14 May 2009

Karen Volkman

[from Karen Volkman's Nomina, BOA, 2008]


What are wounds for? Anticipants accrue
void to your harrow-vowel. Syllable
stammered and ordered, unitary will
deformed, divisible, consumptive blue

blotch is the gangrene weather! pall, ague
you atomize, cauterize -- patient, shill . . .
Oh burn the blight. Just stanch it. Vatic pill
not noun, not idem -- scarred flat phonemic hue

blinking its tinctures. Caligrams we rue
and twine with veins. The sap seeps. Currents kill
the network, clockwork. Contingency's true

prank is unit, frail fraction, fault we fill
with sever-auger, failing into new
blame-blooms, pain-rhumes, contusions. Make it ill.


Show me the body that brides its quest,
that sleeps its seemings, tremblant inconnue,
jeweled Ophelia of diaphanous hue
in all her slippings, weed-wedded, water-dressed,

the sluice and swooning of her semblant rest --
the river ruptures, the weeds branch blue --
day's jaune eyes (wide lucencies) bleed new
hollow spaces where the breathings nest,

irised mnemosyne, rumored as a rune.
Oh roared red pulse, errata, when you die
maiden-postured, murmur in the wrist,

tendrilled syllables the waters twist,
or innered element (it is an I)
the dead girl blurring in the blooded noon.

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