to 5

    on the 5ives




So soft upon the Scene
The Act of evening fell
We felt how neighborly a Thing
Was the invisible
E. Dickinson, #1278

No one invests
the pure laconic of death
with intention to say

Our name as it must have occurred            angelic
Spiritualism at the back of consciousness

To write the scene
you labored for : not erratum of loss
            (memory spill: foreground the able-bodied partner blanking out mid-stride)
Curl of the waves mimicking the
sound of a motherless voice
Under sky light of Hellas

‘Look how much
we have come to mean
to each other’
As if in prayer the
engine had stopped the hands
 unclasped banister & you
stood a lone figure at dusk
Bach’s fugues playing on gramophone

As if this too
were a proposal made under duress

Yet how to hear the plaintive insuperable
Askance of ‘was’
Birth’s ingot as Blake
related it

To type ‘ago’ is to re-
plenish a vocabulary
of captivity     ‘the urgency of its cosmic space
where you no longer were’

What did we fear
Whose voice under threat
Saw ‘master of tempest and fire’
And parted in the summer lightning

I can’t hear it….’

The colossal attraction
of these few letters
a way of writing into the flesh

            opposing its surface with another      labile monstrosity

‘I can’t in all honesty say I didn’t mean to use the blade, to cut into as well as from
the surface, what you saw then was an instant, reflected, the potential for action,
the possibility of doing harm, not the act itself.’

What amended
statement –
that one astonishes by what
is left inside the cut
figure –

yes, took the knife
it’s true, was part of
an act, you saw it
for what it was and were
perhaps frightened

‘There are times when you have stood there, in the open almost,
I couldn’t have resisted, flesh to flesh, there is this bodily pull,
as if you wanted me to die with you, climb inside and lose every
trace of my being….”

            Whence the violence to forgive is born

As everything in the
way of our living
is aghast with the hope-
lessness of yearly
deprivation, the voiced
insistent decrying
of a past
beyond measure
you couldn’t begin
to assess
a month without stars
a day
of complete black
scene of impervious

‘if you were the only
fragment of a time
left, how would you

shards   sybillant   patient
dexterity of the outcast
brilliantine letters spread across each page
vellum where the marked hand
lay across its partner    shadow & act     act & sha

            ‘Where is your proof’

            existence does return

            from the forest where yesterday we saw

            dry to the touch

            elm and ash

            in the spring wind

                ‘And this

                beautiful orange-colored bird’



                                                                            9 September 2003-27 January 2003




ARC XIV: NEST for Sharon

andrew mossin