the poetry that matters

Jerome Paul

Jerome Paul was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and now lives in Toronto. Some of his poems have appeared in Misunderstandings Magazine, and a few more will appear in the third issue of The Passive Collective journal.


three of the six years

The first year, a leg learns to open:

The night a thing in which feet grow green again. A few toes, some shoots
of light pooled inflorescent in a criminate ear, a whole
change without nexus
stemmed deep in dis skull dis tongue dis lung dis cord dis ground, without,
too, this movement, aging in vitro, considerate of a color
leaking between the thighs. This suffering, in the dark folds
of the next second, eaten by the calves of all experience. The hunt
is not yet organized. The king’s men
will sound the horn in time.

The second year, she can sleep now after sight:

Now, now before, then later in before, the winnowing sound a brocket knows
to identify, be in fore. Even the lightless worm
drinking tunnels beneath a hoof
survivor on the leavings of a memory in form
            (the night sun in the grass, breeding grass)
confronts its contortions with the knowledge of        Shall Be.
In the skeletons of buildings the treeline spurs bone. Even the rock suspects
the sand, the sand the glass, the glass a forging heat
and lips that bloom a lung
for conversion of defeat. A free velocity, detached from a spent bed.
Acceleration, exhilaration, exhalation: a syllable is not lost,
is found deep in the haunch, a target for a piercing
still fouled with limbic dream.

third year, call air a spade that skins the voice

Solve et coagula. Parting of the ways. Red fuchsia for the loud road.
A body remembers what the mind wastes. Footing, surety, the arrogance
of a hand, splayed, caryatid sleeping and waking thru the night, the rapture
of a closed loom, pillow drenched in hair, blossom hair, in the mouth
a contraction of words, all securities created anew, inflamed but still
concealed, antlers losing velvet, learning to lose themselves, the hibernation,
the hidden time.



“Fool, you’re heading in the wrong
Ms. Holiday peeling drunks
early mashers / the Native night in mourning
the war, which war, what fight was he in for, how many did he kill?
the day’s interrogation bottoming a dirty glass
the whiles of lumbered words budding in unkempt ears
                                                  really, does he need to sob and crawl like such, upset the balance
                        for so long?

on the moors of street-lit tables
the lone eye doles out


                        red octagon that splintered by its own flat hand
                        e                                                                      o
                        a                                                                      o
                        a                                                                       i
                        e                                                                      e
                        i                                                                       o
                        a                                                                      a
                        the frame survives its breaking it holds its breaking

                                                arrow that
                                                 loosed by
                                                lips which
                                                 lips were
                                                dead then

at the grave of a dead poet: it survives…       a happening…             a mouth…

                                                estuary ;  a moth

Fool your heading     now before the lanterns slat shut     give you the excuse of darkness
reconnoitre a lapse     in situ     I have murdered a mean    drunk     awry her eye the words are
somewhere along the treeline    the line of tables chairs empty pints     the land of morning calm
                                                                        the war, which war, what fight was he in for, how
                        many did he kiss?
hey man, slay man, would you say man, have you got a man, a tissue man, say, a tissue for the issue,

2. mellifluous spring
whose voice is
grow of an old frame
an old frame that grows
growing the frame
dawnwise, this mad frame knows
the where of a nu open     knotfound
ameliorate in gin
dis ’ol lute, in a bag, a frame, a growing
that lays unearthed, lays its green eggs inert
without the glottal space, the may of space
seemed into sky that has cracked the pate
a shaved brain splayed in berth
a flute at the docks and a horny joint
anoint, the blood of a justified story
            Fall! Retreat your compromise
            Spring! Hold your frame that grows beyond
a holding,
pattern of the hooked question, pendant lip that satisfied
bruises, bloodies the war, which war, did he
knotwise, the man is a fish again
chasing trouble down
breaking frame without

Holdiay: Fool, you’re heading in the wrong,


via Lorca of Suites

The star
the rose
do not concern me

If a street trembles
in the shadow
of fuck

sometimes I do not function
to fuck

but the light somehow
draining the leaves
to brittle bone

will grind a delirium
from my bones

that was your breath
the wind
clothing me                             ///                                 above the street


via Notley of Love Poems

2/?       Saturday

                        pinched morning

            oboe down a corridor              blue sky blue   corridor

                        (Lorca in the afternoon                       store it for later

Barraqué(?) Kraus (?)                                      mottled duck beached
                                                                           and becoming rain

            the wet door                be     coming     almost

down the corridor                               still you practice

            the night evaporating                   above the lip

                                                                                    of a glass

there is no trouble                               in the reed

                                    but you cut
                                      each one
                            without remembering


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                                                                                                        October 13, 2012