the poetry that matters

Gil Lawson

Gil Lawson is from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He won the Bard College Written Arts Prize in May of 2013, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

b e f o r e

b e f o r e

            it had seemed the sort of thing

            don’t or doesn’t speak of

Thus my surprise at the first conversation

            many following

            in perfect rank-and-file

well-disciplined. Quick studies

We’d learned from our friends, parents,


Were masters of the thing’s

            ‘innate rhythm’

            if  such a thing existed.


Over time we spectated it carefully. Its

            facets, seen from the hollow inverted

            that ‘salt mine’ all boundaries

geometric and sheer.


            burrowed responding

            with endearing modesty to our

            interest in its complexity.

We had ample opportunity to become

            acquainted with precisely ‘how’

            to what extent and why

Proposing theories, observing their life,


            or extenuated dwindling.

All believably autonomous, under duress,

but unforgettably a paler kind.


Portrait Objects


A Annihilator.

            Par for but hate lee way. And destroy is a structure built with long-term thought in mind. You hesitate and halt falter stutter see bank of implied eyes, withdraw and wait, gasp, imbibe until a shudder along the lines makes thought seen things thought become hollow, hot, a touch and trace along the thigh or sudden splash upon the rear.

            Can you you weigh you. Did he just over. Did you think he did. When you were out you shot past and retired early, rode hard and put away bet. A way yet out of it.

            Yell or hoot, sweet old lurch. Ha I Ha Ha are Ha Ha it Ha this trust peer.


A Barrier.

            Win, did he. Everyone’s the shame. Dear called old called new called old called thing around called thing between called thing apart called negative image called, thing itself hasn’t called yet.

            You’d love to talk of this, though. Intimate language watch terraform I recreate a method you and I develop. Transpose from one screen to the other, rid constant concern of perfect transfer. Very carefully note that preserved intimacies are not the things seen but the precise maintenance of the way there goes nothing between. Love to voyeur own construction, like translate to and fro. Much love of it. We can discuss the way I choose put near right front apropos situate how precise distortion twixt can illuminate thought behind the thing itself, act as a soft guidebook for what follows.


A Aberration.

            Or dry. When you were in the garden I was the darndest thing in the sky.


A Skirt.

            Dance. Say no but or yeah. Say it quickly now. Save it.


A King.

            My whole home. A note on the doorstep, door unopened:

            Darling I was just so worried darling darling did they hurt you darling didn’t you come home didn’t you. Darling I was just concerned I was confused I was unsure darling I thought so. That’s something we always say to one another. That’s something we never say. There’s a place we haven’t gone.

            Write back:

            Right but we won’t.


A Aperture.

            A solar plexus. Like it if you can keep it at an evil keel. Be good today. Careful to hold ideas of what is sacred sacred and scared or scary. Thought you said that include or exclude pertains. Suppose you said another thing.

            To operate:

            Remove from rigid wrapping with exacto knife. Hold seize in two hands and pull. Detach lid and observe to other side. Carefully obfuscate the prior tab. To turn on, flick switch conveniently located. To turn off, can’t.


            If submerged in water becomes nude. Manipulation of data sets occurs at great risk to interior mechanism. Device on factory settings preset to include or exclude with respect to preset factory settings established to prevent excessive shaking or jostling which might have noticeable impact on method of operation. Convenient language filter will not be discarded if user changes language presets located in Settings menu. Natural mode cannot be shifted: Some moments missing is not in itself a sign of further malfunction, as device is extraordinarily calibrated to unobserve.

            Machine washable. Do not machine dry. Remove slowly without upset.


A Solid.

            Made in line. The steady as you go is almost done uploading.


A Reel.

            Appallment. Before you go to the store, please totter and explode outward. A big crack runs laterally literally.

            You snip snap back lean backtalk mean didn’t mean it back. Little half and orient along the exterior line aperture retracks motion.


A Murder.

            He lie. Pass me the most. Pass me the pleasure. Pass me memory say can’t imagine possibly through life unexperience kill. Keep an eye on while am.

            Try all this dress, edict. Pour over all spread out, ol viscosity, wars fall him part what this stance is. A joking grasp. Unit in stolid sachristy.


            Listen to this:

            First ever unofficiated fall. No hold tight up here right. Did you ever whorl about the farmland (careful, you’re about to spill a square, once you’ve straightened it I’ll resume reading:) that is strict gyroscope become considerably lax in the process of unofficiated crawl out of those fastnesses sure you went in explicated absence of das misses. Sorry hum.

            Watching from the seat, one leg up on the stool:

            Careful with the body! Careful with the sign! Careful with the jumpess! Careful with the old ways! Careful with the necessary! Careful with the choice! Careful with the steady line! Careful with the very resilient can! Careful with the glued-down obelisk! Careful with the firmly-braced monster! Careful with the elasticity! Careful with the air! With the water!


A Flright.

