Bardo

- 1959-
I've spent my life 
in a lone mechanical whine, 

this combustion far off.

How fathomless to be 
embedded in glacial ice,

what piece of self hiding there.

I am not sure about meaning 
but understand the wave.

No more Novalis out loud.

No Juan de la Cruz singing 
"I do not die to die."

No solstice, midhaven, midi, nor twilight.

No isn't it amazing, no 
none of that.

To crow, to crown, to cry, to crumble.

The trees the air warms into 
a bright something

a bluish nothing into 

clicks and pops 
bursts and percussive runs.

I come with my asymmetries,
my untutored imagination.

Heathenish, 

my homespun vision 
sponsored by the winter sky.

Then someone said nether,
someone whirr.

And if I say the words
will you know them?

Is there world?
Are they still calling it that?

More by Peter Gizzi

It Was Raining in Delft

A cornerstone. Marble pilings. Curbstones and brick.
I saw rooftops. The sun after a rain shower.
Liz, there are children in clumsy jackets. Cobblestones
         and the sun now in a curbside pool.
I will call in an hour where you are sleeping. I’ve been walking
         for 7 hrs on yr name day.
Dead, I am calling you now.
There are colonnades. Yellow wrappers in the square.
Just what you’d suspect: a market with flowers and matrons,
         handbags.
Beauty walks this world. It ages everything.
I am far and I am an animal and I am just another I-am poem,
         a we-see poem, a they-love poem.
The green. All the different windows.
There is so much stone here. And grass. So beautiful each
         translucent electric blade.
And the noise. Cheers folding into traffic. These things.
         Things that have been already said many times:
leaf, zipper, sparrow, lintel, scarf, window shade.

Chateau If

         If love if then if now if the flowers of if the conditional
if of arrows the condition of if
         if to say light to inhabit light if to speak if to live, so
         if to say it is you if love is if your form is if your waist that
pictures the fluted stem if lavender
         if in this field
         if I were to say hummingbird it might behave as an
adjective here
         if not if the heart’s a flutter if nerves map a city if a city
on fire
         if I say myself am I saying myself (if in this instant) as if
the object of your gaze if in a sentence about love you might
write if one day if you would, so
         if to say myself if in this instance if to speak as
another—
         if only to render if in time and accept if to live now as if
disembodied from the actual handwritten letters m-y-s-e-l-f
         if a creature if what you say if only to embroider—a
city that overtakes the city I write.

Bolshevescent

You stand far from the crowd, adjacent to power.
You consider the edge as well as the frame.
You consider beauty, depth of field, lighting
to understand the field, the crowd.
Late into the day, the atmosphere explodes
and revolution, well, revolution is everything.
You begin to see for the first time
everything is just like the last thing
only its opposite and only for a moment.
When a revolution completes its orbit
the objects return only different
for having stayed the same throughout.
To continue is not what you imagined.
But what you imagined was to change
and so you have and so has the crowd.

Related Poems

ninth: a conversation between Annabot and the Human Machine on the subject of overpowering emotion

(Note: Though Annabot is ostensibly downloadable, the attempt to open her produced an error, a string of errors.)



ANNABOT: What now?

HUMAN MACHINE: The Brain, the brain—that is the seat of trouble!

ANNABOT: My brain, whose brain? Those who feel, feel.

HUMAN MACHINE: On the blink?

ANNABOT: Or, discipline. The brain is a machine of habit. The heart is a hell.

HUMAN MACHINE: "The secret of smooth living is a calm cheerfulness which will leave me always in full possession of my reasoning faculty."

ANNABOT: But I am not cheerful.

HUMAN MACHINE: I ought to reflect, again and again, and yet again, that all others deserve from me as much sympathy as I give to myself. I place my hand over your heart.

ANNABOT: I cannot feel your hand.

HUMAN MACHINE: I cannot feel your heart.

This is the language of simple, obvious things
The conclusion and the part before

Anna held her hand out to feel the cold
It was cold

Then, nothing