the poetry that matters

Lewis Gesner

Lewis Gesner is an American now living in Taiwan. His work has previously appeared in E-Renlai Magazine as well as serveral publications both print and online, DVDs, videos, festivals and books devoted to performance art, short fiction and essays.

Plunge Poem, or, East China Sea Wall

Flinch on hollow lines

pull the juice and flush the water way

to clear between two rendered points

enough to squeeze from it a nasal voice like rubber lips too wet for silence speaks

and then, another set of song will join and rip the darkness into wind

another loop and dots will loose from this

to mingle with the field of air

and flatten in the breeze

and second voice from silence of the smallest dust

as building brick by brick

an edifice


to the eye

invisible as through the window

two the pictures coming in from pain inducing shift

a child who pulls the rope to bell to steeple church tower calling

sits now alone up in an attic

at a window in a morning/ early afternoon the sun

is hard and hot on glass, and this small window

in this attic full of nails descending through the shingles

where he stands and then must pull his head unloose

from nails that hold his head in many small caress

this small square of silicon is full and full to grey

of flies, of many, of the hundreds every hot sun summer day in early afternoon

beginning in the spring, a haze of grey that buzzes with the fresh fat bodies of the hatched from maggots now the ones who desire only flight and light and

mating and the eggs they lay, but now just on their way with body bloat

full black and helicopter spin by hundreds in that

hot transparent square and there and then

bellringerboy in afterchurching lazing times while TV humms below in lower floors

with politics and talking suit, the boy will take a shingle from the attic and will snap it and

perform a flattened knife and press it to the pane

and smear and most confuse the bloated juicy bodies of the flies

and hear the buzz exhault and sound of squeaking wetness of the glass as water bodies some as full of eggs

will mingle, on the glass

and squeak and squeak

and dots form on the boy, his head the dots

dark like a black hole but a dimple full of rustly blood

as standing fills his head, a matrix of his standing

in the shallow ceiling


raging stomachs on a line suck up the pictures

in an attic, dimming in the must and age of dirt, the walls as far away as could


underfinished unfine brown of brittle wood like many masts of ships

to hold the house most strongly from its tops

the ship of dreams...

ripped open like as in the temple once as

God in church made open up the roof and was an attic there

to rip the temple to a point to make a point to stop the attic

and its flies of clouds that pass the air

and join the wind like god predicted locusts but this time this age this region of the world this western plan of place and taken word resolved to fix it fresh with new and different folks who choose the foreign path - not locusts but the local, of the fly that bloats and seeds the bins of vegetables in the cellar at the other end, desire now though not the heat but cold, the cold to lay, to rest the old, the body, all the things that dust will need, and there then too to lay atop the dust the moist the fresh the newest it can squeeze from tender aging loins, the egg, the worm, the way to new that pass the dust from time to time, from cellar to the attic from the floor to highest ceiling, from one end to the opposite, up down, coming close departing, sun burns night to brown like coffee ...

blackened eggs, cords spill love from out the air as tubes pour honey from the pump

who to receive the sweetness lost his cord is cut

and finds from him the blackened egg

the slapping water, sea wall

east china sea

is only steps away

but half a world

black eggs white eggs

fly eggs

water of the baptismal floors below the steeple

cleansing water of the east china sea

the lower end

from the baptismal

solid water in the air

and see the heart

it hangs outside the body

as it beats and pounds

as my heart hangs to see ..

how cruel and beautiful the world of things and air ...

birds are flying, color in the wind

stone halls echo with the sound

a steel drum bounces in a tunnel through a hill

a door ajar, and ringing from the earth,

our bones and legs resound with pounding steel and rock

a statue has a misplaced smile but carved in can not change

xchrome blade show guns white hat move as if

too many shadow dolls are made and find this work -

concrete pearl field across the way to arches and the gates

the smell of food, and heat, and water through th grates

the sides of skin are pocked with heavy holes

that oil and breathe

and fall and lift

pushing points, to interplay

the others who like this

would dwell between

one concentration

has its spaces round its rims

islands only swum to with

no bridge

but shallows, so to wade

where the power, baked in flesh

from suns

pulls as magnets to the lands

of many points

to eat and drink and swallow there

and fill, for need, and choked desire

sway the branch of many limbs

currents twist in all revolutions

and pursuit is followed

in a power gloss, two blackened angels

fused by time living once in one place\

gardens from the wash on shores

in lines the length of every wave

tomorrow ending at today

but open, in its farther end -

two blackened angels speak

in garbled swallowed words

toast from bread, and soot from

ashes, smoke from water's

morning drift,

the smell of ocean, food, and incense and the excrement

below the grates- tomorrow keeps

from living twice today, both

long and multiplied, soft seeing,

focused on the touched and pinched-

it began 3 centuries before

on stone street with bell and


where my way was born, an

artist looks from bronze stilled eyes

as solid as the guild and over

ripened casks

flesh and flesh and bone and bone

and stone and stone

composited, removed from anchors

oceanic breath, i stumble here

cause broken in the home, so that, only here,

is rest and sitting

less the pain, and smiled at suns, and numbers

when you count -


mark the one who tells

the numbered secrets

from the hole in the rock


a blot

on the head

and deep scar on one cheek

imbed a fish scale on an arm

and burn a colored circle

in the center of that life

so the role is known

from many directions

then sleep from a distance

and count and make

a manifold from every day of breath

make a lasting list of questions

study dry and save

and treat

as nothing came before

sub-tropic rain

batters the skull, to send the tenderized firings

to every corner at once, to try and to escape the beating pulse

as blood flow aligns with weather

and ears dim to energy saving light levels

to getting acclimated

to the newer force

to shed those olding slivers of bones

and patch on something i can wear - far, am floating, cutting notches

a ray of long emissions kills the basking light and fills the walled rooms with invisible feeling of presence like a ghost - perhaps, a humm or whine is heard, but only in the mind, like to a reference to, and not inside the ear - . Inclined to sit, to push the dweller in the seat and make it wait, but not too clearly after that, to what it waits - to sit, to sit is all and all. To feel - the ray, they way it penetrates, the way it passes through, the way it can ignore that you are one, and not another, all the same to the ray, which touches deep but doesn't leave behind- sixty villagers put out their eyes with chopsticks, then kill their families and sail over the horizon, to build a new society in the sun - as even in their darkness, they are enlightened - they find mute women on a spot of land, writing endless endless books of children’s stories with expectation - rewarded by a brood of dwarfish monsters that would never learn reading - so new the world is born again, from the loins of volcanoes -

