NEW POETRY

Franz Wright
Jenn Morea
Ted Pelton
Susan M. Schultz
Amanda Nadelberg
Standard Schaefer
Matthew Cooperman
Ed Taylor
Coralie Reed
Gretchen Mattox
Mark Rudman
Ales Debeljak
Simon Perchik
 
 
NEW CRITICISM
 
Bendall on Wagner
Schroeder on Mullen
Thompson on Gibson
Minor on Tran
Rippey on Hannah

STANDARD SCHAEFER : her zip broke down the back





Regression to Mean: An Elegy for New Orleans

After the mud-chokes and the cat-of-nine, after the cat-
marrying-the-gunnerís daughter
Keel-hauling, mastheading, ducking, and spread-eagle the
thanatocratic codeó

There is work for the bailiff.

But cataclysmal as escape is a maligned science.

Sal si puedes
, but it was black, though not absolutely
And absolutely no smoke where there was hair.


Only asymptotes and uncertain disinfectants
Like consciousness and bones stuffed with wet met.


Give the heart where the hole blows
A gallon of aqua fortis
Another cup of Kills Grief
Through a hollow shaft infused with mint,
A Horseís Ass Hallelujah
On the part of the horse dealer who couldnít count
And an alibi for a lack of local knowledge

But senselessness rules cheerlessness
With a mercy no stadium could contain

It's a matter of hand-lung coordination
Even destiny
To halt the open heart
And demolish destiny

To abolish the whole idea of progress.


Where everything thatís accomplished
Is accomplished through negligence


Battery acid for illumination, barbed-wire for balm.


*


Mercury rules the calm funnel
Like islands a lifetime around the room
Or a couple of days in a city that is always pouring
But roused on acetate and a taste for exploit
Wind is a very cruel signature obliterating the fretwork.


*


Eyes ancillary to memory, and doing exactly as it pleases
A whole city who refused to park within the lines

Her zip broke down the back

And attached to a pasteboard rudder
Insomnia for a best friend

Wheaten loaf for dungeon floor

But obstinate as the t-shirt she lifts to her lips
Ten, thirteen, ninety-six
Nubs of flux and obscene glue
Mock the dialectique of wishes boiled off a wrathful schmaltz
Of hollow gray hellos and little steps back
Little shuffles forward, and worms on the lawn

Forced north, forms and deforms
Monads resurface as caviar and reformation

But in a rue and always in the vicinity
Bones and vows leave off


*


Memory the rifle left behind against no more memories. 
Ineligible for the grant.  It is opposed to night and money. 
Insects, though prevalent, are unmentionables.

It was a cash flow problem.  She bred mosquitoes but
strictly for export, usually to Texas Where they tumbled
down the mesa and into the mirror before waltzing with the
Dandelions behind the chain link, at which point
Perception becomes the flaw in the diamond ticks bounce off.

The point, Mr. Commissioner, is that death budgets nothing new
But its aura presupposes signals that actually signal.
And while it is true that leaves complicate trees,
That lactation consultants are legion and the only way out milky
As the commissionerís teeth, there is nothing left to breathe
Beneath the walnuts and the blue cheese,
Through the magnolias and the apple martinis
Past cigarette machine where I saluted the badger from the peep show,
Making my way back to the cream of wild mushroom and imported bacon.
Because it is a tremendous burden to have hobbies
Because such as loneliness and deracinated genealogies are meant to amuse us
Because it is a terrible chore being captive to the pronoun of emptiness and division
You who are sated in endless petting, you who break the pitcher
Or find her keys or cast about amid the senatorial movements

"In come the dividends, up with the lofty thoughts"

But innocence requires cultivation, experience circumference especially patience
Reform requires patriotism ,so precious little is required
Amid the ultimate circumstances written persistence
Where cosmopolitanism is rendered as the idea of home
Perseverance is the depot and leaping through the roof
A red snapper or an olive in a marlin between the decoys and doubloons.
But with another pound of sisal, the whale bone is mine.
And you, sir, without it, will have all the grace of God. 
That, I pray, is enough.


*

so much absence
emits hesitation
same window
crossed out in light
through the new panes
vector after vector
adapting
to the denseness
it continues to refuse
less or more or soon
or slow but strict

the interregnums
branch off
and step backwards
the invisible fades
into a precarious waste
henceforward the faÁade
approaches the nothing left
in the eyes


*


It was a threshold of a city, stopped short
And the howls leaked tendon
Through the forgotten chasms
Of equality and debt
Petroleum where the eye was
And just now opens.


