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imitation      an aesthetic


(1) the kinetics of the thing. A poem
is energy transferred from where the poet got it, by
way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the
reader. Okay.
Projective Verse, Charles Olson

rough wind spins aluminum
umbrella arms, bending time between
halves of a working day

I have been here before
and you, just Tuesday
checking email for word of my memoria

the green ubiquity of Starbuck’s second life
pixelates in lossy compression
each time a mouth opens & closes,
opens & closes

the present stick-on arch,
stacked slate levitating, weightless
under pressure to flatten desire, to
accept the granite countertop,
the Connecticut aesthetic in lieu
of the kinetics of the thing










Passing the fence,
light passed through the slits
between redwood slats
becomes motion and its proxy.

Each box of long light
frames bicycle spokes
spinning in fence shadow.
Forward goes back, spokes spin
impossibly, according
to the speed of revolution.

It's the trick Muybridge played
on the eye, letting horses gallop still,
proving hooves touch and don't touch
the ground. Projected animation.
Each animal frozen, moves.

It's the trick Milton Friedman played
on Chile. Lay the country on its side,
behind a slotted fence.
A quick succession of images
spins the revolution forward or back.









Coastal Plains

Headlights turn road's breath,
a thing, a mile
between our afternoon storm
and follow restless white
down to the creek.

August unspools thread
its sandbar pulled apart by waves,
pushed up somewhere else.
Water holds pines to land,
people to pines, ideas
to people:
where there is water,
it is safe to burn.

Imperial dandelion 
from boot tread abroad,
whose seed spread soft
as a harbinger
of terrible equality 

of destination, of children
who know dale & croft & glen 
from billboards.
What can lawn carry
between Cape Cods for rent?

The bounty of so much water,
what comes from a thing
and not the thing itself.










We never said we would not sleep with guns,
but brother we both took from granddad
there is a bullet on the end of every barrel
and we want no truck with bullets.
Yet here is a revolver,
all carousel of spark and spit.
Its chamber shines under oil-slick cloth
in self-defense the way a winter jet
peels ice from the cracks
in a Minnesota runway. Polished steel
beats back no boats of the rising tides.
Love. Fear. They flood the world entire,
where misfired mirror neurons,
even mistakes, echo for years.







Phillip Barron

PHILLIP BARRON's first book of poetry, What Comes from a Thing, won the 2015 Michael Rubin Book Award and will be published by Fourteen Hills Press. Elsewhere, his writing appears or is forthcoming in New American WritingJanus HeadOrionSaw Palm, and Radical Philosophy Review.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2015

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