14 May 2011

Timothy Donnolley

[from Timothy Donnolley's The Cloud Corporation, Wave, 2010]

No Mission Statement, No Strategic Plan

When loathing's narwhal thrusts its little tusk
      deep into the not-for-profit of my thought
and anchors in the planks across which I have

stomped unfathomable hours, and thanklessly;
      when I feel the panic of it struggling to dislodge
and all the damage done to the ship thereby –

the prow, to be exact, if we agree this is a ship,
      and now I fear we have no choice – when lost
in drear blue Baffin Bay, if night's first voice

says Quick, we're sinking, yank that narwhal out,
      it must be night's second, less impetuous voice
saying Not so fast. Why not leave it where it is?

Montezuma to His Magicians

If they are gods, if they have
divinity in them, then why

when we lay at their feet
garlands of quetzal feathers

and gold coins do they leap
upon the gold as dazzled

monkeys might and tread
on sacred plumage like dust?

Globus Hystericus [excerpt]


Daybreak on my marshland: a single egret, blotched,
trudges through the froth. I take its photograph
from the rooftop observation deck from which I watch

day's delivery trucks advance. I take advantage of
the quiet before their arrival to organize my thoughts
on the paranormal thusly: (1) If the human psyche

has proven spirited enough to produce such a range
of material effects upon what we'll call the closed
system of its custodial body, indeed if it's expected to,

and (2) If such effects might be thought to constitute
the physical expression of that psyche, an emanation
willed into matter in a manner not unlike a brand-

new car or cream-filled cake or disposable camera,
and (3) If the system of the body can be swapped out
for another, maybe an abandoned factory or a vale,

then might it not also prove possible for the psyche
by aptitude or lather or sheer circumstance to impress
its thumbprint on some other system, a production

in the basement, or in a video store, as when I find you
inching up steps or down a shady aisle or pathway,
dragging your long chains behind you most morosely

if you ask me, the question is: Did you choose this, or was it
imposed on you, but even as I ask your hands move
wildly about your throat to indicate you cannot speak.

Timothy Donnelly

No comments:

Post a Comment