Jascha Kessler: In Memory of the Future

Copyright copy; 1976 by Jascha Kessler

For permission to reprint contact Jascha Kessler at jkessler@ucla.edu

It is by means
of poetry
that history passes
from the world
of the present
to the world
of the actual.

words read in a poem in a dream

On a Winged Phallus, Roman, Bronze with Bronze Balls, That I Gave My Friend, a Token to be Hung on his Key Chain
Lines on the Neck of a Crude Amphora Which I Dug Up in a Field in Sicily
Under the Stars

I've come for your eyes you said
the door shaking between us
my dumb knees braced against you
my shoulder jammed deaf in you
hard I feel you breathing hard
hoarse sighs words clogging my skull
these words choking me stale sounds

you know who it is you said
the lock rattling between us
my heart whines at my ribs
I hear you singing you said
your scorn hissing sharp as hail
ripping my scalp like salt claws
my lips crushed glass dry grinding

ask me what I want you said
these hasps squealing between us
my neck stiffens in its sheath
as I take your blank force heaved
a wave bulging the wall in
my tongue groans at my cracked teeth
rust flakes my throat bloody scales

have you had enough you said
the wood splitting between us
alone in my skin I sweat
under your hard flashing pulse
my flesh turning and turning
its fat seething like kisses
my lungs burnt open crumbling

let's get it over you said
the door broken between us
my coiled muscles burst apart
my guts spill out at my feet
my bones shatter in crystals
and blow away like blind dust
even before you touch me

you thought you loved me you said
I'm here now take me you said
I will give you what you want
you said nothing more than this
you said your voice flooding me
with your hot blasting silence
why dont you answer you said

It was that red moon rising
through our bitter city's fumes,
and the fires under our streets
that seethed pounding steel and stone
into a slow oily dust
on which we lived, like crystals
Condemned to breathe, I cried out

And that bright planet rising,
there, beyond our haggard roofs,
that distant evening friend
who follows like a good bitch
and keeps her clear eye on us,
wary of our promises
Condemned to touch, I took you

And later, that pale river
of cold light across the sky,
too far to carry us now --
what did we say it must be?
dead clouds, or a mist of souls
blown off by the polar winds...
Condemned to eat, I ate you

It was then our count began,
and we measured all our stars
and knew each one by its name,
marking its history down
from white light to russet flames,
and our night shrank, our night grew
Condemned to hear, I killed you

What was left? the world prostrate,
and in this furnace these bones,
glowing on their mound of ash,
all that remained of the past,
hissing, snapping like green wood,
charring our eyes, and the moon
Condemned to see, I sought you

Do you recall those hard roads,
frozen, gray as the small moon
hanging over these blank hills
where we wandered, drifting west
with those others, armed shadows,
men and women and their dogs?
Condemned to move, I came here
As our earth and sky went black
I stopped and stood, I waited,
without moon or stars or time --
no, you were not among them,
you were nothing anymore --
and our long night almost gone
and I was awake at last
Condemned to live, I speak now

but this is where I came in
I said floating fast asleep
my fists clenched my feet kicking
my eyes shut to the salt deeps
my tail thrashing at black ooze
here the currents carried me
as though these waters were mine

and here is another door
I said when the surf opened
and I crawled out dreaming still
on the bleached and broken shore
my bones swelled in my soft skin
my snout lifted from the sand
as though these sharp rocks were mine

but there must be a way there
I said beyond this cave's mouth
and I strode out in the snow
my arms before me weapons
my eyes fixed on the high pass
where the winds whirled the light round
as though this world were mine

and the last door is that flame
I said that flame flowing down
like the sun falling like air
falling earth water falling
and I ran on into fire
my thought burning through my sleep
as though its ash would be mine

but here is another door
I said walking into you
mother your breast waiting wide
father a child in your lap
myself a child too once more
my dish my spoon before me
as though this were our morning

and I woke inside my sleep
I said as the door swung out
poor streets poor walls poor windows
the staring blanks of slummed faces
mouths fading behind blurred hands
ruins like women begging
as though their love had been mine

but this world is hard I said
break it take the seeds of life
plant them in my heart I said
water them and submit me
to your heat I said your sun
till I wake inside my life
I said as though it were mine

your hands wrung these words from me
shook me dry as this old book
that has laughed its last and wept
and withers here in the dust
mouse-stained mildewed forgotten
in the lobe of my left lung
where it waits for me like death

