Stride Magazine -






But plasma senses time more keenly

so that this is what forms or resembles.

Filling threads of proteins

wander in the animal nosing under rocks

beside the creek, an oblique snow.

Your evening clothes hang there

from the closet.  Subliminal structure


like the idea "the rest of my life."





After waking, past sundown

I find myself

doing voice-overs for the dream I just had.


Using a knife rhythmically in the dim kitchen


talking to myself


I know my life as an inspired forgery.


I brush crumbs from my sleeves

and can't shake deja vu.





How do we ever forgive

voluptuous formlessness


leaving us?


Watch the pilot's perfect hand

butter bread as he flies into the mountain

physics tells us is empty space.


If only the holes could match up,

two solid objects

could go right through

each other


without anyone noticing.


The way light goes

through an "I,"


or how lovers vanish.









   Of course a painting has electrodes, and waits for multiple lovers

in the same room, brazen as an addict who makes several calls to increase

his odds. The anticipated "scene" is the true raison d'etre. There was a woman

on the west coast who couldn't stop, a painting that ate up decades; everything fell

into the canyon of her canvas – money, slivers of X-rays, her tampons – like a lippy blackhole sharing her bedroom. Soon, she couldn't leave it, nor thoughts of it.

Lovers left her instead. It had multiple strata, was too oddly weighted to stand vertically. Oddly, it became the color of female pudenda. Faced with the work much later (after walls had been cut to retrieve it, a crane enlisted to lift its tonnage)

(after the insignificant death of the artist) one thought of romance, one thought  

of the dead Art-Rose laid beside the young girl's labial rose, one sighed.


And one felt, this woman could hold us all, this woman could start a church...









The problem is "Shostakovich is identical."

And rabbit. And Ariel locked out

of the tree, makes a pretty three.

What I heard driving back in the car,

the string quartets

that put klezmer in the graveyards

of the air. He loved Jewish music

but didn't dare until Stalin

died in 1953 (surgical glass.

let the shapes inhumanly wear

the human body. The State Body. Vitruvian.


If this is a sonnet, it will die soon.

A tongue in the higher ear,

tickles my gamuts (resembling rope

the heart nears the winds

the compser must have leaned into. fire's

atheistic fast animal suddenly

carrying stones. The queer

engine of the world is lubricated

by such usury. Such absence of decades

as your bones over mine, glacial

energy clasped in an ammonite. coil.


always an emptier field of musicians


sawing away at the legs

of the gods of history








    Hone is "stone" in Old English, ends by falling back

into Sanskrit sisati, "he whets." Yes, I am that gull.  All senses

of the word, all hovers of the ocean. We locked for a perfect dance

from wet to whet. All our kind gnomes are afraid of me now.

Scythe whatsoever, I don't care. Theire eyes can't hold a story

this far north of personality, anyway. I shrike through sleep,

growing language. You linger and wallow in coffeehouse haruspices.

I appear (as falcon) in a dream and whisper, "Wasn't it great when

Whistler lost the world, but continued anyway?" The wasp that oviposits

on the paralyzed spider is the supreme artist. Swallowed,

I will draw digestion.








We are loyal,

whatever it is we are

waiting for. The moth

you were eyeing

takes off, avaunts at a random

flutter that disproves

our will in the world

convincingly as any jetliner

plunging aflame to earth.

The thing with the picture

of the world on its back grows large

as any argosy in language's

sleep, where we twitch

like dog legs. The word

"creature" clutches at me,

and I suddenly feel

how much I am a photograph.

The stickiness of the world.

When did I not become

these voices, when was

I ever alone,

unpracticed in ventriloquy,

not gluing myself

to the image of your silence

clinging to the wall?

You, who are self-sufficient

and unequal to any

image, what's the trick?



            © W.B. Keckler 2003