INDISCRETE LEVIATHAN by Jennifer MacKenzie

1

 

anticipate, absorb, and try to take

 

The encyclopedia. Its weight

as chiton. Names

 

rebuff reading, at least

perspective, cut-and-paste

 

Leviathan. The oil-on-water stately

magnifico inferno Nabokov plunge

into stiletto gush. The state as seraphim alias

 

razor has many guises

severally replete, immune

beige. To imagination. Blake’s

 

Rose, lit. And bleeding sparks. Like what

shored commerce invented sparkler.

 

or

the Matter, Forme, & Power

of a

Common-wealth

Ecclesiasticall

and

 

land which is imperishable and waters

the means of transport thence

 

 

 

2

 

to articulate these swift

preferences like winning

 

zoomed language capital I

ZED to conceive

 

ownership vs. pleasure’s

lusciousness fallen out of

 

usage: whalebone, corset, stays

as the air, the wind, the spirits vital and

 

sometimes the images that rise in the is

nothing delivered but by the name of

 

under the awning of surf

brush with what can

 

wound would frame confession

in order to press demand

 

migrates between

the gathered when

 

my spirit at the expense of

 

 

 

3

 

how to break asylum to withstand

the notion of being clever

 

I explained the word cater and bowed

smugly with my imaginary tray

 

One by one I made them paraphrase

the listening on mercantilism

 

The parameter is annunciation, the body lifted

on a nonexistent platter toward the blind

 

eye of the cupola filled with cloud and gray

If we buy that

 

Love? what W.H. wrote about Nijinsky

or who America owns

 

the bones in the graveyards turned

over the names of stitches

 

the kinds of orchards the pastoral

lacquering the stolen to which

 

it is always at heart

dramatizes a total

 

 

 

4

 

I don’t want to be stranded

even through a wound        

–the orderly

 

crouching beside my belly and coaxing

off the bandages (forth from the little telling 

 

hairs) so very gently and saying sorry       sorry

sorry     for their stickiness                

      –where

does kindness come from and can you notice

that you contain bones?

 

I I I in the green tiled walls

of my highschool phonebooth with the font

 

getting smaller as I type this

culpable as Alice—               knowing

 

a fish by the crunching of its bones. Its little lyric bones

 

Did the water all boil away yet? Dizziness

In the middle of a dark wood the wish for a

 

beginning breaking                    

 

 

 

5

 

but I cannot not

exist again yet

crouching in

 

a furnace squatting

prim as grass

ground glinting

 

objects within it

seem not radiant

 

shades into

overarching

 

end, fungible

 

burst of If,

 

**********

I moved from Portland, OR to Damascus, Syria in the spring of 2009, a few months after the bombing of Gaza, because I felt (inchoately and narcissistically) at a private dead-end with US foreign policy and with the insularity of the American body politic. I felt that if I couldn’t change anything else in the world, I could at least change my own location. Living in Damascus until October 2012 focused my attention on the (of course unevenly distributed) experiences of vulnerability, precarity, threat, coercion, resilience and resistance. My eco-poetics is just the question arising from this: how to articulate the difference between a scream and a laugh, when both mark the perspectival disjuction between transgressor and transgressed? 

**********

ImageJennifer MacKenzie lives in Istanbul Turkey. Her recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Forklift Ohio, Lungfull, and Two Serious Ladies; her first book of poems, Distant City, will be published in 2014 as part of Fence Books’ Modern Poets Series. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s