like a man born just today
out of his own life saying
but does my mother know me
she knows me she knows me not
and does my father know me
he knows me he knows me not
till the answer comes like death

like my family my friends
who gather at this table
in the wilderness my home
amongst these sweating machines
and show me their broken cups
their empty plates their hunger
surrounding my heart like death

like faces condemned to live
on the anger of cold stairs
trudging out their conviction
from nowhere back to nowhere
just as I climbed on your words
from the child's grave in my arms
to this sentence served like death

like my one love my lady
lying in her narrow bed
her thoughts bitter as her breasts
her hair clotted in her groin
my tongue stumbling on her teeth
our groans of futile passion
flesh beating at flesh like death

like prayer this offering
made from fossil scraps strange signs
phrases buried by prophets
beneath our floor of charred stone
the smashed skulls of temple feasts
remnants of some other life
hidden inside us like death

without words I know your words
promising me your silence
when I can stand in the sea
and feed the hands that feed me
when I can find my own face
and know what I know no more
you will speak to me like death

this is the way waking is
you were here just as I am
whispering to me your breathing
wakes me now you can hear me
look at me lying naked
as the sun in your mirror
and blank as your eyes and mine
like water trembling naked
at the edge of this calmed shore
where you watched for evening
and listened to these shadows
our words floating suspended
on the surface of our lives
between your day and my nights

stones my animal hands dropped
shells scraped thin scarred by my claws
bones pounded open sucked dry
strewn like words through your strata
darkness hidden in darkness
where you vanished with my name
my animal name in your mouth

my faithful animal legs
still prowling your lost forest
will pause where paths met and passed
silent paths that led to time
once a great tree living here
rooted in my heart in rock
bare now cracking in the sun

no passage for light in me
yet my patience grows like sand
my animal feet sinking
in shattered crystals of sand
dunes of bright sand wandering
where my desert drifts silent
and its stars have no stories

behind me beyond those hills
a stubble of stumps rotting
where the stream winds itself down
cold and clear rattling pebbles
in this head like my hard thoughts
of nothing but nothing but
your water your pouring light

until I know you are here
and my animal heart laughs
lungs cry belly bleeds and face
my animal face breaks off
leaving me alone my life
tied now head to toe to you
my life my animal death

On a Winged Phallus, Roman, Bronze with Bronze Balls, That I Gave My Friend, a Token To Be Hung on His Key Chain
Asleep, curled in your pocket,
he waits, his wings quivering,
and with his two old friends dreams
of those moist, those blue mornings
before these shrinking, white days
that crack our chilled hearts like glass
came to tell us of winter

Do you remember those breasts?
How straight she walked, eyes opened,
her long arms held out, her hands
strong and tapered, cupped flowers,
offering you her friendship,
like the touch of love's kindness
her smiling lips showed she knew?

Out of an early hour,
with a flecking of salt spume
you could taste on her shoulders
and her hair heavy with youth,
faint stars caught in its coiled ropes,
she had come to greet you, yes,
so that you would see, and know

And you woke, as though the sun
were waking too, round and warm,
and growing from her belly
as she stood there in silence,
waiting till you rose, and stood,
till you let your locked thoughts go
and welcomed her against you

Again! Again and again!
Dont you remember her breasts?
that bright sky that shone on you
as the garden turned drifting
amongst those mountain orchards
and the sun pressed sweating down
on their swollen, dripping fruit?

And then she laughed, how she laughed!
her smooth limbs flung blazing wide
then wound round you tightening
as you thrashed in terror, trapped-
all that day long you struggled,
a beast, child, man-a young god
crying and singing and wild

as the hot red dusk crumbled
and fell in ashes on you
where you sprawled between wrecked walls
your bones burning themselves out
your mind staring at that sky,
cold, blind, black and high, so high...
Dont you remember her, now?

I brought you these broken words
a basket of oranges
fingers, toes, liver and lungs
gave what I thought you wanted
what I could no longer use,
here, on this side of my life --
and you threw them in the trash

Eyes, you said, your tongue and heart
your belly and guts and balls,
not that empty, polished head!
Now carry them here, spread them out,
salt them, soak them, wash them off,
put them to simmer in me
with herbs and wine, for tonight
I carried your breasts for you
I followed your long thin legs
across the sand to the edge
of the world where the stones die
I took your rings from your hands
your clothes from your warm body --
and sat here, waiting for you

Merciless words you whispered,
your hands stroking my furred face,
until my mind was flooded
with space flowing like blind winds
pressing forcing me open
to your blank stars, till I knew
that love, too, must be endured

On the other side of fear
you waited for me to come,
my breasts swinging freely now,
leading me to you at last
through these rough waves of cold light,
to lay my life down on yours,
where yours lies, a dead altar

You carried me to the end,
my blood running iron flames
from every fault in my flesh
You lifted me, drank me dry
and shattered me on your stones
My love, you said, my poor love,
will you ever understand?