holy savant is tangled in copper wire

steps on iron tiles and starts to glow

and speak too fast in the riddle of tongues

his clothes seem pressed but really they

are made to dry while warn and fall from hanging points most


forcing little care

and seeming most

like acting

fail the dream, it is a test

and won't you won't be asked again

to go back once is grace

y\to go back twice would offer up the will like belly up

and that is not the wisest thing

and even sane insane can know this now,

to back the once,

to back the twice, is wound in copper wire

and dissolved mind goes into the vapor of electric heat

standing still though even think it moved

electric ways on sheep brain

seems the magic to the beast

aside, apart, twice tested, left to graze

come hold the world


my hand is numb ....

it takes some time to gather up, but then appears, but far apart, as if the breath

breathed by a nose had gathered with the other breaths

apart, and formed a body that would stand and mock the body source

from where those breaths had really comed -

it took all of this, but feeling came in little charges back into the hand

on some occasion

just to remind

once this was how this was, and all the time -

can you be strong again, the ware it down

all the things you hurt

said no in down turned tones

and rubber words that pulled and then returned ....

talking wooden fast, two hinges hold on to the door

illuminations burn the God of risk

his hands are folded, like on his lap

at rest

the hotplate on, he's leaning forward as to sleep

and then it comes

to burn,

observance, as the shop keepers

stir the ashes

AND then,

burn their fresh and paper money

to appease-.

The ways that things are done

is punch drunk

reflections on collision courses

through uncharted sea

and lubricating mists

and flavor salts

nine time from ten

no freedom lives

between the cells of bark

which ordering like hotel walls

each place a story goes...

delivers once

then quietly, again.

Filtered through each living

is a pill containing all the things to do

and like now, the best is best

to wash it down, but even still,

beware, a posting warns, above a

wire cage.


the well is filled with dirt

and sing above of angels with

their plows- who can take the

smell of soil away- paper burning

boiling glue, skin wrap, fish scale

fat beneath the skin... a flake of skin, and oil, from the skin....

Placation comes in pennies

and dollars, though

children and the pets are

spared, passing freely,

room to room.

Equal measures, twice or far- lines move, experiments in the world or empty rooms- a ruptured life span can become a time line, and events points and punctuations with a value tag, or an undercave of consequence - hired readers all agree, and nod affirmative or spit a no. Been wrong, once right, low to confess, how to deny, tree beauty, dirt so moist on mushrooms, water pools before reseeding river- untrapped, the things that lay their eggs into dirt before it cracks... and others watch,  in a studied form- plunging into the middle of the book and reading out toward the edge - .

long, hard, beautiful, sustained,

black bubbles in the milk

down hard rain all day long

spots grow, round and uncontrolled

the translation weighs 2 k

pow pow

the burner goes to high

and sounds just like

a storm at sea

pow pow

pop of rice

smell of meat and oil

soft boned pork

the rim is rusty

smooth it

take it down

with salt and algae,

and a woman's apron-

the air is rich

and settle it with smoking paper and an open hole.

i am waiting

for actions to

ripen my soul.

i am happy when

i recognize a thing

i know.

how to feel it all

and still to know

the smile. choosing drains the will

in nicks and scratches.

Invisible to waiting, i see the written


and picture-stick-lines,

and time is in fractions.

Add mass, and load the pot

and add to it a gauge and straw.

Study feeling of the fingers

and pieces of paper

in arrangement for each digit.

make for use in plans

tear little pieces of paper the size of each fingertip, make a housing feeling and sensation in fingers, draw some lines on the pieces like a thoughtful net on each, to catch the fleeting sensation- every line must somewhere have an end - dug the tunnel through the sand and reinforced the walls with spital adapt a kind of norm, -

the stomach rivals its contents

tomorrow swings around its bubble on the wheel it links with other days, to sit, to be one place, the nob that is a fixed nob out behind the eye and underneath the mat of darkrooms placed inside the walls the mind composes as its stage, - this place we drop our pictures into when we envision something, in the dark, inside - the nob the place, it sits, and it responds, do not delay, do not deny, or think the person is not real, the substance nothing more than current, that holds nothing in it, that, the nob, is everything that grows and keeps all youth and green winds blowing over sweet smells and fruitful living ...

A yoke holds two in place beside each other

one alive and one a wooden stick

force fed in a dream
awakes to spoon feed

the miniature attached twin

two mountain slopes

two ragged cliffs

two creatures stray into the gorge

two sides on the picture plane

double up of one

for choice

between identical things

like the newness of the spare

a spinning of many held high in cups or bowls on stilts ... an image,

with swimming and amassing into crescents of the circles'

finite grip

regarding trees of roots and branches as our maps, regarding edges and points to which to swim, flash of memory lights time tulips across the centuries

imposed on veins beneath finite hold of skin

regarding, old seed passed

to others in their turns and moves and turns and moves

a surface field and dirt is held in place in

infinite hold

and feeling as I felt

one thousand years away,

to move the fingers of a hand.


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                                                                                                  January 17, 2012