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  • List Poem:(with doodles
  • Claire Harris

                                            if this      is a poem hook intothousands of thousands years

            lilt and mystery

common space of the kind                                                the word          a bone handed over child hidden          under small rock in thorny Africa                                              the bone                            dipped                                              in blood          eons later bone will become adz          shaping tool wood stone sop to          silence later a name

                            on a plaque          'here lieth . . .' the first. time          in print!      really only the living are owed                                                            refle(ct)xive chatterstill from hand to hand the bone invisible      among the labials

which brings me toSpreading the Wordalready the avenue slumps yawns intoBlack Hopethe jumbie beads red & black pod alert curls away into the ruinsStruggling for Wingseven the sunlight falls aslantThis Gatehouse Heavena white sunset and we [End Page 1048] Twigs Bent Under Godnow the male flower the bent knee the green breastSpare Changewhat is paid to hunger and need orLoose SugarfutilityTalkinflamed country rubble loose changeThings Seen and Unseenparallel worlds a rumble in the jungleSong of the Broken Stringours comet winging towardGuardianor God hidden inThe Landscape Behind Doorsin quivering air inThe Law of Falling Bodiesfeathers of bright silenceCircle Dancerswe tramp through days inCorrespondence

expecting volcanoes ofInfidelitiesstill these threeFuel Woman Flashy Apple Hot Moonunder the paltry gaze onlyGhostly Demarcationswith you who quiveringStopsunfurls to encirclesThe Black Drumcomes home to your own heart                                                  and weFalling together wein this arc                                                  towards                              whatever                                                  all this                                                            Elementary                              my dear Watson! [End Page 1049]                                         (clue:                                  cotched in the midst                                                  of a haven of nudish titles                              to chew on in                                                   American Poetry ReviewMay/June 1997)

motto: never throw words out

          'found'as if that whispered breath                    don't grieve youlike an accidentas if you don't ride              the hazardous daysan astronautclinging to a candlein exhilarating space                        watch me flare                                        burnoh well!

                    now i search for the word                              in a post card          record of museum hours slumped              on le banc before "Toilette" and                              Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner

finally i find the constant customerpadded washed nails and shoesshining in his lubricious corner                              whileKirchner's slim youthful beautypoised stiffly before a mirror glowof tanned skin of bright ruffled whiteagainst the narrow tilted blue worldlute to the eye her slip liftedby ebullient breast out of harsh black linesfluent shadows her startled palmsawkward vulnerable at bouncing black hair

how avoid being boxed inthe dresser's tight blue curvethe watcher's eye [End Page 1050] now time surges thunders downon dreams like matchsticksand out of the mirror slack agedroops back at her with tired raccoon eyesdespite creams powders paintand the wrinkled valiant hand dabbingat the face is her hand

                                                  obvious                                        i suppose

yet i can't help thinking of that old spoil-sport watching the flapperscupping time in a palm his careful malicious foresight those smallelegantly placed jars shadings and shadows deepening his bluesangling his lines rosy pinks greens of his carpet pretend normalwhile the brush stroke stalks circles pens                                                            still                                                  i knowfor any artist                                                  (the real thingblood and bone is meat. and drink [End Page 1051]



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