is this right then we put
all our ducks in a row all
our ducks of the under-word all made
of quarks which are or are
not matter but certainly are not
meaning though the ducks
mean as we line
the ducks up they make
a surface a surface of
water surface and water that
are not do not matter but
do mean the matter then
cannot mean the meaning is
nothing but we keep
on lining up the ducks beneath
the surface of water
is depth the more ducks the more
depth and dark and
murk all of which is no
matter no matter not matter but is
dark murk and deep story
layered upon story stories without
matter but with meaning how
is it possible to live like
this to make stories that
mean but are no matter
Previously published in Ducky
New Life 2
Variation on a theme by Joseph Brodsky et. al.
Imagine that the war is over, that peace has reigned,
That you can look at your face in the mirror again.
That magpies, not bombs, whistle down upon your head
That outside the city, homes are not destroyed-instead
A baroque burst of laurels, palms, magnolia, pine;
Instead of hot gun fire a white hot Venus shines.
That war’s cast-iron swamp iscold and then
The boredom is over: Life has to start again.
Imagine that all of this is true. Imagine, that you speak
Of yourself, speaking of others, that now you can seek
The irrelevant, the unneeded, the luxuries, the toys.
Life begins anew exactly thus: with noise
With erupting volcanos. and such catastrophes
A sloop lost below, friends lost beneath the seas .
Look straight at the tragedies, with the feeling these engender
That you alone can see them .With the small and tender
Feeling that, any minute now, you’ll turn away
To home, to the moment, to ask it to stay.
Imagine that the epoch ends in an idyl. The words that came
In monologues are rain dialogues now. And the flame,
That consumed others better than you, greedily, like logs;
In you it saw little use or warmth, and, like the dogs,
That’s why you were spared, why shrapnel gave you only fear.
Imagine that the more honest the voice, the less it has tears.
And when any Polyphemus asks you who it is that speaks.
“Say, Who, me? No one” like Odysseus the Greek.
Blue atmosphere dazzles
somewhere above the green-crushed swelter
of the canopy. Soundlessly I pursue you
through the heat,
the wet snaps and shadow crackles.
Expertly I stalk you, smell the saline in your blood
through your slick black hide
and covert tread. You climb, you lope,
floating and furtive,
but cannot resist
mapping your existence, leaving the ragged autographs
of your claws. Those primal signatures lead me farther
All the signs are here, close now, I hear
the dangerous rhythm of your breath
hissing between the spear points of your jaw.
So close now
I taste the metal in your sweat
but never recognized the subtle curve to your path, never
knew you were right behind me
all this time
my glistening pelt already slung over your
--Kathryn Lorraine Rees
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