Now the mountains are naked
the rivers tighten their nets
the grasses grow like fevers
the sea fills with living ice
We have given these bodies --
I to you, love, you to me --
and taken them home again

All that day they strolled past me
flexing their innocent thighs
their song pitiless, secret
humming strange words I still hear
like souls saved, soft and glowing
I could never find myself
while I waited for their eyes

At the bottom of my stairs
I waited always a child
crouching at home in this street
shivering, my few words fouled
my wrists bitten white with fear
hiding your love up my sleeve
where it sucked my hot eyes dry

When I touched your opened lips
when I licked your turning tongue
the walls cracked, the wind whistled
roads rose and fell in my brain
birds above those roads flying
your words waiting for my mouth
echoes trapped in these mountains

Feet tied with your running hair
fingers crushed by your shoulders
ears drowned in your flooding breasts
my throat pressed between your hands
hands heavy with long waiting
that tear me out of my face
before I find your secret

Ask me, you said, what you want
lift the stone of my lost head
that black rough turning stone world
harsh and buried in your lap
dense as a dead star and packed
with ancient thoughts, thoughts waiting
and mute till the end, like you

Bodies, sealed bodies waiting
face to face, or back to back
back to back, or head and toe
head and toe, or side by side
latticed, laced and sliding
like plasma into my heart
swollen with time, radiant

Year by year I climb, ravaged
up my stairs again with you
in my hands torn and savage
your words waiting, whispering
beating like my life on yours
and yours on mine, like the waves
that burst from your ravaged eyes

running nowhere on these sands
following my shifting shore
as the sun swells with your light
above that seething steelblue waste
blank from my groin to these eyes
pursuing my own footprints
my ears stuffed with my own noise

down that dust comes windblown coarse
splintering my metalled flesh
blasting me dry as these hills
that rise shaking our world
day and night mountains trembling
between your patient breakers
and our flattened human lands

like weed your light grows on me
though washed ashore you held me
where I lay slashed by hooked beaks
your seagulls scavenging me
till my emptied shell shone, pearls
these pale rainbows locked in me
your light ground out by my life

in me no light grows but this dark
because I would not sit down
with my own life like a man
nor stand still one hour to watch
your hair glowing in vines of light
out of your eyes, your belly
your legs your buttocks your back

nor kneel at your red fountain
where the lava boils in you
your armpits bubbling like lead
your throat burning, saying yes
o yes love, you are coming
on my streaming paths coming
pressed to my broken walls, love

where you clutch at me bleeding
your knees shattered like ruined shells
throw me your torn scalp, you say
bury your fingers in me
unravel your shirt of nerves
like glass threads and twist yourself
round my wrists, come, love, you say

I have you now, love, you say
your guts writhing on my coals
stomach liver kidneys spleen
your bloated lungs and bladder
thrown to your own starved shadows
love, I wear you now, you say
like stains on my clear body

If/Jo rget thee

When my wife wrote this poem
in my dream last night I laughed:
she knew all the ways to say
hustle: hustle and hustle
and hustle... I woke, hustling-
there we lay, third stage burned out,
orbiting and forgotten
Four times I crossed this damned town
north south east west drove all day
just burning up the freeways
as long as my gas lasted
and I was still a free man
with my wheel in these two hands-
but I never saw you there
She lies alone in her bed
cold hands pressed between cold thighs
her skull swollen and empty
as her eyes, her lips, her breasts-
he will come, carry her down,
pour her out of her lost life,
and burn his dead fears away
We were numbered, each of us
a number but those numbers
burned into us through our skin
a reference in the files. .
oh quick, quick, find us find us
before these ashes crumble,
whirling numbers on the wind
For homes they levelled these hills
surrounded you with their guns
while we sat and drank our beer
watching his dogs tear at her
because she's cunt she's proud she
says if it's good then take it
but I think I'll burn it down
the map showed no signs of us
when you held it to the light
no wrecks rusting in your veins
no white rows of broken teeth
or flesh torn, flapping like tents
burnt through by forgotten wars-
yet it's there we'll die, again
I had made my life my god,
who cursed me with my own words,
these cold letters burning you,
everywhere, like a blessing:
so that my death brings you life
and you think that you are free...
like the stones that walk this world

