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Category: giovanni singleton

C is the Color of Attention or Abecedarianism’s Architecture


I am learning to write the alphabet. Again.

They were miswritten in times before now.

They strained to conform.

Instruction led hand across languaged battlefields.

Japanese. Tibetan. English.

Calligraphy lessons to loosen the grip of a pen held too tightly.

I quit the uppercase G to reclaim my own authority.

Make a different G, a Vimala G composed from two sized C’s.

The literary archive and published facsimile allow for eavesdropping on past gestures.

The written by hand could be more true, more alive, living still.

Handwriting as flesh.

Reconfiguring my relationship toletters.

The alphabet invests and animates words that

then make lines and expressive writingconnects,

communicatesand is an actof paying attention.

C opens focus from the cradle

to the. . .C being color,being colored.

The letter A beginsitand maybeit’s C’s ear.

Cas inchant.

Copious, candle, confession, creation, confidence, causation,

crave, collate, collaborate, cohort, calamity, Community. . .

I am relearning to write letters of an alphabet.

The letter C is present. C for consonance.

C for curse or collusion as C does with its sound of letters K or S most often.

Cloak and dagger.C makes a cup of coffee.

I observe C and fear for its openness or reluctance.


I watch and study and practice on ruled and unruly paper.

I stalk C to its core. Minimalism mirrored in one-letter poems.

Braided cable like The Beatles sing “Let It Be, Let It Be”

made in the key of C.

Third letter of alphabetic system.

C’s back rounds from an earlier version of a point stuck out.

Writing curves the body like C.

The practice of C produces constellated influence heretofore unknown.

Gathered up bones do music and shine like

Clifton (Lucille),Coleman (Wanda),Coltrane (Alice),Cortez (Jayne).

Scribbling scribed in poetry life.

All Californian caught tongue. Geographical trains of thought transmission

leave the station

and keep going on and on. . .

from AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper Find more by giovanni singleton at the library

Copyright © 2018 giovanni singleton
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Chapter 13
Elliptical Moonbeams in Time:
An Ethereal Wandering


What makes you feel like doin’ stuff like that? (Quincy Jones). Dance wears
down messy stress. Exchange economy. Ink to paper.

Often a road is not a road when looked at up close. See dirt path underneath.
Ink and paper meet. Labor. Bare feet calloused.

Great hope is Spirit. Most frequent collaborator: dream bringer. Discourse of
hovering/hunkering down.

Bees in bonnets unabsent. And o deer on forested front lawn. And manner
of speaking in squirrely trees.

moon HERE is minus (isotope) plus light

Soul reconfiguration of field from cotton and tobacco into a Pacific open one. Now cage-less. Oppen’s “Psalm” on stereo — elegance, grace, precision. Tattooed islands (like a Black Hawk one in Wisconsin) born then human connected dots. Demarcated brown flesh. Essentially all in the hearing.

Wings battered for love of leaps. . .the elevation viewed most contemporarily in b&w. A writing through cheesecloth; rigorous passage through death. Standup the stereotype. Watermelon out with the bathwater. Let us rejoice and be clean. Clean. Clear. Unambiguous but not unanimous.

Gray space between like some menu options are gray out and not available unless some other action takes place or the scene is changed. There is shielding the stain offers. The stain grows, becomes nuanced as if to color. Stained is permeation. With the -ed added, momentum leans toward addition.

Stained glass. The color spreads and becomes a part of glass. If Union says “possible”.

Allowance. Mother and daughter and gray space occupies the space between. In between. From wings, it could favorably make a parachute. One with an imperceptible rip (or tear) in it. Faint sound of water flowing over rocks.

waning crescent. . .

The word “tower” is self-announcing stature I have an aversion to. Avert my eyes from a gaze that would stare. Ordinarily. But now it’s every mention renews my belief (and fear too perhaps a little) in destruction, in death. Maybe a conversion from “tower” to “butter” would be better, both getting to opposite endings naturally or the same unnaturally.

The me—, my—I—ism of the Magic Carpet ride. Appropriately, weighted subjectivity. Take my hand, Thomas A. Dorsey wrote and sang. The “I” leads the way by way of “my” and ever on and under it’s own direction. Degrees of difference as breath shields and shades. The only “story” is the one never told or sold out.

Every 24 hours, singularity refuses to yield wholeness unless the whole is specified and/or sanctified. A groundless ground. Sun Ra would be an example. There is baptism, the washing and emerging anew ink stained black and back again.

from AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper Find more by giovanni singleton at the library

Copyright © 2018 giovanni singleton
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.