Five untitled sonnets
sometimes it's simple--find
a thread to pull, unravel cardinal
points so that you find signs
afloat in air, already home.
might as well be blind as keep
sight of that tiny vast
landscape in the cranium, or deaf
and describe not-yet-
rubbed-out rhythms. sometimes
it's easy, like when snowflakes
baffle the debut of water
into bird-like reruns. just close
the book to see the sun.
you'll hardly know you're there.
her green sweater, caught in a revolving
door that reflects clouds frittering away
like flour blown off a wooden cutting
board. she looks back. she has no
shadow. thoughts of the shortness
of ant-seasons, and whether omens will ever
mean what they mean before coming true.
her eyes are transparent holes in the sky.
light fades into a dusk that riddles
its lumens with dim constellations
and vanishes into their unconnected dots,
like knots in a magician's scarf.
the key to unhooking her sweater
is a tangled up, long, long time.
fields and lakes and fields
again. just enough
light to see glyphs
scribbled by the tremor
of the highest branch
of a tree. from that branch,
onto yesterday's roof. today,
one drip winds up wiped
off a table under wet
shingles. up the road,
villages linked by every
curve's tiny house, one
as inevitable as the next.
if only memory held the key. if traces were the key to grammar
not yet grammar. if the brute sound waves of jackhammers
were a way to witness. the memory of brutes is brutes
remembering or something remembering brutes. cleaving
or cleaving to. typical, like photographs imagining they capture
perfect moods. just perfect, think the photographs
as they capture brute space. they feel limited. if only they had
perfect readers to rescue them, though readers are unreliable
witnesses. they limit, they garble. they cannot rescue all
their moments. at best, they rescue typical
memories of random jackhammers
in crowds. at best,
moments emerge and disintegrate, like babbling crowds
at their not-yet grammar. at best, the crowds are random.
if random, then rescue. if rescue, then witness.
a cardboard cutout croons down brazen streets, flustering
the delicate ligaments of january. cheerful but fictitious
confetti drift down from who-knows-where. the resolute
gestures of the adoring crowd fritter into mere traces.
if only they could slacken old habits, they think, they could see
with dry cafˇ eyes the white of an orange peel in the light
from doomed planets, erase flippant cardinal points
from legendary panoramas, drain from their habitat
brackish day and wasted night. if only they could belt out
their own slow-witted song, carving ruts into blank brains.
perhaps a song about bricklayers who eat oranges and toss
the peels onto brazen streets with counterfeit crooners.
maybe then summer snow would come out of hiding
and latent flowers quiver in their eyes.