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Tag: G.C. Waldrep

The Doubled Organs

Lungs, kidneys, testes,

the eyes, fine-spun apparatus

of the middle & inner ear;

no chronology in the

body’s bilateral symmetry.

Remember the tombstones

made of flame, the flesh-

pistons of the starlings

lifting from the field at dawn.

You cannot pass. You

cannot touch, with the hand,

certain edges of the body.

A ladder is a vertical

rigor, love’s imperfect

tense. Strengthen the debt,

the myriad attractions.

Preposition vs. proposition,

when God is watching

vs. when God is “when.”

As a door opens or closes

seemingly by itself

means a storm is coming.

What is found vs. what

is believed to have been lost.

When we walk on water

it means the water’s ice.

Repent of the whole body

on the body’s grounds:

a mansion, richly appointed.

Here is a golden lamb, &

here is the fingernail

of a saint. The soul walks

into the body the way

three men walk into a bar,

only it is no joke. You

cannot pass. The starlings’

flailing ore against the wind’s

dumb recompense, a red

depth, like light or volume.

When we were children

we played in the cemetery.

We leapt over the stones.

Love lathes love’s blue

accident, its Caesar-throne.

Be as gold, be vitrine. As one

impressed for mourning.

from Poetry Northwest 09.2 Winter & Spring 2015More by G. C. Waldrep from the library

Copyright © G. C. Waldrep
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Blood Ruminant

When one is a child one cannot tell

Calvary from cavalry, the hill

for the horsemen. Each means your death.

Letters are trees.

Behind them something

walks, or struggles. You strain to see

just what sort of beast this is.

Not a nice one, perhaps. Not like

the sleeping kitten,

or the Sunday school lambs.

There may be an army in the forest

and not kind at all.

A nick in the lead-based paint.

Or the soldiers themselves, soft & heavy.

Something walks behind them

and it might be language.

Language, the adults hiss, at the older boys

and girls with their musky scents, some-

times at each other.

As if what is hidden

comes to light, in this forest.

And if the figures be melted down, cast

& sharpened–      Here

is the church, and here

is the steeple.

The fingers inside blind.

Like the alphabet.

You add eyes—twin pricks—to the

O, to the e. And stand

corrected. Smooth, yes as a trunk, yes.

As the seam of a soldier.

Will I make a good one, you wonder. Just then,

beyond your range of vision, something

moves. Careful

aim. In the distance a bald hill.

Bare. Someone or something has left it.

A loamy odor, as of shirts

worn by men.

And you hear the baying, no

the neighing of horses.

The one with the black mane is the one

you like best.

It is a blind horse, but powerful.

It has thrown its rider.

Wounded, he has hidden himself. In the forest.

From which you cannot tear your

error. Or the barrel of your toy musket.

Your own lips moving. By way of

invitation. Or reply.

from DisclamorFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.


 The lights come on in the valley below.

When did you last believe shutters were for shutting?

       A domestic penance:

    these accoutrements, spall and mixed

design breaking like ribbons of speech

              on ribbons of water.

   Dialect is the truest gift,

self speaking self

         the way the trees did,

   For we are one yet we are many

                 and we rise.

  There was a time I could not hear

   because my ears were stopped with pure honey.

           I was standing still.

At what point do thieves cease to steal

   our stories, our painted shadows?

              —Proverb and joke.

   Carefully I copy the image

         of empire’s currency,

abstraction of the leader, abstraction from the mode:

           thus sex as artifact.

   Lilith, take heart.

         I have not let anyone in.

  Scientists now project the pollen count

           millennia into the past—

If I refuse to remove my hand from the guiding thread

   it is only because I have not yet pledged

   allegiance to foreskin, shent villa,

       sweet crystal psalm.

from DisclamorFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Cloud of Witness

Day’s cage again and this time I try for a breeze,

I open a window to the east and a window to the west and I think

that this is something like the holly that lifts its blood-

fruit bright to the morning sun, to the afternoon sun,

to the evening breeze though with less fervor,

and I think the phone will ring. It always has. It is not ashamed of this,

its function, like the hollyberries in their naked plenty

which bob and weave, the bees which,

seeking their gilded herm, their bone-skep pene-

trate and stop at one single point, as light in certain media.

I crave the aftersilence. Angry buzz as night falls:

that artificial sun, a carnegie of lovers. I had rather been weeping.

It is beautiful. It is almost fearfully beautiful.

It is most fearsomely beautiful. I am still thinking, I am still waiting

for the phone to ring. The holly plays host to its spare nation.

If I believed you what would change. Tell me.

from DisclamorFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

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