from KETJAK by Ron Silliman

from Ketjak

Revolving door….

Revolving door. Fountains of the financial district. Houseboats beached at the point of low tide, only to float again when the sunset is reflected in the water. A sequence of objects which to him appears to be a caravan of fellaheen, a circus, camels pulling wagons of bear cages, tamed ostriches in toy hats, begins a slow migration to the right vanishing point on the horizon line….

Revolving door. Earth science. Fountains of the financial district spout soft water in a hard wind. How the heel rises and the ankle bends to carry the body from one stair to the next. She was a unit in a bum space, she was a damaged child. The fishermen’s cormorants wear rings around their necks to keep them from swallowing, to force them to surrender the catch. Dark brown houseboats beached at the point of low tide—men atop their cabin roofs, idle, play a Dobro, a jaw’s harp, a 12-string guitar—only to float again when the sunset is reflected in the water. Silverfish, potato bugs. What I want is the gray-blue grain of western summer. The nurse, by a subtle shift of weight, moves in front of the student in order to more rapidly board the bus. A cardboard box of wool sweaters on top of the bookcase to indicate Home. A day of rain in the middle of June. A sequence of objects, silhouettes, which to him appears to be a caravan of fellaheen, a circus, dromedaries pulling wagons bearing tiger cages, fringed surreys, tamed ostriches in toy hats, begins a slow migration to the right vanishing point on the horizon line. We ate them….

Revolving door. How will I know when I make a mistake. The garbage barge at the bridge. The throb in the wrist. Earth science. Their first goal was to separate the workers from their means of production. He bears a resemblance. A drawing of a Balinese spirit with its face in its stomach. Fountains of the financial district spout soft water in a hard wind. In a far room of the apartment I can hear music and a hammer. The bear flag in the black marble plaza. Rapid transit. How the heel rises and the ankle bends to carry the body from one stair to the next. The desire for coffee. A tenor sax is a toy. Snow is remarkable to one not accustomed to it. She was a unit in a bum space, she was a damaged child, sitting in her rocker by the window. The formal beauty of a back porch. I’m unable to find just the right straw hat. He hit the bricks, took a vacation, got rolled up, popped, as they say. The fishermen’s cormorants wear rings around their necks to keep them from swallowing, to force them to surrender their catch. She had only the slightest pubic hair. We drove through fields of artichokes. Feet, do your stuff. Dark brown houseboats beached at the point of low tide—men atop their cabin roofs, idle, play a Dobro, a jaw’s harp, a 12-string guitar—only to float again when the sunset is reflected in the water of Richardson Bay. Frying yellow squash in the wok. Write this down in a green notebook. Television in the 1950s. Silverfish, potato bugs. We stopped for hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and to discuss the Sicilian Defense. A tenor sax is a weapon. The Main Library was a grey weight in a white rain. What I want is the gray-blue grain of western summer. Subtitles lower your focus. Mention sex, fruit. Drip candles kept atop old, empty bottles of wine. The young nurse in sunglasses, by a subtle redistribution of weight, shift of gravity’s center, moves in front of the black student of oriental porcelain in order to more rapidly board the bus home, before all the seats are taken. Are pears form. Awake, but still in bed, I listen to cars pass, doors, birds, children are day’s first voices. Eventually the scratches became scabs. A cardboard box of wool sweaters on top of the bookcase to indicate Home. Bedlingtons were at first meant to hunt rats in coal mines. Attention is all. He knew how to hold an adz. A day of rain in the middle of June. The gamelan is not simple. Modal rounders. A sequence of objects, silhouettes, which to him appears to be a caravan of fellaheen, a circus, dromedaries pulling wagons bearing tiger cages, fringed surreys, tamed ostriches in toy hats, begins a slow migration to the right vanishing point on the horizon line. Slag iron. The implicit power within the ability to draw a single, vertical straight line. That was when my nose began to peel. Look at that room filled with fleshy babies, incubating. A tall glass of tawny port. We ate them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ron Silliman was born in Pasco, Washington, near the Hanford nuclear facility that had built the bomb used on Nagasaki & was, in 1946, being ramped up for the Cold War, with spent nuclear fuel rods stored in steel drums buried alongside the Columbia River. As a result, the Department of Energy has flown him to Seattle to feel his thyroid, all the while insisting that there is no cause for alarm. He has published over 30 books & has a sore throat.  For awhile, his brother Buddy worked as a shrimper in the Gulf Coast.

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