To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
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

Friday, September 28, 2018

Rochelle Owens: “Beloved the Aardvark,” a new poem with author’s comments

 The letters horizontal

or vertical  f l o a t  before
your eyes 

a black line shapes itself
spells out the first noun in
an english dictionary

with a forefinger and thumb
spells out  A a r d v a r k 
an animal from Africa

body of data  data of body 
rabbitlike ears  a long cylindrical

the tail of a kangaroo 
nocturnal  burrowing  a member 
of the mammalian order

made of the parts
of different animals  lay your hand
feel the bones under the skin       


The universe contains
everything that exists  letters
that spell out

r u i  n s c a p e 

end to end long strings
of words blinking in and out
as the universe contracts 

e x p a n d s

across the twenty-first century 
mounds of sand  appear 

always the Aardvark moves
in circles  moves in circles
in the here and now                                                                                                         2       

swaying side to side 
massive the claws digging 

work is a binding obligation
a jaw opens and closes


On a computer screen
reflections of water  metal  glass
bouncing radio waves

black lines form letters 
precise  methodical  long strings
of words  vertical/horizontal 

words detached from
the course of events  planned
or spontaneous patterns 

spirals of wind and fire
zigzags of black and white lines 
layers of brown dust

biomorphic  geomorphic 
polymorphic  slashes  slashes
of solar light

earth  air  fire  water

motionless the Aardvark
stands  listening  blood in
blood out


Press button to see
Science and Art of creating
archetypal scenes

come into being
long ago  an hour ago
only a minute                                                                                                                   3    

known and unknown shapes
the flesh of the apple  the dome
of a human skull

a mushroom cloud
each successive image
signs and wonders  earth  air 
fire  water
motionless the Aardvark
stands listening  blood in 
blood out


Press button to see
a bucolic setting  grape vines 
olive groves 

fields of sunflowers  
white the summer blossoms
a wedding party

the bride and groom  pale
and red his lips  her breast vein
as thick as a finger

out of his mouth
protrudes his tongue  cinnamon cumin 
honey and salt 

lines of insects appear 
disappear  tendons and nerves

a flow of hormonal forces
blood in  blood out  the universe

e x p a n d i n g

an outline shapes itself
playful the unborn babe in its
amniotic sac                                                                                                                     4                                                                                                                         


Always the Aardvark
moves in circles  moves in circles
in the here and now

earth  air  fire  water

moves in circles  swaying
side to side  rhythmic the blood
the months in a year

disease  famine  torture  war

mounds of sand appear  disappear

massive the claws
digging  searching  long ago 
an hour ago

only a minute


On a warm day in spring 
a woman plays a harpsichord 
the lid painted with scenes

of mythological animals 
known and unknown shapes
nocturnal  solitary

black zigzags
appear  disappear  motionless 
the Aardvark stands

listening  a jaw opens
and closes  audible  inaudible 
the sound of the predator 

lay your hand
feel the bones under the skin

author’s comment: To look at the image of an Aardvark is to take a cosmic Rorschach test, and like a cubist mural is both a microcosm and macrocosm.  You understand
Intuitively – a Cartesian resolution of body and spirit.  The poem presented here is the first of a series of poems titled ‘Beloved the Aardvark,’ related I suppose to the poem ‘Devour Not the Elephant’ that appeared earlier in Poems and Poetics.” (Rochelle Owens)

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