what am I who else but me
monkey twitching monkey hair
lipping my toes ca ca ca
in my tunnel in my trees
blessed by bees my me my me
sleeping with my family
like me like me ca ca ca

you yes you you know it's you
no one else where you are you
squatting at the wall the flies
the sun the stone merciless
cities driven from each door
your father's face in your hands
your mother's voice in your cries

him oh him he feels himself
climbing in his contraption
his praying machine now up
now down his darkness carries
him his words whirling him now
light lighter than light and how
he stands himself on himself

from space she falls from nowhere
her dreams sheathe her skin like gold
her eyes cut blanks in the void
and she floats through time shining
as though flying to herself
that strange warm body down there
turning dark like this planet

coiled inside itself hiding
itself resonant with lust
to be itself to be all
in these hot cells its gardens
invisible acids molds
dust quivering and common
living on death's vacant winds

what do you think of our place
we built it for ourselves look
the walls thighs roof backs floor breasts
patched males females hands knees good
filled with sand our old home look
when we come here we will stay
tonight our tribe is starving

this morning they knew it all
each one came to his own stone
each stone touching every stone
face to face harder than hate
one long slow joy without light
until their eyes were ground out
their thoughts crushed fused lost like love

they have reached these vague borders
occupied passes swamps plains
patrol these hot forest trails
they regroup rearm confer
they command the air above
they are ready to invade
they think the dead defenceless

years we marched from day to day
we ate root stem leaf flower
and fruit we tore flesh sucked bones
laughing together dancing
weeping like children we killed
and burned our own fat for light
never thinking they would come
first it must be found once more
although it was never lost
it waits somewhere like a thought
the thought is shaped like a key
this key fits a certain gate
yet that gate was never locked
because no one built this wall

unseen she turns reflected
in the mirrors locked in her self
all light lost in her black holes
her ears her ass armpits nose
cunt navel womb her blank eyes
her mouth is open singing
fuck it baby ofuck it!

dust swelling hot radiant
bursting he hurtles dispersed
beyond his own space boiling
bulging from his bones like time
fists feet skull knees neck shoulders
his prick his teeth clanging o!
love, mother of the muses!

there you are but coming here
like a steel shadow always
and shaped like your poor body
under living fire shattered fires
you surround your enemy
yourself hunting yourself yes
have you understood have you

I wake now I stand I breathe
I walk I find touch seize you
to me they trooped my armies
my savage children trampling
eating my face drinking blood
storming my blank wall
they find us together now

I lie strewn on these blind sands
that shift in the August breeze
and blow back on winter gales
etching my bones grain by grain
with faint words I speak now
as I slide from these seasons
a man falling from the sun

what sifts through my bleached skull
agate chips shells emptied claws
frayed bits of broken silence
floating up to the world's skin
as I sink in this long fall
through the staring darkness
through time through these dry sands drowned

and dropping slowly drifting
past the frenzied spinning worlds
past stars that blossom and burst
raining shattered light as dust
that sweeps over the last shores
in dead foam of bitter pearl
blasting the void where I fall

straight through this stilled universe
crushing our stone to nothing
like a thin floor of hard space
and far how far below there
a lake of black waters wide
cold waters held deep held pure
in the open hands of death

towards which I am falling
my life burning out my bones
cell by stubborn cell crumbling
dissolving my selves at last
waste shadows traced through this night
lost between being and not
annihilated and gone

plunged at the end and falling
still falling towards that lake
those ancient heavy waters
no hands can touch no mouth drink
waters waiting under the sands
for all that falls from above
and falls thinking to the end

to enter the quiet pool
stripped of hope fear stripped away
and every fearful turning
of that rope of twisted words
that tied me to my own thoughts
naked of words now and thoughts
I slip blank beneath its waves

my cold fingers touched your toes
as I climbed from that lost well
and traced your pale steel veins around
where your heels joined the dead rock
I clambered up your ankles
scaled your shins gripping your calves
with my torn and sweating life

and clung to your knees a ledge
where men have perished before
iced gusts swinging their frayed hopes
against the stone of your legs
as they climbed those swelling thighs
through white mists that hid the way
beyond the trees of their world

towards you where you must be
where I must crawl up the night
mounting you by thrust and haul
between these blank slipping walls
vanishing above hidden
from the man climbing to you
hand over hand for his life