*


Not much sludge to book-value
and steep is the virtue
bent on cleverness

Speech is the ace
Of the lazy

Who leave their sweat
On the chalk board


*


When opportunity knots
Risk dwindles

To a big hand
Around the warranty.

Moping notes the grainy tissue
Blunt as anonymity

It sops up resemblance.


*


which name your apart drifting
echoes straining the tape gesundheit
syllables no trombone would announce
down the pronouns' scatter held separate
where the light is caught in handfuls
syllables only saying your slow
punctuation decomposes
imponderable substances
irreducible to the rigid limits of effect
or the set limits of abuse and noise
the archaic arrangements swollen with pheromones
where tubas and pick-ups ape the bait
but armaments are not instruments of civilization
though they may have gone on loan
to simple upheaval


*


Density suffers from tightness
one without compartments
one without comportment
addresses the designation

simple doors over simple doors
amplify the argument
"and" or "or" the position of the lamp
in the middle of the music
the legendary decimation
echoes muffled by ledges in the elegy
versus the pigeon on a wet bench
its shadows, clouds.

A ferocious modesty
hunkers in the sparks and caramelized light.


*


It was in a time when the image was a genre of hunger
egregious as speaking as if through a cone

The eagles had long since been egalitarians.

Yes folded no and amputated opposition

Facts undertook rhetoric and risked clarity

Ouch was hierarchical so cuffed
To aberration

Subterranean as a tap of the foot, the dust rises and resettles
Like lynching and electrocution 
Gone bleep.

A tap of the foot and the dust reassembles
Three feet beyond the other side of the wall

The bench still wet is just around the corner
Where sitting naked and straining to hear
Strained sounds of moons out of breath
Verses or hairs draining the vowels.
And just under the door, the damp shadow
Aspires to almost theological insight.

This passes for adequate.

This passes for verse.

It is written in hairs.
For what's left of the horses.


*


Sun at the door, but Iíve given up on endings
Especially coming full turn into doing your own thing
Or do what you like

That's the real tyranny

Something gestures simplicity
And closes

Something else runs its course

But if there was destiny
Progress would abolish it
Or foul out
And evacuate
All consciousness
And be worth all the trouble in the world.


*


Never the first was what
The names knew it
Never mattered what
Only the fact read want
Preparation involved failure
Obliteration is a fabrication
But too much was far
Though far returned was
Too much
Then too much returns
And leaves why
Why even to so few
The terse expectations
Marry hope to had none
And in their merry survey
Cruel against the crystal face
Reflections in the sopping clock


*


The idea of a stone
Took two other names
One in place of the dead
One diminished additional

Rivulets around the archipelago
In a meditative stance

Fluctuations in what won't sink

A mild degree of unpredictability
Preempts

Real and steadfast loss


*


Again around comes which time
The program your driveway a poem
The pulse in the wisteria
Is vacuous because you are
Adrift the music
In the harsh nettles
Bare blown, stopped out
The baritone your hand let fall
Immanent as vacancy is rationality fatigued


*





*


Now time and ruin
The edged out depth traverses
What will disappear of the scent

What is learned only by listening.

What again comes around at which time
The dim restlessness is embodied as a castaway
Against what time and where
Against when there is only
When there is only
This time


*


disjunction of nothing
suspended evocations
proper to the genre
of hypothesis and guess
especially authorization
and against the rituals
of autonomy, light or dark
and for a long time no one
could go near any of it

it came to us in sepia music
muddled tones over the only language
anyone could muster through
all this gravel in the mouth


*


Regarding re-openings, there is only a recipe for a cave.

Music the only walls
quiver suddenly
and break

The idea of forgiveness rubs its hands against the aisles.

But first the excuses must go to bed slowly.

Like a rainbow in a pan.  Thwap. 

Then captivated by the minnowís absence.
And with a
vehemence bereft cleverness
The Upside Down Party begins and at certain angle,
With the right lens, fungal bodies
absorb a preference
For effervescence, where the winners take a seat.

Then pronunciamentos and a study of the bantam Rubicons
Versus the orphaned phantoms
Who cross out the movement of the count

Who came to America to become the Tsar
Who acloud who tick
Who pick up the rod that has come off the rose.
Then refinements of the churnó


An asymptote on the horizon
Blinks black, white
Invisible
As the pockets where our hands twitch

The Gaia reflex

Improvisation's carnal paradox.

Chalk.




 

 

(c) 2005 Slope. Slope is ISSN # 1536-0164.