            So he. I’d like it if you listened to draw about as decline along outer edge of the well in tend to conserve precise arc during which unchanging pitch in frequency. Can’t help myself. Totally and completely.


A Albatross.

            Thames. Nearly there almost. Blister peroxide a one account for the following things. A empty jug of water revolve a anamorphosis in constant ghost party state. Shingle bones on high. Empty too tub. Ease he encountered little streamers all be glad to rid rid of remembrance of good gone. Costume blood deposited in large black space. All face reap with same frustrating blank or cascade of tone to sense solid drone in which one must arrest motion away.

            Speak clearlet did harp shroud. Wind kick up by dust there. Rubber tire tread. Drive in down sake push wreak back to pleasure. Turn nearly stir itself when shout off thing here. Nearly not quite there almost. An unclever shroud, a phoned-in conversation. Behind each is a wedding disintegration.


A Oblate.

            Guilt. Hunger almost ever for treasure defied.

            Given chance, provide rubric to reorder all come before. Special words, special order, special setting, special space between, special interstice, special place, special speed, special slow, special state, special arrest, special seizure, special tatter, special spectral.

            Almost to replace gasket seal. New material provides better return on similar investment. Almost bankrupt. New decision gives surety of now now now. Almost outline. New guilt. Almost believe. New but similar return on better investment or so thunk. Almost buy it. New ways of promoting stasis. Almost promote it.

            At last a frankness blooms. Exhaustion is a fine kind of break. Blow on deciding valueless. I look at you from across the kitchen table and decide to spend my life.


At the pool

At the pool. Said nothing to it. Said what of question. Single hap. We prow the dark. I loop into a curve decline. Said I'm glad to be. Said shove glass jaw. Slow revolutions as a cud is shape. Said in the north she palimpsest. That gentle shade. I stripped to her inherent vice.



Images absent excuse for status as an image. Sonless Abraham still known. The wheel spoke. A flashlight to be thrust. During half an hour waiting for a German. I embalm with how I met my other.


Dim and witless. A steadily accrue. I were apologize to close door to myself. Chimera says. If they are confronted by one of these hurdles.


An ugly hand upon the doorknob. Feat beat. Emptied they are the before fire.


Said soft. Said sleep. More and more sad don't. The door stays gauzy in direct light.


Godliness in ersatz me. I bronze unto one sleep. Certain oil harvested when properly expressed. The deference. Said skeptical and scared. And static-clad across the waves. A tawny wendigo. Do not call can't blotted. A steady bubble to the burst.


Echo Pripyat. Key guard. Not either/or but only that I complicate. Where sound of space or sound of thing allow that there be sound? How try stay? How try repeat? Reap? Sow what pier? How try repeat? Muscle mass double in rips. My obligatory hydra. Babel after family obligation.


How cannibalize honey body? I will. How question? One must with the following. Pithy red and six kids gathered on a flimsy chair for a site.

Total cannibal means eat the bones. Turn right into Central Avenue.


How try say? Butt up against a nothing. The one place for belletrism in the turn. No question about face. We plow differently alight. Still arise and re-illumine. Still rise and. How try pare? To see if anyone comes.


Call I'm like Eurydice. Turn at the instant when I knew I did not hear. Rules never set in rows of. I remember brusher on the dock as though double assure. After I became the perfect image of my no. Over the top of an off-kilter door to see if anyone comes.


Steady warp absent any wear woof worn. Clarify my better. Have. Lesser major miss. It's for the beast. Forbear. I'm being have. Dim he whittles. Slow. Then fast. Better. In the cloth.


In there. Sign of a wall goal. I loop into a curve decline. Moment and dictate arc. Section five says sign.


Said something here. Said this is not going noplace what here motion middle isn't wasn't was push friction versus void from goal to goal to. All this in the water. I'm perfectly define. How ever not be neat? Reign in the overall damage numbers? Like capture ratio? Which will be gone sooner to the sun?


We proud d'Arc. Each whiteness of the carriage is another shouldn't sorry. In saying of or like it is. Through chlorine to the gull. You neckless albatross. We will return to middle at the end. I loup-garou. More common form the dark. Speak parish starve swamp-thin? To my left and right. A lame belay. Spat forth the symbol.


The three were day night and in. A single sign. Door hangs loose. I come wall and kick. Still, we brought it down.


Clatter Of Glasses

As when, woke at four,

A chatter of glasses impacting

the neighbors, strangers, were

always entertaining, I ran for the door.


‘Image overlay’ I’d said to myself

knowing I would forget when you

said, louder but equal-intentioned,

that there was ‘something up’ with your internet.


The orchard was as early as I was,

Fog, thick, perhaps because of everything

I was thinking had the same texture: splinters,

still on the map while all else went away.


Gradually unending, cooperating with the

unsustainable feeling of imminency, firm

rejection of nearing any whole, but have to try,

I allowed myself to stylize the absences.



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                                                                                                                    October 13, 2013