Not from the self but from the Other

by Jack Nelson

meanings figure into traffic streams

reds fade, trickle down the long ‘V'

another passing human ear; tall, tall

buildings paper poised on horizon.


situations gape in and out of seconds

corners turn to disappearance, witness

follows fingers wet to yellow paint, or

the mosaic of labels too blurred to read.


house windowed membrane, pulse green lawn

questions . . . No signs of life, No one at home

through the day, salmon stretches into burn

while the roof peaks hold for twitches

in the insulated lines.


moment of feathers, air the bird beats

points of a broken star, a burst of wings

from a tiny body cut through seams of air

on diagonal from the sleepy wire

to the courtyard green.


propaganda (drifts down) along the universal spines

to the hips of a saucer's incidental blue —

figures of family, wheat, slow circles,

the patina of veins, collapses of light

about a cup of the corner. half naked,

“I am without decree,” he says,

a hundred points of paper, plaster

the nuance of winter spills from the lampshade.

“Fuck condemnation,” he says, “I am fallen . . . “

shoots himself up in the corner while

thoughtless ‘Fiats' curl over the floor.


belief in our life of inertia

is a thief working the pockets

of the ridiculous.


thief, a celebration of crowds

whose movement is aetiology —

desire's hope for the lost.


thief, given into the imaginal

supposes bodies, truths

to further rummage.


bodies of their own ideals

antidotes even dreams

are fool to follow.


thief, in the waters of hysteria

our over-memory of those

who may have drown.


in the face of maps more lost —

our mouths soft screw to the

moments suspend in abort.


the auras of our weighted histories

erased by the indelible smallness

of a sonogram space.


Love precipitates from an American family,

where there is no substance — no prior agenda

reducing ‘Family' to plaxic user-space,

through the alchemy of extraction: the inert

and the imaginal. A husband whose hate less than

belongs to the Other whose grain of generation

has fallen between what wants and what remains

to be had — an opportunist's collection, scored,

in part, to an aluminum rim set half-full

on the linoleum numb with flakes of gold.


No moral over waves of anesthetic,

no country of his seed pearls cast,

only a moment of inherited dysfunction.

            You urge me where? you ‘Son of Danger'

            You Buck-bitch ninny, you ‘Detroit Dan'

            You innoculated whore, you urge me

where I can no longer see you.

We burned you up (though you mentioned the River);

the mother-bitch and I watched the old lamb jiggle

you into a hole amid the sprawls of pachysandra.


Fish, nearly a man's leg, lay on the floor

beneath the lattice of bay window frames.

Car passes the living room, an operculum

widens into sluice — red filigree arches

and gray fish mouth cleaves the heel of air —

and seals again within its glistened sleeve.

a corner of light crawls over the afternoon.


I am the fish in the hologram distance

whose initiate is the belly of the mother

under sonogram.

I am the fish wearing the mosaic of imprint,

exposure and the jacket's truth of fashion

glitched from feathers.


The strophic rush of dis-equilibria

sketches away from fish to the sine/cosine

lengths of her beautiful umber hair


She is the bearer of water.