To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
.......................................again
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Saturday, October 5, 2013

John Martone, Two New Poems: “Gamma” & “Juniperus virginiana”


[To describe John Martone as our greatest living miniaturist, as I have in the past, is to go back for me to a time many years ago when Ian Hamilton Finlay & I corresponded about a poetry of small increments (one-word poems & other such concerns) as a project to be undertaken.  For Finlay, I believe, some form of minimalism was at the heart of the concrete poetry he was then exploring & developing, & for myself it entered into aspects of ethnopoetics & appeared most clearly in the numerically based poems (gematria) that I was beginning to write.  It’s with someone like John Martone, however, that this approach turns into a life long project, for which poems like the following, newly made & often self published, can serve as a presentday, irrefutable witness. (J.R.)]

                  gamma
 
         light in your handwriting’s loops
            light in your body 

~ 

the retina’s a sail 

~ 

infrared 
even as you lie there sleeping 

~ 

a frequency  
at which the body is see-thru 

~ 

they hammer together
a wooden stairs
you read about photons 

~ 

shouting vulgarities 
a roofer stands in the light 

~ 

it’s weeding or roofing these days & both 

~ 

photons 

the pea flower’s
whiteness 

~ 

photons  

you pick
pea pods 

~ 

the wind’s direction today all those photons 

~ 
in a photon
in the light
            more light 

~ 

wouldn’t mind
just being
photons 
~

gamma rays  

right thru
mirror 

~ 

gamma ray burst lighting up all can’t see it  

~ 

your body
this room  

this room
full of light 

           ~ 

radish plants
shot to seed overnight
you climb the roof 
 
 
 
              Juniperus virginiana
 
 
nothing to do
old man
red cedar 

~ 

room enough
for me in you
red cedar 

~ 

a brief nap
a red
cedar 

~ 

people have two lungs — red cedar 

~ 

nights
that interstellar form
red cedar 

~ 

another
sleep walker
red cedar 

~ 

come autumn
a cedar chest
full of bedding 

~ 

having no one
the smell of a cedar hope chest 

~ 

cedar tree
the soul is always something else
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    summer, summer 2013

2 comments:

amol sanap said...

Simply Great!

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