ditch,

the poetry that matters

John Luna

John Luna, from Mill Bay, BC, is an artist, critic and instructor of visual art and art history. Previous writing (primarily essays and criticism) have appeared in magazines such as Musicworks, Mix and Border Crossings.

 

Emigrantʼs Plain Verses

 

- for Cy Twombly

 

1.

On the table

without tempo

a gold mast breathing

beneath lips beaten into

 

Foil.

 

2.

Ready or not

whistling, jocular

veins

burst forth from

 

root cellar

broken into a night

with plenty

of plum,

 

with the cast gestures

of flowers

with no temperature

at all, just

 

Garnered weight in imbrication.

 

3.

Climb out of

your yawn;

nothing here but

meters of sand-

 

night: columbines

nosing out of

cow catching in the

tall grass

 

a rabble of earth

routines,

heaving

hope up on land

 

just

lazily

breathing in darkness

inflection of shudders between

 

Shadow and the valley.

 

4.

Thereʼs a

book called fifty

dangerous things

for children to do

 

to be one more

one horse

nickel silver

mining

 

Town.

 

5.

Pieces of Jasper &

Wyoming,

Coleridge says, “a dwarfish whole”

how great they are

 

I never know.

 

6.

Coyotes come

steal children in

dreams unobservant

you canʼt climb up

 

Without thinking over falling.

 

7.

The wind brooms blossoms

papers curlicue across the floor

in questions,

a balcony of birdsong

 

like water dribbling through

translucent plastic straws

bent out toward

us at the neck,

 

crucible of jaundiced copper,

a pyrite gold

warrant

enameled

 

In dust.

 

8.

Doorknob turns

To put paid

To a log asleep in its

place after all

 

Fires.

 

9.

Corrected: rock &

alder, pliant flecks

of gold of

an old

 

Rusted armchair.

 

10.

Colony ant

gives its plus or minus

wards of an alarm clock

thousands from start to finish

 

Rush in.

 

11.

 

Sundial,

triangles of the horsesʼ

traipse and burled

neck

 

make a diagram estranged

blinded, bindless

Saul falling off

into luxury

 

Guarded dovecote.

 

12.

Saw them

shocking shadows out of

their seats, heard them

shoving

 

shadows out of their hands

raised so that

one sketch fell

before them to the

 

Sand.

 

13.

 

Colonial legacy

of tongue and fortified

wooden bans

to shield us proper

 

be revealed

from the neck up, as awake

as emblazoned

in the water, sun, bee, flower

 

each shadow an

erection

cast off

the one

 

Shot.

 

14.

Donʼt follow you fool -

weʼre here although

don’t  feign, it

doesn’t love

 

For us.

 

 

15.

On the table

without tempo

a golden smile

in the form of a hook,

 

Arrested.

 

16.

Perishable frozen form

and flaws all

more were

made

 

dirty confidence

in images,

decades running through

the skull

 

in declarations of ashes and

more to come

still pining at 80

flaws afresh

 

In this grave his grove of painting.

 

17.

Shyly, has yet

to come out

now notice less

gathering in dust of the world

 

11, 12 ,13 if a dozen

sweet words if you know

how to get by

on your

 

Charm.

 

18.

A black plastic

bag neck at the

noose

torn loose,

 

blowing

across the tar-

mac on the painted

line

 

doses’

work

will do

you yet

 

a pebble

in glass,

a sapphire spared

in grit,

 

Four carats cut to one & curated.

 

19.

Tacking across

your floor

white neat feet

while carpet sings

 

Its dirt of meals.

 

20.

Donʼt be a fool-

pretensions hurt,

and weʼll always be

always towards

 

times other end

in the next world and

a catch closer too

& more relative to

 

and if so

so much more radical

than the

temperature

 

Weʼd settled on.

 

21.

Coyotes splashing

their barks all around and

towards the bucket

rim of dawn,

 

Call morning come.

 

22.

Bracketed syllabi

Dylaby /laby-

rinth

called home,

 

and branches surround

a rim of earthʼs meter

call morning

come home now son

 

the bracket of the

break

of your infancy spread

out toward warm rose of

 

Lights.

 

23.

Vibration of tires on

gravesides

palpitating skeletons

left handed night

 

& so many

strokes

 to

sooth

 

Him.

 

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                                                                                                                       November 20, 2011