Motor Disturbance

Could be inching my way across moth turbulence
(wrong country? Honduras?—No! No! Nepal!)
due to a motor disturbance in some itinerary program computer
that failed to take into account my aversion to hot weather decay

and my love of eternal white silence
the result of a motor disturbance of some solar slope
I keep sliding down thanks to my own personal motor disturbance
the one that makes me puff up and screech (dog stars)

when I’d rather celebrate a White Cliff Mass
with friendly co-innocents in a clean commune above the clouds
where I won’t have to cerebrate how to—how to—rip up stuff
work-oriented ancients painstakingly mass-produced 

in vast sheets of legible shimmering matter
inspired, don’t you know, by a longitude-latitude motor disturbance
(Earth plunges into new electro-magnetic black space field)—
exhausting! I can’t control my current motor disturbance—

so clicky, soppy, so picky—like the one that led me to assume
“disfunction” was Brooklynese for “wedding” (nervous laughter)
which prompted me to dial NERVOUS first thing today
seeing as my booster clock…burnt oasis…plastic goo

so much of it this time of—of—
the operator’s voice was laden with irony
irony I have no time to savor
due to the motor disturbance of this end-of-year period

which seems to be hurtling down a sleety dynamo
throbbing with hallucinatory instructions
each syllable of which lasts out a year of its own choosing
thanks to a blessed motor disturbance in the Heavens

i.e., your lips, gills, hills, tips—
a very contemporary motor disturbance as gorgeous as blue plates
spinning and wobbling and falling
conjoining to form Sky, replacing the old peeling one…



Sometimes you must persevere in the face of a huge motor disturbance
that settles on a whole city’s brain like a big black bowl
part of an everywhere-in-the-universe night
like the one I see when the two mountains wrestling each other lie down

which happened in my mind just as I careened into your arms by mistake
to wish you a half-gnawed ear (new motor disturbance, I hate you!)
to wish you a Happy New Year Times (got it right for once)
and Happy New Year Times is my favorite motor disturbance of all

next to you who can transform stalled traffic into a beautiful panora—
(never get to finish this word in this particular lifetime)
ma—ma—a mama of endless blinky fields
with unicorns that honk as they twine around each other with languorous etc.

thanks to a permanent motor disturbance
just like mine, like yours, like ours, like our ecstasy
the ecstasy we left our nation in our will
to help it shudder its way through its inventive mole-run

the one its machines invented due to their one great motor disturbance,
the one that was supposed to prevent all the others,
the others that make me unable to figure out why
there’s not one motor disturbance in the January sky

and in the winter air
with you there
everything in my life just seems to jell,

Poems by Kenward Elmslie are used by permission of The Estate of Kenward Elmslie.