From Another Other Within, Without

Pimone Triplett
Say your body’s 
life-size trip clock
starts in schlep

on the down slope.
Then the long hand 
slaloms you steep

as your face tocks
the take of nine-to-five.
It’s just your timing 

and mindset that’s semi-
rattled, and everyone
comes to the skit a little

pusillanimous to begin. 
What is a kind of
smudgy justice:

the ancestors’ DNA 
in full wig effect, 
frizzy edges crimped,

oblivious to wind. 
Are you really inside
that mirror slice?

Pacing over past
junkets still, a hybrid 
hallucination got

stock-carded into
a being strange to be,
like that griffen 

who slips so casual 
onto someone else’s
map of laughing tropic 

locales. Friend, look hard. 
Mix. Step out. The center
bit by bit gets beiged. 

You are one hundred
percent half-and-half.
In the hemi is the how. 

More by Pimone Triplett

Past Light

Within reach of sex but not yet, I remember, a few stars 
          freckling the vacancies 
past the yard’s blown flood beams and father’s single 
          sycamore. Expert amateur, 
I thought myself, aged thirteen, rabid for facts and trying 
          to have a mind for 
what each light was. This I knew: arrivals of gaseous crackups 
          wholly unlike us, and not 
pinpricks, nor quaint connect-the-dots, nor tiny stabs of will. 
          Sky’s Zenith, Lyra, The Great, The Small Bear. 
Hopes rose. It was before the boys and window escapes,
          before breakup seeped 
into the house like bad water. I loved stories
          of staying in place.
In the one about the ancient astronomer 
          on the day of eclipse,
after he’d gazed his naked sight away,
          he thought he saw the sun giving birth 
to itself and scrawled, half blind, in a notebook, 
          as if wood fought back
to eat the fire. Meanwhile, our lawn sparked 
          with mother’s rake tines upraised,
sound of door slam and squabble inside, squeal 
          of brakes rounding 
out the drive. And if I wanted one clean,
          one lesser loyalty, wishing
so hard on that old onlooker?
          I could see him at full kneel
in dirt unflinching, begging the above to smote what’s bulk,
          the words arcing slowly up, 
saying, burn me all to star, o fathers.
          I understood nothing of their pain.
Already, close to home, the sycamore leaves in full 
          heat looked edgeless,
each dark on dark blurring the shapes 
          as if we were all dropped through: 
Zenith, Lyra, The Greater, The Lesser, The True.

Related Poems

badlands: a song of flux, out of time

ornate warble of meadowlarks
           burbling in melodic veronicas,
ribboning the spires, buttes, pinnacles,
           and gullies of sedimentary stone,
sage and sweet grass smudging the still-cool air

lush-bellied manatees of clouds somersault
           above an inching infestation—
cars, trailers, trucks, busses, airstreams—
           glittering carapaces twisting
their stranglehold around Yellow Mounds


late spring baby goats
           nestle in to Pinnacles, at dusk,
a scatter of heartbeats, furred
           commas, blending clauses
to sun warmed sandstone

a big horn sheep blinks
           into my lens from between
his horns’ apostrophes—
           slit pupils iconic and slow
as gold cat’s-eye marbles


shadow-hollowed, wind-ruffled
           stone’s mimetic shape-shifting
all metaphor and simile:
           like stiff-beaten cake batter
like striated molten glass

here, a disconsolate woman weeps
           behind spidery fingers
here, a sleepy elephant rests
           its trunk upon the ground
here, cubist lovers’ stilled in a flash-frozen kiss


some say moonscape, or otherworldy,
           as if to mean something alien,
sandwiched between the banality
           of kitschy Sinclair station dinosaurs
and Wall Drug’s ubiquitous billboards

I think not moonscape but earthscape,
           not otherworldly, but innerworldy,
not alien, but indigenous, as in
           always already from and of
as in sovereign, as in not ours


unexpected wingbeat, talon, and spray
           of gold flint-sparking the light
when one of the golden eagles surfing currents
           near Sharps Formation by Castle Trail
plummets to swoop in front of my Jeep

its sharp-eyed, curious gaze catches me gawking
           through the windshield, and suddenly
I’m no longer the voyeur, but the spied upon,
           and before it kites skyward again
I am, in those seconds, all spotlit halo, golden blaze


a cottontail backlit by sunset,
           thin-membraned ears glowing
with the hot orange of tea-light’s flicker
           behind glass, has its picture taken
by a happy group of Chinese tourists

for a brief moment, the cottontail
           is simultaneously framed within
the bright rectangles of five iPhones, all lit up
           within the bright rectangle of my iPhone:
molten-eared bunnies within bunnies / #meta


how infinitesimal our millenia
           how tightly folded
our lives’ tiny accordions within
           the time-lapsed tidal flux
of geological deposition and erosion

someone breaks a pottery bowl in slow motion:
           can you imagine the apocalyptic scatter
of ammonites and clams, the beautiful wreckage
           of an ocean’s millennial spill
from a mountain-cracked basin of broken raku?