from Solarpoetics, 1-7


Wyh do we udnersntad a txet eevn fi the letetrs
aer in dsiordre       


The letter A
like a membrane
melliferous the animal flesh
bread baking   butchery

Alphabet of blood and ash

Litanie   incantation
from the back part of her throat
salt for the stew   salt
for the bread

Sings the poet maudite

When I in my youth
strolled in a blue wool dress
I strolled in a circle
of blue


The reading brain    the eyes moving constantly
while reading


The letter B
when black letters of fire
patterns of animus across
the landscape

The place in the distance

Where the air
smells of poisoned rain
take one step after
the other

Where you do not want to go

An amalgam of words
in sequential order here where
you walk ahead   stop
raise your eyes


We identify only ten or twelve letters    quick jumps
three or four letters left and seven or eight letters right


The letter C circles
zigzags   animates the plaster
death cast   a solitary
workwoman then

From the back part of her throat

When I in my youth in a blue wool dress
I strolled among   maidens   monks
and birds   I strolled in wind 
cold and heat   

Across green volcanic hills

There In shadows   haze   smoke
in three dimensional space 
piles of charred human
and animal bones

The history of the neurology of reading
the existence of a visual center


The letter D whispered
in the dismal quarter where
absence of a picture   the green
volcanic hills

Grain   grape   bread   wine

The story of the shepherdess
staged and scripted sub-plots  there
in a bucolic setting our lady grows
out of a mound of dirt

Her rose-bud mouth a crooked line

A breast vein as thick as a finger
the wedding feast   bread and meat 
yellow   sulfurous   a plume
of  smoke


Some written words lit up or hidden among
geometric forms


The letter E
elaborate the graphic design  
chasms and fissures
in the earth

Our lady grows out of rotting meat

Sings the poet maudite
I in my youth   concealed and disguised
walked in three dimensional

Heat   cold   wind   water 

Data  science 
pain   fear   phobia   multimedia
exhibitions   photographic art   illustrations 
the ritual of baking bread


Yeast spores are ubiquitous in air and on
the surface of grain


The letter F
the preserved body rotates  forms
sweet bacteria   then the skin
of the fingertips  

Chemical     molecular   where

In a circle they joined hands 
ruiners and destroyers engulf and consume 
victims and executioners ooze out
the urge

Staged and scripted sub-plots

Genesis to revelation
in elaborate letters   shift   twist and slant
disease   famine   torture   war
earth   air   fire   water


Everything begins in the retina
ten years of research on the reading brain


The letter G a graphic design 
sight   touch   listen   the sound
of grinding corn   the smell
of bread baking

Then she brews tea over a fire

There in reddish violet light
violet light    a jagged black line zigzags
a graphic design   the head covered
with a hood  

identity unknown    tree   rope   grain

The air smells of smoked meat
his mouth waters   taste buds pulsate
from a gap   a fissure
a flow of hormonal forces

Copyright © 2017 by Rochelle Owens. This poem originally appeared in Jacket 2. Used with permission of the author.