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Work Song
“Rye stalk, swan’s neck.”
—Sergei Esenin

It is an hour. One
of those hours.
The hours. Hour
after hour. Ours.
The light. Sunlight.
The walls. On the
wall. Wallpaper.
Light and shade.
Light is shape.
Form. The form
requires light.
Without the forms where would the light fall.
Late afternoon light.
Vladivostok. The
name and the light.
The name of the city
at the end of the land.
What land. What light
in the land is the land.
The light, not the land.
There is a land.
There are lands.
The form in the room
on the wall, prints,
blue flowers, patterns
in the mesh of white
transparency, filter,
filament, for the light
to let the light fall on
the wall, the flowers,
prints of blue flowers.
Snow on the hills. China.
The name of the land
the hills the snow the white
signs, sounds, lines, not
the land. There is no land.
The land is not a thought.
China is not a thought.
Russia is not a thought.
The East is not a thought.
What is the name of the land
the light on the wall belongs
to no one. The light is ours.
Where we are. What we are.
Light the hours. The light
is the hours, the days, the years
without light, without heat,
the blue sky, cloudless, today.
The wings of the birds write
in the sky without clouds.
Here clouds are memory. 


Blue sky. Snow on the hills.
Magnitudes. The words return.
The hills around the city.
The hills surround the city.
The valley. The paint on the walls
of the buildings in the city.
Green and yellow and blue.
Poverty. City of poverty.
The price of food. Hunger.
Beggars. There are pariahs
in every city in the world.
Kabul. Cleveland. Calcutta.
The world is light, in light.
The light escapes the writing.
These are words writing
the light in Chita, Russia.
Words writing the blue sky.
Cloudless hours, days.
Snow on the hills. The names
China, Chita, a cup of water.
Hot water. Is there hot water.
Bird on my windowsill now,
just now, writing, yellow
breast green wings. It flies away.
The hills, snow on the hills.
China. Where are the farms.
Snow. Flowers. Blue sky.
For the farmers, the farming,
for the farms producing
food for people to eat.
“People are starving.” 


What is a song. Why sing.
“People die.” Peasants.
The peasantry. The lands,
the fields, milk and cheese.
The music falls silent.
Miseriae. The writing
is quiet, words, white
as snow, the first snow
on the hills facing China
or Chita. It is only a letter.
One letter. The sign,
the name, the country,
the land, the fields,
the words. Only words.
There is nothing
in these words.
There is something
in the words for



Yellow light.
The light is yellow.
The light on the wall
has changed from
white to yellow.
How would you know.
Do you know how
the light changes
white to yellow
in Chita, Russia? 

Light is paint.
On the walls. Pavel
Filonov starved.
Gorod. City. The siege
of a city. Starve them.
What is a loaf of bread.
How does the light
fall on the price of bread.
The light in the room
moves to the window.
The light in the window.
The light on the window
less yellow, more blue.
Blue lacquer, white fabric.
The voice of one singing
at the end of the music.
The rise of the voice
falls on silence, like light.
The light on the walls.
A voice is singing. Vocal
weights and durations
rise and fall in shadows
on the shadows in the song
the singing, the snow
on the hills, the blue sky
disappearing, evening
singing, and price,
the price of bread, and time.
The hay in the fields
viewed from the train
from Irkutsk stacked
the same way as the century
the last one, the century
the one that has passed.
Past. History is the time
in the light on the walls
in the room on the prints
of the flowers that grow
in the fields, amidst hay
in a saffron land
the yellow sands
a song by Khayyam:

What to want.
What do you want.
Want? Wish. I wish.
Once I wished.
You wished wants?
Once. Yes, wants I once
wished. What is your want.
My once. Once I had a want.
Wished to want. Wanting,
I once wished. Wishing
well. Wishing to be well.
Well, what do you want.
What do you want me to want.
I wish what for. For what.
I wish for want I what.
What I want for wished.
What I want to wish.
I want to wish. What is that.
It wishes itself, wanting itself.
It wants me. To wish.
To wish and to want
to once in a while be what.
A woman. A man.
There is a woman who wishes.
There is a man who wants.
Once there was a man
who wished. He wished
that a woman wanted.
Want you. Want me.
Once you was me.
Wishing you. Wanting.
Can I never be you.
I can never be. Me.
Don’t be. Don’t wish me.
Don’t wish that. For me.
Don’t wish that on me.
Want me? What is me?
What is not you.
You are not me.
What are you.
Whatever you wish for me.
To be. Not me. You. Be me.
I want to be wished.
Away. Wished away.
Where. Wherever
I am not. Where
are you? Where
I am wishing. What.
Wishing for what.
Wishing my wanting.
To be wanted. I wish
to be wanted. I don’t
want you. You don’t?
You don’t want me?
Why me? Why don’t
you want me? It’s what I wish. 


