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  • Exegesis, and: Akisame
  • Jordan Mounteer (bio)


Gesang ist Dasein / Singing is being

Rainer Maria Rilke

The Takaka bridge underslungwith campfires. Battered musselsbrowning on a skillet. And the soundof water moving every task.

Moths flicker two-dimensionalon the membrane of my tent, the half-moon'sslender light a lamp for thisblue game of shadows.

Messages always arriveon wings. Think of Apollo, evennessin stride, conduit between gods.To exist and to have meaningare the same, then the moths are singing.

Between their brown pagesa frequency dedicated to the smallurgencies of the day; the dangers of beingalone too long; what plants are edible;innumerable hatchings of things,each following its own poetics.Morning's bitten-light strugglesout over the hills.

I am listening. Dark trees surrender.Mist among the fences, a slowly loping carriage,has come to reclaim little wings. [End Page 110]


The Japanese word for rain in autumn.Orbs of clouds dangle across the skyin one long grey assembly line, rippedup over the coast. Keiko hurrying backalong the beach, a yellow wink on the sand,raincoat bulging. It seems like overnightshe mushrooms with child. My first son,she says, her tiny breasts pressedagainst the zipper. She'll name him Aki.

I would tell him—cherish that round heatof solitude, gelatin warm and red bowl.Purple veins, his little blood-lightning sky.

The next time I see Keiko years latershe's cutting peppers into a cast-iron pan.Says it's strange, how he paced the bloodand came without a scream, as if he wasalready old and tired of it. I step outto have a cigarette. The air is heavierthan I remember, an open detonationof mist. Aki squats on the balcony,his black eyes locked on the pulsingyellow body of a wasp captured in a glass.

Almost dead, he remarks, as if it werethe first time. He taps thoughtfullyon its translucent cage, his mouth puzzled.

Walking back to my bungalow, wavessizzle in the bay. Specific melancholies [End Page 111]

catalyzing under the gesture of rain, the wayendings and awareness of them bleedsinto the leaves. The way cold is a shifttoward the tired and weary.

Something unsaid slogs under the porchlike a stray dog escaping the weather. [End Page 112]

Jordan Mounteer

Jordan Mounteer has spent several years traveling and pursuing odd hobbies such as knife throwing, archery, mead making, and botany. His work has appeared in numerous Canadian journals, such as Prairie Fire, Malahat Review, and Grain.



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pp. 110-112
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