Reading/”Favoriting” Zoland Poetry #5

by | Aug 1, 2011 | Reading

Zoland Poetry 5: An Annual of Poems, Translations & Interviews


burning briar scanning tunnel

there is a zombie at the wheel
who finds acceptable all risk

(his flesh looks like mine)

a crinkle monkey in the swamp
mind tricky and brisk

(his moves feel like mine)

headless mannequin draped
white print snakeskin dress

(pale fakery filling me with dread)

a boneless man used up
by apparatchik juggernaut

(a scrivener like me)

the one who hoped to poach
cockroach strategy adrift

(like me time-amnesic overreaching)

cord-cut all beyond the call
to heal or heel fold molt

(wormhole crush crash course)



Verdant; A Word

I’ve heard
or understand:

two cigarettes
smoked shirtless,

open window,
drifting curtains,

late April,

junipers, soft
towers, her

womb bedroom.

Exit Letter

These are words of a poet
choking on the bones
of his voice.

Bury me in a bathtub
full of sand
on a balcony in Tokyo.

My shadow goes to Hiroshima.

Every shoe I wore is free
to roam the staggering hills.


Oxidized, autumn
slows to stop.

The great freight trains
: trees unload

black air. A cavity
gnaws our ears.

To what do we listen?
The wheeling of seasons.

Riddled with hope,
we pitch makeshift stations

in the grifted, intermittent
awareness we live

to death under a canopy
of nothing.



Double Valentine

(for Connie)

Can you see yourself with me
On Earth where we’d be
Next to one another, say?
Never go away—
I could, with you
Ever eager—ecstatic, too.


Connubial are we
On air, land and sea,
Nearly inseparable.
Nearness is free
Illumines a house—days, nights as close
Endless even as starlight goes.



all day dance 1963

implacable in a chair

she sits in the only way she knows how

then much later
a turn
or rather a push
into a place she looked headed

the sound of a clap hits everyone
a door is opened and remains so

and now is she leaning forward
and is arched
towards the floor

her legs mark another space

she has moved

the whole body has moved

shunting the body in this manner is difficult to do
and even to think about doing

it is strange
that this should not be stranger than it is

the chair you sit is not made for this
as the day turns into one hell of a long evening
but you let go or don’t hold on

there is someone else too
a man is moving more lightly more quickly
and maybe more wrongly

is this a duet
or two solos
you can follow either or neither

he is all over the floor
and maybe only a backdrop
or something she is dreaming

perhaps it is he dreaming her
or us them or they us

and now an hour or more later
her feet
have found the floor

she hunches forward and is out
of the picture

her legs are gone
her head gone

as if this could be an ending





A man arrives in waves of himself,

is not the one thing
but the arduous path of his


He includes where he fuses with loon cry and wails
of the spider torn from the ways it has known the wall,

he is all he has passed or his is
nothing. He is all
he has loved
or his is some one thing.


It’s not that relation fails.
It’s that the individual doesn’t


It would be unfaithful to the change
that is upon him/upon her,

not to alter.


One has to believe, futhermore, in the voyage of others.

We are not taught the far
but to interfere it, to speak of the sea

we would speak of the shore.

We come from a country where even bye
means be-with-you,
where the hurricane is called

by a first name. No strangers,
not even the storm.


It might have been possible to have been known
if we could each have been introduced

as many people
as the wind is

a child that must raise itself
every single time.

We were given names, but the names are like dogs
that fetch nothing, turn up
nothing. A partial harvest, at best. If the names were not
signatures only but a continuation
of the vein

might have been possible

but for now
one must stay alone if one is

to remain
the Many.


One has to believe (it is unspeakably
hard) in the voyage
of the other, a Ulysses without an Ithaca,
the arduous path.

We are being sent out as surely as the sun.

At the expense of self,
we live. Are therefore self-less.


From rooms we have been lost in all
this while, from bodies we have believed in,

some night no one
will not be walking.


And so, it turns out, we are
instead of stillness.

We stand, instead
of stillness, up.

There will be no epic of stillness.

Friends I have loved.
Father, mother, I have loved

instead of


all from Zoland Poetry 5: An Annual of Poems, Translations & Interviews (2011), Ed. Roland Pease

I was also unable to properly format “all day dance 1963” and “furthermore” as they appear in Zoland.