Words like fences or dams,
something you can’t see through,
something to keep things in check until
you’re alone with yourself–
there’s just no escaping genre.
That thing not recognizably you,
things you’ve taken on for no good,
where the surprise came from–
what, were you not looking?
Better a hand to keep from harm–
shoot well the hart says to the hunter–
the field’s still wide open
but the world’s compressed into
the worst possible place.
How love makes difference, then
how there’s no sorting what’s asunder
when you didn’t know it was.
Early on the dog seemed more like home—no animal ever had black spinning things behind a face, that relentless hum in every room of things that weren’t words that everyone’s mind was always shouting, things I never could unhear. Even now in every grinding place without an exit, I play here-there with things I’ve turned to empty objects in my mind. Down every hallway some dark engine rushed toward me or behind me, every house was a cabinet with a mirrored front. Always alone in days or evenings that didn’t begin and didn’t end until the mind just packed off to the side, but by then I’d already seen too much of everything.
After a while, you didn’t have to keep moving all the time, you were already unrecognizable in how you managed it, a border with a life on one side open to any vantage point, on the other side the one that always smelled of paint and turpentine. The one saving discovery: that you could show invisible things with a pencil or brush on paper, paper that you could go into like a house no one could see. Later on, every time I stretched a canvas, I was building a house behind it, a place I could breathe in behind the scrim of everything else.
There was just entirely too much seeing, seeing that would not stop, one Continue reading