out of that dry sunless pit
where my infant bones were thrown
in the beginning broken
on the broken moons down there
a sacrifice to our lives
dying like our savage friends
while I climb in your groined depth

to pitch my body at you
turning and walled in you now
warmed by that bloody darkness
walking that narrow way at last
as though welcomed as though saved
restored to speech by your words
so that I may climb again

from that gemmed cleft towards you
roaming your forest a beast
among your beasts forty years
like forty days forty years
hunting the light of your steppes
where I may think like a man
as far as a man can see

till my mind looks up once more
groping for your breasts for love
looming at the world's end love
waiting in another air
another world where your heart
opens beating like the sky
and I climb towards you again

your hand touches your breast here
where I lie fading a bruise
like my words my lips my tongue
holding your hurt heart my mouth
gripping at you still attached
as though my teeth were fingers
tracing a path through your veins

towards you as you drive west
into that gentle valley
up a vague road winding slow
among the rolling pastures
as old as America
yet virgin still and waiting
for you to carry love here

like the pain your hand touches
silent as I am silent
when you stop by the white house
standing awash in dead leaves
fallen over these years leaves
I remember them brown years
I had seen coming for us

whispering my words to you
again beneath your hand words
pressing hard against your breast
as though I stood beside you
opening the door wide now
for you to enter autumn
through this evening darkness

lighting the fire pouring wine
setting out apples and bread
as the year closes our time
where you sit with me and drink
hearing the wind in your oaks
tear at these words I write words
winter flings against your hills

while flame wraps your night once more
our cries flaring like embers
before the chill rains sweep down
flooding your gardens and field
burdening your path with ice
blocking your way towards dawn
the world's light fogged and dimmed cold

and gray as these morning hours
crumbling into words like ash
where you wait for love alone
for the sun to break through here
under your hand at your breast
to warm what remains of me
stone that cannot speak again

she squats over her burnt years
scorching her slimed monkey's cunt
filling that bronzed bag her flesh
with fat from my bitter thoughts
so that she swells she trembles
she coils her creamy muscles
her eyes pleasured and molten

oozing sighs like salt etching
these phrases in my clawed cheeks
and grins as she scrapes my wounds
and whines as she kneels at me
her tits fuming naked frost
her ass spreading over me
wide as this hard arctic night

sinking its locked weight on me
grinding my arms down my legs
pressing me doomed in her dream
beneath her swollen body
biting pitiless as ice
shattering me with her tongue
until my silence bleeds stones

and there is nothing but stone
sliding into her numbed head
though she is thinking my name
which is her cry her language
and singing my name gig gig
which she stuffs in her dry mouth
and cursing my name gog gog

like my life caught in her throat
choking us both gag gag gag
what does she want from me now
screaming out of that dropped paunch
because she lost her bright eyes
dancing around my clay legs
taking my thoughts from my teeth

for I am her god her thing
she shakes me when I stand stiff
holds me to her ear and waits
for me to speak strange sounds words
rattle rattle speak new words
her lips whistling whispering
wanting words she takes from me

and wraps about her shoulders
where she squats by the glass wall
hairless whimpering to me
that she has not taken all
piddling on these sucked out bones
and craving craving my sweet words
devoured in her wintry lair

now his hands are at my life
tearing these pearls from my throat
my gold bands from my locked wrists
my warm robe from my shoulders
his hands strip my sleep from me
as I watch his face his eyes
watching me in my mirror

where I see myself waking
standing in this room alone
an empty lunar crater
flooding now about my thighs
with time's lightfilled urgent dust
rising like his words pressing
and soundless as love forcing

me on its forgotten way
to this meeting in me where
I have never come before
where I cannot come again
until his living fingers
bless my silent lips these stones
sealed like my body silent

opening my dreaming eyes
at last to my secret death
among these broken passions
these enemies and lovers
starving friends who bind my arms
leading me always astray
from the memory of life

when I want to drink my life
from this cup my poor fathers
gave me the cup their fathers
carried from Jerusalem
the cup he places in my hands
filling it with blood pouring
my life for me to drink now

until I come to myself
and stand like his shadowed self
here in my wide empty eyes
before me in my mirror
calling him to me from darkness
discarding this long silence
and giving myself to him

as though he will gather me
together in his hands
and restore my scattered years
in that hour brief as love
before I fall from that joy
down to my darkening sleep
where I wait for him once more

she opens the book and reads
black letters blank words phrases
like these written in my head
by a hand rough with bear's blood
sentences stitched together
pelt by pelt and worn
a lifetime by a strange beast

