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River Rail

Edwin Torres



         the offer of walking
         above our breathing
         the action on the outside

         the sensory invisible
         above our machinery
         of leaving

         our expansive thievery
         equal to leaving things
         where they were

         before arriving
         before the rivering escape
         of we

         becomes the encounter
         with a practical split
         among recognized forms

         the cognitive invisible
         by the walking of the visible

         the inside visible
         in the swing of our heel
         naturally alive

         our way to remain
         as our tail remains

         we arrive





         how many goodbyes and hellos
         are there in the ocean
         how much time gets to fall, between waves
         between words, all those goodbyes
         all those hellos

         what is that time between
         that ancient significance of time
         almost born
         of words about to land
         hello is a gathered mobility

         a hardship for someone who dwells in movement
         a family in the act of mobility
         wave upon wave in bloodlines
         the ocean, consistent with hello
         is master of goodbye

         when will you join
         the conversation, ocean says
         standing at the edge of what you join
         is it any different
         the other way around

         what can I catch
         right in the middle, with this pen
         this paper, look
         just look and stand
         do nothing but stand at the edge

         and ocean will speak
         will come to you
         at your feet, the waves
         coming up and back, your toes
         at the lick, of hellos





              support one star point
with vapid dismissal, northness
                              in the elevated solstice
              the early beyond of a knowing ember

take heed, and goose across
              the folding migration, many envelopes yet to fly
obelisk inscriber, affect feathernight by hopi vibrate
                              cheat the clouds

              arabesque the indivisible object
the seer’s wall, maybe dressed
                              maybe fought — might feint, all points west
              all crowns relieved by a disappeared sun

                                            and yet here’s the risen quill — did you disappoint
                              by disappearing — or is that clever use of d words
                                            a dis in the prefix of evening
                              a kind of darkling that takes the breath away

              sleep for a day’s worth of knowing
— what completes
                              without —
              what is, saying so…

                              …to clear the voice
inside the road — would take more
              than there is to imagine
                              — more from the internal beyond

connect look with how, the breaks
              pretend to see how the puzzle of time
                              is a reminder, a string,
a celestial wrinkle, across how many digits left to bury

              another night, a torn expanse
blooded interweaver, crossed — was it there,
                              but look, was it us
seeing the look, the connect — that so much of make, is good for

                              and there it goes, doesn’t it — just, something to capture
                                            something to remind the fingers,
                              the human extension, of what passes
                                            from one world, into the next

              the one to sit at, when stars decide
                              to drop their glory, into the lucid rememory
that passes, again, for the capture
              of one more version — of removed interpersonal planes

                              at level
              with the framing devices
                                            that we — if we can claim an us — can be
                              the us we claim

for a moment of a second's impasse
                                            the turn — now captured
              in the directionless kiss
of word, of mouth, by brain — where the landing

              presents something soft, a reminder of what feels
                              before the touch becomes the neck,
the sift, or the eyes on the back
              where the fingers know best, the gathering

                              of trails, of passages
                                            imagined — as hairs that stray the cerulean hollows
              — where you, soft, where stroke
                              is borealis, applauding prima-dawn





what is that part of me floating in the water that I can’t touch
that collection of mystery interwoven by dust and daze
how far am I trying to extend this reach so I can swipe a part of my past
just out there, surrounded by water, another island to claim
another intersection in the byways

in a field of water, an island will surface
as often as its gaze
the tips of understructure, invisible
to the looking glass, the fractured nobility
of land in the mess of its grounding

what is the open sine wave from my seat, here on the train
to the empty rooms and hallways of broken brick
out there, on a patch of earth formed by spirits to endear
the imagination, to re-involve the revolvement
of intricate wordplay, at the core of my personal castle

in the dungeons of a supernova, where impulse is a tributary
for reason, a body will rise out of its echo
invisible to the solar reflection, the sheet of glass
masquerading as sky, in the mess of celestial

who can count on fingers, align the proper number
of lines in a poem for permutations of obscurity
to latch onto incoherent talismans, out there,
on the interplay of satisfaction with reversal,
a dome to submerge most imperfected hearts

in the borrowed inversion of another poem, is where
the brother remembers the blood, the coursed
enveloping that frames a sunrise
out of its reflection into the woven path, the daisy chain
of neuro seers, that clean up the mess




OH WATER MAN (published in “Yes Thing No Thing” Roof Books 2010)

shrill croak-tones
octave venus
milliographic fillia water
slides me towards infinity

I have left the green she of dragonfly sailors slayling by
streams of dribs of beautilays from my
back blewndown behinded left assume-ily-ing...
I have chiesled a chist-niche trust fund for myself in
globs of worldular consumony, those
that wish they couldy,
wish I haddy, been,
I, havvy had, a load...of experience, showveled from these
shouldobos, beneathed mountainous rovolos
reached ever’d’evileep periolous owerful
everful sub-semblances, of
monomoments in charge...strung together by cautionous, I.

Oh...Water Man,
Oh...Water Man,

She is lugubrious, invisible.
She is...leaves - not there - rain - on you.
Skypiss lugubrious dipshit - damp some - ain’t it...
She runs into glass walls - an invisitor, by the shaft of her own samba.

