Enter occupying army of ghosts
Enter the teeming host of fat and frantic moths obscuring the white orb of the sun
If the sun is a storm I stand at its gate
If the sun is a storm of gasses and moth dust and flame, then the stutter and spray of fire in the sky is a body dispersing, its dust-light
Enter widow’s husband
Enter ghost, shuffling, unsettling the dust from the surface of things
I would recognize it by its voice, its whistle, its wheeze, by its favorite vice, by its mossy scent, by the singular thump tap thump of its gait
Would it know me in kind, by the same
The sun cuts a low winter arc
If the sun is the sum of all broken things I am over the moon.
And the breeze stirs the heaps of moth wings on the sill
The moths too have been spent by their fervor and lust
I am young and wild
I am older and quieter
If I am neither me nor I
I am lost
I am lost in the noise:
the human hum, in the buzz of the hive, the scent of moss on the wind
Enter wind, its twisting blade, the low winter sun, the tattered, stirring, dusty songs
Ode to the Moth
a Brugmansia shrub
in the garden. It’s spring. They kiss
its flowers—pendulous, trumpet-shaped,
toxic—which seems stupid,
though haven’t these exact
moths thumped and thumped
against my porch light, its bright shell,
every night for weeks now?
And to accomplish what?
They could be from a different time entirely.3>
Someone tills the ground.
Someone tips the watering can.
Sugar cane. Corn stalk. Soon
everything stripped, that strange
old utterance. (How
then to sweeten the tongue?)
I think I’m just lonely.
When last I smelled this
smell, it was a bar of soap,
unopened, in your bathroom.
You said its fragrance
clings to your skin all day.
So I pressed it to my face.
And I believe that the grasshoppers chirruping after their manner in the heat of the sun over our heads are talking to one another and looking down at us. What would they say if they saw that we, like the many, are not conversing, but slumbering at mid-day, lulled by their voices, too indolent to think? Would they not have a right to laugh at us?
—Socrates, in Plato’s Phaedrus, translated by Benjamin Jowett
I play the piano to feel all the keys together, hugging. The sacrificed bird, the Siberian girl, the planet ripe with salmon flies, sowing the earth into a drink.
There is Ovid at his Roman sex party; there is
traveling back into time, the centripetal guru
poet to not kiss his mistress on the neck. Now
hiding his small eggs in the aluminum kitchens
the roofs of mouths. Children adore him. Even a
a Huckleberry Bush, the heavens for SalmonFly
S a l m o n F l y
telling the latin
he’s in Frankfurt
who loves water
and thorns, who does not eat in adult life, who plays dead when the piano stops, when the girl at the black voluptuous instrument shifts from Mendelssohn to Bach.
click click click
camera shutters, scut
climb the look out;
up quark, down quark;
people are two strokes,
so is ten – tell me f(x)
spiders remind her of her mother,
seventh leg stroking,
calming the edible, insecure
picturesque fission – when
they collide, worlds;
what is a quark made of?
thoraxic discontinuity, like how
many steps between zero and one;
tri-sectioned, you say, which
do I eat first?
and the set of all sets?
heart: an exoskeleton
field is conveniently segmented;
alization, hid in exoskeleton;
synecdochic, you say, which
do I eat last?
selfies don’t make a sound
– mute the click;
one picture, ten bodies,
return to cricket-quieted night;
are we really giants after all?
speak up, static talk
picture picture picture
and in between quarks?
aortic meter, insecare
If sages, saints, and prophets exist, if scholar and poets [...] and insects exist, it is because their names are found in the book.
The praying mantis easily elides suspicion by folding into an orchid to yield aggression. The brimstone butterfly closes its wings to avoid it. Lore has it. There are many mantids but it’s a gesture we call out. Butterfly came from brimstone, and so becoming a leaf in life it becomes every other kind of itself in language. Etched onto the back of a non-circulating coin it only appears to have landed on what passes for money, reminiscent of both but being neither. Gershom Sholem talks about mystics seeing god but only encountering some reflection of themselves. And what can you do with a thing like that? Having never seen god nor myself, believing in either. Some turn to praying. He was hired when someone thought him a botanist. Who knows this is where the game ends and Gershom Scholem elides into Golem. Lore has it Jabes walked in ever-widening circles around the Jardin des Champs Elysees until he became the city. And then what? An ellipsis crawls inside an omission. Repetition is an insect. Enough time passes that you can say to time, enough. Enough lavender is brushed by your hand that you can say, lavender. Anything at all.
my kids got scared of a
cartoon ladybug on tv yesterday.
one hid behind the
couch and one hid behind me.