The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

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FEB 2017 Issue




But I had to help the mountain to save it.
It did not seem to
hospital, or other human waste. See
the sequence I've attached—who touching it

should dream. There was endless parking,
a dribbled out orange stain,
more waste on brave concrete
where I sting beneath your tree.

But I'm inside someone who is me. Demographically
I'd mean, where no one rides for free.
It doesn't matter if he's dead. Or if he's beautiful
or pain; this is the enclosure

and it burns the mass inside. So that my yes-scored sentences
are as practiced as the trees—
because to amuse yourself this way
is to be permanently real. But this is not for reading, or touching

going forth. Neither, if you will,
for thrusting beneath clothes. Who touching you
would sleep, and thus be carried off.
Often there is nothing. No one but our love.







First the belly is translated, then the yellow beak,
the solid evil in the eyes, and the wings
to take you up. Because if we act just right
it is possible enough. If the opening is real

through the bed scene on the screen. But without me
who is there, and to whom does it come home
as you sit writing here to death
hands clasped beneath my breath?

The next possibility was extirpation all en masse,
while the weather gets all puff
with the window and the cops. And later, moving in a swarm
to the hideout overhead, the Mountain,

dipped in fog, loomed throughout your blood.
It is the mind of wind that does this. I stand in awe—and wait.
Beneath the sign Utopia in bleak athletic type.
Because by then our feelings had been around a long time

and there's a connection between them
and what happened outdoors. You can weave them both shirts;
you can live for the Sun. These wild rocks
are your brothers. Incredible thoughts.







Next we are given over to the words of the host;
a bright bitter laughter, terrycloth masked
as it emerges from the kitchen with Tuesday in its fist.
You're the daughter in this dream, in the car named Hot Escape—

but this poem deals with our failure to die
and how the age still supports it, filling the yard.
It just seeps as it builds, and is washed out to sea,
the old silver sea—which never was here.

And who were we really—just some organized space?
Sequence of tubes that repeated itself? All over the beach
with musick and milk, big mammal eyes
when your partner bit back? But there's no answer now,

it all turns back to stones, a too happy tree,
with more arms than we meant. So next time then
I'll just come back as the Dad, and open the scene, to get still as an egg,
pierced by your star when you see yourself now, at the fridge

where you stare and the password expired. Constant Survivor,
your reach is really back—projected then along all that
substantial life. Because it's the dead are pinned to life—a petroleum based work.
Exalted ossifers. When light came through the Earth.







When pressing our hearts together on the dream carpet
in the dream room because death, boss comes in
in sullied t-shirt to furl. It's about to
beginning (but he's come from fucking)

spellbound, enraptured (dirty office fuck). In the
heart grief is pleasures, but boss is commands:
in that imposture of gestures the tableau begins.
(Book an end with this walk. The basin and the rocks.)

Then someone shouted. The appearance of this was a bright circle,
somewhat somewhere near the ground,
slowly spreading towards us, traveling that ground.
Therefore that he may raise, the lord will throw you down

where there is no world to take, save the pathos
of each shape—and of the shaping afternoon: it blanks us both both ways.
But all this (Dear Bringer) is now yonder
up the butte     it's right up there, glowing, it's the distance

in the butte. But for that your mind were late
your eyes are late and warm
and no one's really here,
but the persistence. And it folds.







But I still wouldn't say it's me who looks up
in everlasting permission or that you've ever returned
where you are a semblance to your skill set and death
as red light touched the tips of the brick predicate. It's

how we ritualized intent: when you're lifted
through the glare—the sullen notes,
the beat, the gusty warning bell,
though we have no right to states, which even now I do

but am likely to repent of anything that stayed. So splotch on,
as you must, blotched illuminated thought, like a clump
of heavy rain that has somehow caught the light. Diverge,
fine spokes of light, and shadowed predicates, 

to live it out now with the Absence of Earth.
It's like a jelly made from pain. Anyhow, it's work
to mood me into park where your sentence undulates.
But set out in yellow light

I'm not even all that dead. Quiet eyes—the rest—
it's all the math game gone by tent
to east Oregon: the past, a perfect copy of the land.
But with all the panic of the meat; forgive us that you're next.







And then how can I but to the chanting invite
the sunshine—a hiss—to push it all off
and speed off into distance, then smell at the earth—
all the gallop of noon: it yielded life

where loose characters drift in their old winter camps
of wheat beef and pork—to the haste, and you called.
And of this pressure, the seats and the birds I was born
to be sonambular waste, like nobody's time

of anguish endurance and your brood of tough boys
in oblivion tents, where the sound of tin falls.
It showed you more pastures and rude little men
with steep telegraph hearts

and the light hummed around.
They called it Jackpot Alive—while the charge is maintained
but where does it live and
are you merely “shoved in”? Or do you carry that place

to be predictably clear?
It would be a tedious task, like
the worst town, or the world
of experience told, if you get there at all.







If you look on each day as a slave (you squeezer of money).
Don't. But if you don't. But if you left rationalism
and English teaching as if it didn't.
As if radical vagabonds, as if

sleepless on tape, it's like your legs moved a little
and that made no decision. Teaching
was just the teaching of this drink.
Downtown, on the other hand

was a good place to sit
with luminous globs all over you.
Then the ferry horn, and the hurried passage back.
Then the middle of the harbor,

then the voices flowing back.
The voluptuousness of this extraction
awaits you. It unpacks you, Star Daddy.
But I'm doing the opposite. It's like when I go to college:

continuous sleep. It happens continuous
between me and my skin. So that after 3 seconds
I just let it spill out:
between me and me. Let there be clouds.







Today revelation is civil war.
So now I'm rooting mainly for the plot.
Like (fingers asleep) for meaning. Is what he says.
But touching each other in forgiveness

You has not killed Me and We is consoled.
It's like a belief fence expressing thought densities
or in-kind Disaster Suites.
Because it's right that we be flames.

Because I was the shoulder. But I was the legs.
But you whistled on by
when you whizzed past my head. Less like a thief
than to murder at the word

and run for sheriff of itself—
but the insanity of stars. It just pins you, 
it all pins you. As if a great body, 
God's ownmost solid cow, had struck

my humble roof and vanished
leaving sound. Historically, I mean,
or actually: today. But every time I rush outside,
each time there's nothing there.







Anthony McCann

ANTHONY MCANN is the author of Thing Music and three other collections of poetry. He lives in the Mojave Desert.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

All Issues