Oh...Water Man,
You’re made of things you said you’d never be.
On my side, etched in sylla-graphicantations...shrill your boots of infamy...
Poseidous-water-faun-filligree...water-lawn ‘irically.
Miracle-ly, through its own spine, tragickalley falls to…

Gravity’s seedling sits my plow,
kalimba-ly sings for a pillowless throw...carries her head into water.

Where I thread my needle with sirens and sound.
Where my beaut mute pumice boot treads true...sorries the sand...
cocoons the cilderness...possibles the planet...whirls the dervish...threads the mold...cajoles the konunga
of an inspired dobro, a dot-speck pigeon fancy,
pidgin-englished into bosom heave...I have
ammassed a suck-collection of crow gape.
Crouped the pus combed back from the Caves of Rupia...
on lonely nights - when curls puke febrile suspension.

HAH!!! The Nubs of Knowledge Along My Path Go, “BOO!!!”

Raipu, Raipu...Loosen The Noose!!!
I’ve sandpapered papuma’s through Palovia’s papoose!
Been chuckin’ Appaloosa...
Been gived, given dawn a-lavial-lindstrom.
Worn the rubbers, cranked of myth-storm...acummin’…Thunder Tonsils...Crane The Rafters!
I have carved millions on my side,
shattered the Big Glass along the fold and let the messofillia
and carve the course.

Oh...Water Man,
Oh...Water Man,

water bones me back to back to
water muscles me back to back to
water builds me back back to water
water mans me

I have placed the weight of eternity seven-stone cranberry
from beneathing malamattress skywash through
the folio-crackerbeards, through the must of milky wheat-potch, through the orbiting santatia...
gravitated wean-sapple through avoidance...
and there, was where I placed my trust.
Where I was, was a place, where I would stay.

Square-ily, curvily I, had plucked a tailor...invisible for a wish. Had him
sew scones in the skywash...foam-first, whish for a cranny, a crook, from my sides.
A sack of what lies behind...the simple-tude of continuous, I.

Oh...Water Man,
these boys have sweethearts and crocodiles
they fall
pulled like beads
from the ass of the sun...
hear me now
for I have sinned
it has been
invisible lifetimes since my last rain…

Is what pulls the tides into remembrance.
What courses the veins of revolution. The map of licks.
At some point of exit, when you deem it worthy to make acknowledgement
of my...ever-being, of my...presence,
when you find it upon yourself, to have that moment of recollection upon which
I, had a name...wait.

For I have had two O’s, H’d and riled many frees, O’s and ozones... I have stood still for my naked rampart, loyal, layel, lay-vely low...
Slick to river lurk, I have coalesced 4-legged beggings from the furrows of
accounta-bulls, the-what-the-wheels-accounta-bleels, of sea-balsam-amoeba-me-rosea-sea-cows...
ever-seeing, I
have, around mankind, beyond a sickle, to the left of my rancor...wounded what I’ve gone through…

afore, frist, afrarre, frond,…

                      there is a man
                      he had wireless glasses without the lenses
                      shoes with no soles
                      a shirt with no back
                      a book with no title
                      spoke without word
                      had me with his stare
                      made me talk to him without word

Mine, invisible to what scatters.
What brings, to my love’s glisten, his eyes of language.
Water-lingual-eyes that glisten
like the lakes they are.


LAPLAP - FLOBBYWAVES....sowahanna man…

what amaz-aylings,
it behinds you, while in you,
it finds you, while with you...
                    O...Ho-Sanna Man, Ojo...Water Man...
                    mostly, I am in you
                    mostly, I am of you
                    and mostly, of all slip of sand-scatter...this:
What mantle of man-matter might make man...matter…?

Is a man,
is a glass prayer suspended in the wet, she,
wades through, what, I’ve gone through...her,
place H aside, on her side, her rosary wash,
her ‘lysian fields, her moonlight caress, her to find one
corner to gallop into...

Aipur, Aipur, sever the sun!
I have the map of licks, clucked under my tongue!
Yahtzi-Vox-Pi-Opuli...have fortly
Placed my limbs in coherence to the galaxy.
Boned the Blanket! Swilled the Plankton! Dived the Diven Din of Grunge...
Squirreled arborial fantasm glocks in self-echanismic ertigo lunge...
Spittled ink-spattle on the test of time...carried the surf, where the shattered soon rise…

Quickened the pace of glaciers, where there is no air...mine.
What slips the pull into remembrance,
Where I have memories of the past difficult to quash themselves.
Where I have memories to make the future make me difficult make themselves.
Where you make me make myself make me make you into me’ture you in me I...quash,

quash, quash
               the givering gash,
gash, gash
               until we cross,
cross, cross
               the rivering chance,

               of seas I long for…

               of seas I hope for…

               I see my home…

               she calls me home…



Edwin Torres

Edwin Torres is a NYC native and editor of The Body In Language: An Anthology (Counterpath Press). His books of poetry include; Quanundrum: i will be your many angled thing (Roof Books) which received a 2022 American Book Award, Xoeteox: the collected word object (Wave Books), and Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press). Anthologies include; New Weathers: Poetics from the Naropa Archives, The Difference Is Spreading: 50 Contemporary Poets on Fifty Poems, and Poets In The 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement. He is currently hovering the zeitgeist, occasionally unearthed in Beacon, NY.


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