Wished. Once. I wished you
wanting. Yours. Your wants.
You were once my wants.
Tell me what you want.
I want my once.
What was that.
What it wasn’t.
I never wanted.
Was I wanted.
What were you
wanted for? What
were you? Who for?
For wishing.
For wanting.
There is no me.
No you. Not you.
I am not me.
You are not you.
I want to be.
For you. Me?
What do you
want me to be.
What do you
want from me.
To wish for me.
Wait. Wait for.
Wait and want and wish.
Will you. Waiting.
Wanting. Wishing
for you to wait for.
Words weigh. This
is their way. Worlds.
No, words. My words.
These are my words.
These are my wishes.
These are my wants.
These are my once.
I once my words.
What are you now.
Your words. I am
your wants, wished for.
What do you wish for
my words to be. 


do you wish for my words
for me? For you?
This is not true.
What is. Me, you.
We are wishes.
Wishing, wanted.
We wished once.
Once we wanted.
I want you to be.
For, me. Be for.
Before. What is after.
What goes before.
Is this what is wanting.
Wanting and waiting.
Wishing and wording.
The wording. My once.
My words were once.
Never. They never are.
They are never more.
They are only wants.
They are once only.
What they wish for.
They wish for you,
my words. My once.
I am not your words.
I don’t want to be.
I don’t want you to be.
I don’t want me to be
your words. Be yours.
Are my words yours?
We can be wished.
We can wish us. We
can wish for us
our words. Want this.
Do you want this.
Do you want me
to wait? Wish? 


For. Me. My you.
I want you. To be.
I wish me for you.
I wish me you, to be.
Do you wish me.
Do you wish for me.
Do you want for
me to wish you.
Do you want for
me to wait. For you.
What do we wish
which does not want?
What do we wait for
that are, is not wording.
Working. Work me.
Work for me. You work.
I work. We work. Works.
Your works. My works.
What we are not. 


I am not my works.
I am not my words.
My words are wants.
My words wish to be
work, works, worked.
Do your words wish
for my words to work?
Are our words ours?
Do our words work?
Are our words wants.
Once. Our words once.
They once. They were.
Now. Then. Here. There.
When? What you want.
Do you want that, then?
When was it? What?
What was it you wanted?
When? Once. I wanted?
I don’t know what you want.
I know I don’t want for you
to wait for I don’t know want.
What. You. Wait for you.
Me? Do you want me?
Want me. What is me.
What is it? I don’t know.
How can I know if you
don’t tell me? What, want.
Wan. The word for you.
They do not work. Words
weighed for what. Way,
for wait. Weigh, weight.
Wait me. Want for me.
I am waiting, wanting.
You are waiting for me?
I am waiting, if you want
for me to be. Weighing
your words, are the words
yours, or mine? Ours.
Our words are theirs.
Their words. Whose.
I don’t know. Do you?
Do you know their words.
I don’t want them. Words.
You don’t want those words.
You want your words.
Yes, I want for my words
to be yours, the same words.
Do we, are we, can we,
be our words? They are
not what they are. They
are not all here. Where?
They do not know once.
I don’t know what they want.
You don’t wait for what they.
Are. Our. We were. Our words.
Once. We wanted words.
We waited to want, weighing.
Wanting. Once, we waiting.
For words. For the words
to wait for what we wanted.
We wanted each other.
Once. Our wants. We wanted.
We wanted and waiting.
Waiting, our once went away.
Where we are now. Wanting. 


Go away. I don’t want you.
Now. I don’t want you now.
For always? I want, I wait,
I wish, I word, I work.
For me. I want you to wait.
You want, you wait, you wish,
you word, you work. Always.
No, once. Once only. There
is only one once. One.
One time. One chance.
One wish. One word.
What word. I was waiting
for the one word. Yours.
Your word. You have one word.
You wrote it. You did not say it.
Would not, could not. Your you.
You kept you. You left me.
Without. You would not word.
For me. Your word. Once.
I wanted your word. Waiting,
do words work? What do we do.
Why do we wait for words.
Why do we wish for words.
Why do we word our works.
Why do we work for words.
They don’t know you. Or me.
Our words don’t know what
we are. Are not. I am not you.
For you. What do you want for.
Wait for. I am waiting for you.
What do you want me to be?
What did you wish for, with me?