sun     light
in the      north how     positing that
as against      anything

surely the sound
of the long road
getting longer

the creature often
in putting together
wds encounters
resistance       infolded   vowel
     troubling nerve     of the
glottal     stop
        morning registers breathing
but     barely

why should the forest why
should the lac/lake why
should the “Mont”

there is the question—
         what     matters what
matter is
there in the still—in the
non-trembling    air

sweeping out from under—
bodies     in the   lake—
rowing     badly
  wanted  soothing      forever—

troubling language
words in the rough just

a hinge presupposed
        actuarial fluff
off the arid thought
     floats    too common
to be seen

in the calling        woods
the thin     motionless
trees at dawn

brachial flutings the
serrated sound
tipped    up


Forms of Matter

Visibility gives
out    a trained eye
misses       subcutaneous
call to remedy an
honest causeway between you
and your language

            now that
the liquids   have left

along the sedges & meadows a pre-
ponderance of starchy metaphors is seen
to collect

a semblance of wonder and
amazement dissipates arriving
in the atmosphere as a gas

crowds began to form—
darts, arrows, rodents
the humidity seemed to provoke

lastly the refusal to bloom
of those wretched stalks
the garden celebrates

water set to boil
a silt along the spine
theories coming to roost
in our cedars

“a voice like no other” calls
its shaggy fame accident

in its gelatinous state the curfew
nearly ineffective


Dream #2

Trace of a comma
in which I am both in and am viewing
a film in which a woman
in the air lands but is not seen
landing      in green fields     the set
includes an old barn in the near distance behind
which the landing
takes place     the device used
to avoid depicting the
actual landing which would be
untenable or violent and is thus
not a part of the film

when years ago I had a similar dream I remembered it differently

a series of open parentheses—
flat white plain of cloud
below which we are about to dip

our ability to decry
as if waiting for a mind
to slip
      each      very true thing
about it

launch      of air into
air more pure
 the perimeter or perimetric paths the
streets      take

moving through the city pre-dawn in a cab     when
the light comes up the colors
a wash across
the word upon them
     in an explanation of a moment
the failure itself    has some
small lift


Three Moments

Moment 67

Sewn lines a chill
sets in upon cloth
     otherwise a crisis a
fret    about where the birds have
all gone or had
before they came back
it is nothing not
even a thought     taking
itself out for a walk
on land that is    but is not
ours     to let go

Moment 24

Unlike the common species
surrounding them –
grazing the sides of the house
in passing  
            as if    a terror from the past
and missed them

a nominal instance
of defibrillated air
bumping up against
the ear

sprocket that time went through
along the street along
rows and boulevards

a burn—as over
the thing itself in prevaricating
throws the climbers
off the cliff

the backdrop of their dramas—
said it would come to this and
is has—
     no exceptions

Moment 35

In a sense planetary in what
sense planetary    features
unpinned          do a favor
to my head
recurring as it does
       outside my body so it
our problem
             of seizure

as anybody’s blood
in the bright sun
is red

to seem to say
the flavor of the atmosphere as
far as that—the eye—
can see         the way a city looks
laid out

Jessica Grim has published several books of poetry, including Vexed (/Ubu Editions), Fray (O Books), and Locale (Potes & Poets Press). With Melanie Neilson, she cofounded & coedited Big Allis, a journal published from 1989–2000 that focused on innovative writing by women. She lives in Oberlin, Ohio.