Eleven

 

Blood

 

I
Aired
Out
My
Heart
Like
A
Scumbag
That
Is
Seeing
The
Light
Of
Day
For
The
First
Time
We
All
Lose
The
Edge
Of
Our
Bodies'
Nakedness
And
The
Heart's
Inability
To
Field
Its
Own
Blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choir

 

I
Don't
Recognize
Anyone
In
The
Choir
But
If
You
Suggest
Me
For
A
Study
On
Lichens
I
Would
Not
Dream
Of
Staying
Dry
But
Would
Promise
To
Make
Myself
Just
A
Little
Bit
Green
For
You
And
Everyone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruelty

Is
Different
Nowadays
It
Talks
In
Soothing
Voices
And
Never
Even
Alludes
To
The
Rack
And
The
Screw
It
Will
Hush
The
Drum
Of
A
Train
Rewinding
Read
A
Manual
For
Sock
Puppets
Not
Too
Bad
You
Say
But
Then
Again
Living
In
The
Empire
Is
Its
Own
Sorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Witnesses

 

Wet
Unfetterings
Edges
Of
Sleep
Edges
Of
The
Throat
Wingspan
From
Ankle
To
Mouth
Unheard
It
Is
The
Absence
Of
Scene
And
A
Filched
Mushroom
In
A
Supermarket
Will
Neither
Help
Nor
Harm
That
Head-on
Collision

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pills

 

Communication
Goddess
Moon
Husband
Or
I
Would
Have
Asked
You
To
Stare
And
Point
Nothing
Chilling
About
It
Anymore
Our
Common
Song
Goes
On
And
On
And
I
Find
I
Want
Ceaselessly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reform

 

In
The
Diabolical
Good
Light
A
Mass
Grave
Has
Been
Found
At
A
Reform
School
And
Those
Nosebleeds
And
Razors
We
Now
Find
Had
A
Root
But
We
Didn't
Know
Before
No
We
Didn't
Know
Before
And
It
Wouldn't
Be
Difficult
To
Say
We
Don't
Know
Now
Either

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin

 

The
Young
And
The
Old
Gently
Brush
The
Scabs
Off
The
Skin
Around
A
Breeze
While
A
Train
Cracks
In
All
Its
Splendor
The
Broken
Silences
And
A
Shadow
On
A
Canvas
Grow
Taller
Now
As
We
Bounce
Off
Revelry
An
Organ
Rifling
Through
The
Broken
Measures
And
A
Nursery
Rhyme
Is
All
Muddled
In
Its
Fragments
Who
Is
To
Say
That
The
Drawn
Skin
Underneath
The
Windows
Will
Not
Regenerate
Into
A
Garment
We
Wear
Once
And
Then
Discard
While
Pedestal
And
Broken
Legs
Wait
Right
Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Upper West Side

 

Strips of daylight fall into the morning.
Our eyes are open wide, and the sculptors
Capture our likeness.  Where were we,
Consumed, guarded?  Silk in the dark
Is our recourse.  Our animated lips, our
Thick nests—head out of the sand, yes,
And the Upper West Side calls to me
Again.  Highest reaches of our home,
The negligent, gray suits lay coiled on
The wet lawn.  Darkening water, a ring
Around the unsayable, this golden egg
Shines almost like a flaming arrow.  You
Dear, are not awake, and yours is just
The hand I hold between my teeth.  The
Design is cruel.  The show is not over. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Retrograde

 

Half-dream of scarves on a white table,
It's as if one of the doors I've been walking
Through is suddenly transparent.  Nothing
Ironic in coming out of the snow.  God is
A pianist, and all the folding chairs are broken.
Now, I walk through paint & clay.  I go
Skyward to what goads and chooses.  If I
Lay my head down, down, the stains on
My shroud will fade.  Exultant blue limit,
Feet washed by pigments, I am ruled by
What is drawn and rippling, deliciously
Chuffing off to the trappings of style, shocked
Into prosceniums in which ink dries in
Time with the rivers.  These coffins lying
Around, no, they are benches for us to sit
Upon.  Dusk of arms, legs, no, just lines. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pemberton New Jersey for Anthony McCann

 

Earth blooms.  The level beyond the chant,
Proximity to the blessed.  Distance—too
Ill, music redolent of a scaffold and a great
Expanse of silence.  Radical, feverish, the

Spirit brisk.  Smoke slanting to the stubble
Field with its tiny blooms.  We hear someone
Calling.  Dialectic is possession.  Occupying
These gardens with patience, two endlessly

Golden instants, a green word for the duration
Of that struggle.  Now the fog on the rainy
Panes, an old coat there beyond the eaves.
How can I tell you, I'm tired all the time,

How can I say, I can't get out of here, here
Being the head and the doorways to the flesh. 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributor

Noelle Kocot

NOELLE KOCOT's sixth book, Soul in Space, was published by Wave Books in 2013. Originally from Brooklyn, she lives in New Jersey and teaches writing in New York.

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