Them’s the Breaks of Love and Sex (selections)

 

These Are Not Companion Pieces

The dream, the disease, the desire of the first propertied penis:
primogeniture.

 

My Country ‘Tis of Thee

This map of the world is incomplete.
Where, after all, is your cunt.

 

Love, Disappear

I.   Lap, lap, the waves, but
      do they love the dumb pier?  No
      matter.  She loves them.

II.  Remember the day
      you could have been happy here
      in Red Hook forever?

III. The next day you said:
      Impermanence.  Even the
      harbor is water.

IV. Like love, these lines grow
      longer, then shorter, then cease
      altogether to

V.   An organism
      of mist   like you     says one thing
      but means

VI.  You wouldn’t touch down—
       but you             like you meant it—
       as rain would: ground, soak.

VII. An organism
       of    mist      feels         something               then

 

From Which I
GONE SO LONG

The ox
from which I draw my model
X WAS GONE SO LONG, Y,
The model
from which I draw my portrait of a poet not hearing the word no
Y,
The ox
from which I draw my image for a steady persevering sort, harnessed to the
carousel of love or trudging up a long steep hill, a fool in perpetuity, for poetry
from which I draw my plow
Y,
The ring of words
from which I draw my hat
WAYS TO CONVEY THE GONENESS OF
Life
from which I draw my golden bowl of grapes and figs and pears and plums and lemons
X—
THE GONENESS AND ITS LONG DURATION—
from which I draw my inspiration
THE PRESENCE OF THE PLODDING LOSS,  THE SLEEPING IN.
The well of picture this
from which I draw my water
The waters of not you
from which I draw my bath
Y FOUND HERSELF A METAPHOR.
The pack of scavengers
from which I draw my card
from which I draw my shades
SHE FOUND ANOTHER, TWO, THREE, FOUR.
The arrow-swollen crossbow
through which I draw my own
The arm of yours of yesterday
through which I draw my own
SHE FOUND THEM.
SHE FOUND THEM IN THE SHURRING FLIGHT OF BUMBLEBEES
The mirrored post
from which I draw a bead on me
THE SHURRING FLIGHT
OF BUMBLEBEES
from which I draw my analogy
SHE FOUND THEM BUZZING METAPHORS
from which I draw my strength
IN THE SHURRING FLIGHT
OF BUMBLEBEES.
The hardness of the holster
from which I draw the sidearm
The steel of the revolver
from which I draw a blank
Y FOUND THEM IN THE METRONOME, THE BALLAD BEING PLAYED,
ITS MAJOR CHORDS JUST STUCK THERE FOR ITS MINOR CHORDS
TO DIFFER FROM.
SHE FOUND SO MANY FIGURINES ALIVE,
AND IF NOT LIVING, GYRING, IN THE LIQUID AT THE CORE;
from which I draw my inspiration
SHE FOUND SO MANY VEHICLES FOR BEING DONE
WITH BEING LEFT,
at which I draw the line
BUT NOT FOR X,
The close of yes
to which I draw

 

Signature Piece

It’s as though
there’s something I’m trying to say.
It’s as though
I am the paper and I am the pen
and I am the indigo ink
in the well and we’re drying here
just trying to make a sign.

Like neon gas
coursing through a pink glass tube;
like huge stone slabs
standing still
while the sun goes around and around;
like a hollow needle
piercing the skin,
staining blue the subcutis;
like a treble clef
hanging onto
the bars of the stave;
like short vertical lines
on the wall of a prison cell,
short vertical lines
neatly arrayed
lines marking the number of times
that darkness opened onto day:

someone,
counting,
stays inside.



Alexandra Chasin teaches at The New School, and holds a 2012 NYFA Fellowship in Fiction. Just out from Jaded Ibis Press is Brief, a novella about art vandalism published as an app for the iPad.

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