Saturday, February 20, 2021

Three Poems, Bill Knott


Like sponges dipped in nude
a kiss of guess on the lids-like
discloses its thicket shed, eye-cro meld—
Dawn blinds hair before face
or thornless angelus deceives
but I faint on the figure-eight.
Apparently newshour once came
to complete me but time seems
to indicate moot might intervene
if I with blazing rations wait. Yet
one little breath is misting itself
in suspension, a snapped off twig
or sap that jumps these yawns:—
art's aspirations leapgap, they make
the ripples on the lake linger
with circle-sorcery. Kindest
thought when all is lost, stray
dice tossed in a flagmap coffin.
Limbs are lethal clamped in sate—
but elusive lines on our palms
resemble a key's cut, jag-edged
to unlock fate's chain-chart. Future—
refuting that god who lets opposites
stride your unsaddled carpets.


To give this offensive death a gesture beyond
its candle-paint, a mist, dawn where night
enough is calm in the midst of vanishing,
being replaced by necessity, time that impaled
incognito your surf-lingering thoughts: or
shallow as snorkel knighthoods, a steady
decay of flesh as cover for, a shirtsense
existence. You outlast all year-end prospects
which eventually beach all that follows us,
a bundle of abbreviations that suddenly
replace the thankyou-writhed witnesses, intrusive
plumage that still invades my evasions—
peach-red kerchiefs tied to my tusks attest
your presence, the resonance your profile
worth. How could it have happened when
I am the same, how could this death have
the faintest taste of ripeness, the harvest
shuddering through heads of others: avid
they speak with a voice whose sighs slope
us toward homage, unique solo conclusive
impending voice that ensures descent, yet
the imminent nexus of this crush is a fizz
lesson leading us home, home always signals
its horizon to close-up, zoom-profile slashed
by blood, by innocence putative limbs substituting
your testifying prudent myth, whose words
always counter my indifference. Days to
love you, years to regret—the last teardrops
facile, leaky faucet concepts fucked continually,
instant island insert, an island discovered
to be without inhabitants is where nature
gathers its examples of us, more paradigms
a slope flowers towards, each foothold
another face, the rockface impervious to solo—
the privacy of the commonplace valued as
omission, found only as the opaque hornclock
levels its gaze lensward: techniques that sever
every sentence from firsthand endeavors,
each unique niche of it forever featured, no,
concealed by empty perspective bleeding true.


I want to commission a portrait of you
but I have no money and don't know
any painters to do it for free. I don't
want the portrait for myself, no, it would
go to you. I guess I'd like it if you thought
of me each time you looked at it but
probably after a while you would forget
the circumstances of its installment
and only glance at it from time to time
as if it had been there always, an old
heirloom or less, a thing kept not for
any memories it stirs but simply because
it has no practical use and therefore
woud take too much thought to throw away,
too much effort. If it's successful, that is—
And though I have crammed everything
into this portrait which does not exist,
it remains unsatiated, stays compromise.
A thousand campaigns of insightful rummage
cannot glut it, satisfy its imperial essence,
remote ethereal framing. I crave its emptiness,
never-to-be-filledness. It blinks at me,
idol of smithereens, filled with shadow-hush.
Spacial justice, harmonic weight, pinned dream.

Courtesy billknottblog.

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