The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2018

All Issues
MAR 2018 Issue




     I spent a year on a farm
     Trying not to freak out
     And holding food down

     Breathing and
     Remembering to breathe
     Waiting for the phone to ring

     The door to knock
     Or bust down
     But mostly smoking

     Listening to records
     Fixing on small
     Corners and edges

     Forgetting names for
     Colors and light and
     Contrast that’s distinct

     From sullen irony and glances
     And this week’s been a rainy one
     And there’s a lot of great people

     In town and lots of lightning bugs
     Living with Chris old
     Habits new routines and





for Robert Creeley                                                                                                                      

     The words are in the body
     The body is in the mind
     The big white cloud
     Is in the sky

     The stars are in the eye
     There is a butterfly
     On my finger

     The heart is in the Bronx
     There’s ‘nothing’ ‘in’ Delaware
     The brain is not the mind
     The future looks bright

     The chance is in
     The forefoot
     The money’s under

     The table
     The suitcase is on
     The mattress
     Because nothing

     Really mattress
     The mistress
     Has a mistress

     The numbers
     Don’t add up
     The money talks
     The belly breathes

     The words are in
     The mouth
     The tongue

     Tickles the pizza
     But the heart
     Stays alive
     The finger

     Is in the ear
     And the other finger
     Is in the other ear

     Because the dragon
     Is in the mote
     And ‘emotion’
     Is the caption

     Beneath the mote
     Beneath the caption
     Below the words

     Under the stars
     That breathe in
     A movie starring
     An actress

     From the
     Twentieth century
     Whose name escapes me





     And the poets that has the best of everything
     And the most that is a nothing better than a teaser
     A scroll made of paper a gold shiny piece of paper
     They shall walk by fries in summer by a jar of many ones
     I got a picture of gum that’s special
     Because it’s a piece of treasure





     I think I’m going crazy
     In this Jacuzzi
     On the mesa

     Pink lightning
     Burnt sienna
     The year is 1977

     And outlaw country
     Is way past its prime
     High as a kite

     The cue takes you
     Balls burst into flames
     Because there’s magic

     Then there’s magic
     Gasoline rainbows
     Neon shimmer

     Acid rain on
     Ordinary asphalt
     Reminds me of you

     When you’re very far away
     I push the sky
     That holds me in





     Red, yellow, and green triangles
     In the afternoon light school’s a
     Disappointment flunking optical
     Geometry flickering egg on summer

     Driving to the new age in a bathtub
     Full of junk after dark with a redneck
     Hippie, an elegant photographer,
     Stokely Carmichael, George Wallace, SDS

     The notorious Country Joe interview
     What do you do with the real magic
     All of sixteen, false raga shirt and jeans
     Tabula rasa in the shade won’t stay

     Because a point in space is a place
     For an argument insisting on emptiness
     When there’s no mind left to treat
     Light moves slower through water than

     Air refracting what stays or appears to
     Toss a pebble in the water of meaning
     And watch concentric circles form
     Smooth as eyelids sure as uncertainty

     As natural as miscegenation a feeling
     That happens to get there then you
     Arrive in a wild space material bliss
     The ground shifts all the time as

     Paradise must in every transformation
     There’s a want for clarity in the roar of
     Sense making like a shape you just made
     Up one afternoon asleep in the attic





     Can’t talk knife out of
     Feel like riding
     Instead a sweet dreams
     Inways indigo concede
     For the cicadas
     Feel like riding
     For the cicadas

     Most of the times
     I just don’t get it
     Earth rooms around a
     Camera call a satellite
     Mingle like a natural
     I just don’t get it
     Mingle like a natural

     About the chairs
     Fold back in time
     With sirens always on
     Ease by degree
     A head of curve
     Fold back in time
     A head of curve

     Body’s shape time
     T-bird on tube
     Pass the mind
     To your left brain
     Scratch marks you back
     T-bird on tube
     Scratch marks you back

     Motion as a verb
     Sound not a word
     Like wild jasmine
     A long way here
     Which way is America
     Sound not a word
     Which way is America



Kyle Schlesinger

Kyle Schlesinger is a poet living in Austin. Some recent and forthcoming poetry books include: Sydney Omarr’s Wild Children, with the artist Flynn Maria Bergann; Far & Away; and Life, with poet Ted Greenwald.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2018

All Issues