where she sits there is no dark
the winds tear round in my head
keeping the carcasses cold
the fire smokes the walls glisten
with wan light a winter's life
flickering in its stone cup
shaping these words from shadows

until they fill her cold lap
with blood that streams down her legs
to the ground my father's ground
packed with thinking bones with words
like these words wrapped in ashes
formed by the forms forming her
from the words on this dark page

as I was from the stone roof
that glittered with insect stars
in that staring woman's eyes
where she lay by the low flame
summoning me in my flesh
and thrusting me at your world
to be destroyed with the rest

leaving what is left for you
where men fall fighting these streets
with hands stripped naked as girls
women roaming wild like cows
gaunt boys clutching at their breasts
children heaped in your doorways
spilled like plastic bags of trash

can she hear me speaking now
I am walking back and forth
through her eyes in a circle
tirelessly from line to line
my words making her lips move
as though she saw herself stand
raising her arms towards me

and calling my name the name
she knows I have forgotten
the name written in her book
in lines cut in her body
wound on her long arms like snakes
waters clouds rivers of rain
masked by this script like my name

I am here for you hiding
scattered like hydrogen's dust
inside you thinking of me
inside me inside these words
spreading deep cold hope darker
than love can follow or find
hunting the blank fields of time
inside you thinking of me
these heavy grains condensing
inside me inside these words
warming the simple matter formed
glowing in our silent thoughts
a blue world like light growing
in our arms burning us white
inside you thinking of me
inside me inside these words
cast with the elements to drift
whirled through our red giant's heart
and thrown into time like hope
everywhere hiding and lost
beyond the last reach of love

inside you thinking of me
inside me inside these words
our world wasting now a shell
cracking our life time shrinking
and space crumbling in on us
where love lies hiding from love
sustained by hope no longer

inside you thinking of me
inside these words
flaring brighter than before
from passion's ruins reborn
out of the silence to burst
like blind particles fierce hopes
bodies through bodies streaming

inside you thinking of me
inside me inside these words
spinning from the hidden heart
these dark messages pulsing
from the shrivelled source flashing
like blank fertile matter speaking
our death to the living stars

until love's last radiance
contracts on its own core
heavier than all time lost
hidden from the universe
sealed in its sphere invisible
inside you thinking of me
inside me inside these words

We walked along these high walls,
which have no gates, no windows,
which stand scarred, burnt by old wars
and barbarous, mere neglect.

When we asked what lay inside,
they said, Your lost paradise,
your holy city of love,
which will never let you in,
though you may march forty years
round and round, blowing horns
and battering at its stone.

A foolish story! you said.
A story for fools, I said.

Day after day, we kept on:
this must be China, we said,
ruined both sides of the wall.

So we searched for our lost selves
here in our human desert
where all must live, and all dies,
even those old Emperors
who made this forbidden wall
that keeps us from the city,
the holy city of love
that will never let us in...
till we stand still, you and I,
in silence, and build our own.

Lines on the Neck of a Crude Amphora Which I Dug Up in a Field in Sicily
the broken neck of the vanished jar
remembers the oil the water the wine
that poured through its thirsty throat
the body that held it high, so frail,
shattered into its mud again

this thickened throat remains and
    remembers and speaks still
of bodies filled with fresh joys
the water oil wine of ancient ways
hand to hand out of the world
    into the world again
as though this neck held the head
as though that vanished fulfilled body
    restores itself
in time with us again

Under the Stars
Their presences draw near
of all that I must fear;
no others seem like those
who come from nowhere close,
from nothingness appear
and stand in silence here
as though they came to me
because they come for me.

My life my flesh my bone
are mine, but not my own;
[who was eloquent,
who am, inconsequent
now as spent violence,
standing in the silence
of a ring of many,
a silent company.

No matter what I do
I do not speak to you
though I am speaking now
how I do not know how
and though it's you I see
you do not speak to me;
of all whom I did fear
your presences are here.

1000 copies, of which 50 are casebound, produced by the West Coast Print Center, Berkeley, Ca.

Acknowledgements to: Poetry, Kayak, Midstream, New York Times, West Coast Poetry Review, American Pen, Chelsea, Malahat Review, UT Review, Centennial Review, Carleton Miscellany, Southwest Review, The American Scholar, Marilyn, Aspen Leaves and Eropoesia.

Cover drawing copyright © William Brice

325 Ocean View Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Printed at the West Coast Print Center

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