Becoming Weather, 21

                    I was out interviewing clouds         amassing
                    the notes of a sky pornographer    while patches


                                             of the city subnormalized
by fear of fear            like a reef bleaching closed


                    I took to the streets
                              looking for a human velocity

              feeling                 disequilibrium

                                         heavy in the abundance
                             of summer light
                                                       the silent apathy
              of stars     which is neither
                                              silent nor apathetic
I             am       becoming                 weather
                                                                                 and
              I don't
                               plan on doing
                                                                      it alone

More by Chris Martin

The Tongue

for Ben Estes
So taste
as day
rearranges the red
and orange flowers
from tongue to tongue
like losing the cymbal's 
clang for all its glints
we crept behind the moon
which always insists on sleeping over 
barely a belly for a mouth
an hour past the movie
we were still filming 
the way food fills
each curving lapse
between your teeth
or song
in sheets
against the windshield
no one believes
air is the enemy
so don't be afraid
to breathe all this speech
someone already died to say
the moon is on the couch
so we climb onto the roof
where our bellies swell open
to slosh and go flowers
red and orange flowers
hairy and pink-stemmed
like champagne flutes
we always overuse
everything that 
happens happens
wrong if not
by tongue's might
in the little time
left before sun drives
all the workers into work
all the workers into work

Time

All that happens happens

in the hollow

mouth

open mid-vow

knowing

only song will do

what an empty cave needs

done, drone

that seeds to fill

one space and then that

space’s space, what

are we made

of if

not chants.

Sun slumping up

the stucco, cat chewing

her tail clean, nimbi

darkening the fallen

leaves leatherlike, I make

voice, voice, voice, voices

like a fist

on thinking’s door

a fistula

wrapping abstraction

and binding it to what, morning

sickness, the lathed light

now flying through branches

made sinister

by season, a crook

in the amygdala’s grey

ministry and all

I see is a circling murder

above the antenna

that replaced the weathervane.

All I see is one

millionth

percent of the earth

at once. Chance.

I give you the fingers

of my hand

like I was giving you broken

beige rulers.
 

Time

Among many tongues may clang
the bell of ten thousand names.
A clepsydra with veins of blood.
A caravel on a tide of bloodletting
is also our necessary clock, so
the he who is I at the
time lets out my elephantine toll.
Vein of granite, vein of quartz.
Piezoelectric hum wherefore
we cast a tiny ear of water, we
who clang and unmoor our fleet.

Related Poems

Mean Free Path [excerpt]

For the distances collapsed. 
            For the figure
failed to humanize 
the scale. For the work,
the work did nothing but invite us
to relate it to
            the wall. 
For I was a shopper in a dark
            aisle. 

For the mode of address 
            equal to the war 
was silence, but we went on 
celebrating doubleness. 
For the city was polluted 
with light, and the world, 
            warming.
For I was a fraud 
in a field of poppies.

For the rain made little 
            affective adjustments
to the architecture.
For the architecture was a long
lecture lost on me, negative 
mnemonics reflecting 
            weather
and reflecting 
            reflecting.

     ...

I finished the reading and looked up
Changed in the familiar ways. Now for a quiet place
To begin the forgetting. The little delays
Between sensations, the audible absence of rain
Take the place of objects. I have some questions
But they can wait. Waiting is the answer
I was looking for. Any subject will do
So long as it recedes. Hearing the echo
Of your own blood in the shell but picturing
The ocean is what I meant by

*

You startled me. I thought you were sleeping
In the traditional sense. I like looking
At anything under glass, especially
Glass. You called me. Like overheard
Dreams. I'm writing this one as a woman
Comfortable with failure. I promise I will never
But the predicate withered. If you are
Uncomfortable seeing this as portraiture
Close your eyes. No, you startled

     ...

Unhinged in a manner of speaking 
Crossed with stars, a rain that can be paused 
So we know we're dreaming on our feet 
Like horses in the city. How sad. Maybe
No maybes. Take a position. Don't call it
Night-vision green. Think of the children
Running with scissors through the long
Where were we? If seeing this as portraiture 
Makes you uncomfortable, wake up

*

Wake up, it's time to begin 
The forgetting. Direct modal statements 
Wither under glass. A little book for Ari
Built to sway. I admire the use of felt
Theory, like swimming in a storm, but object
To anti-representational bias in an era of
You're not listening. I'm sorry. I was thinking 
How the beauty of your singing reinscribes 
The hope whose death it announces. Wave 

     ...

Numbness, felt silence, a sudden
Inability to swallow, the dream in which 
The face is Velcro, describing the film
In the language of disaster, the disaster in 
Not finishing sentences, removing the suicide
From the speed dial, failing to recognize 
Yourself in the photo, coming home to find
A circle of concerned family and friends 
It's more of an artists' colony than a hospital 

*

It's more of a vitamin than an anti-psychotic 
Collective despair expressed in I-statements 
The dream in which the skin is stonewashed 
Denim, running your hand through the hair 
Of an imaginary friend, rising from bed
Dressing, returning calls, all without 
Waking, the sudden suspicion the teeth
In your mouth are not your own, let
Alone the words