Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Flux Paroxysm: A Found Poem

Jumping the shark a bit, but here's the first part of the found poem from the SoWa endeavors with David Oates, et. al. - enjoy!:

II. Flux Paroxysm
composers: Jason King and Claire Nail

Giants move
huddled together,
a tribe
in KKK regalia
rough pioneers, hard men
act out Ahab after vengeance
unhinged by luck
dirty quarrel, barks of laughter
bones will crack
rips of sobbing
gated community.

Hard to keep one’s temper pregnant
fleecing the rich
the storm, the insistent rain
too much rotten air.

All the ways of water:
the river churning
shining in metaled light
hard pressing, air chilling
stung with January.
Is it leaching into you?

A hundred years ago,
I have to stop and remember
a point of escape:
a deer, a bald eagle, an Indian fishing—
this riverfront the slingshot
path skirting a stand of burnt timber.
The map changes, the essence remains.

All the ways of water
funnel through the lobby
centuries of hydrology:
arithmetic and penmanship—
pouring, counting, constant needled rain.

Are there mysteries in Portland?
100 years ago today, fathers slept unaware.
Daughters tiptoed out early, strays of night.
Loping horses, where women now shop for shoes.

Let’s write the book on mystery now: come wild under its power.
Imagine the Banfield one evening rush hour, if we still rode horses,
if we stood up in the saddle and spread our arms.
The West of Imagination,
as free as anywhere Oregon, high boots gleam.

I’ve crossed a hidden river, live with vast infusion,
dripped mist,
through alders and cottonwoods,
the vegetative complexities
shave grass, hills of blackberry vine.

100 years from now, running late again
stale dreams stalled,
snagged, shaven,
a fetid cesspool,
sand and gravel.
Dire predictions:
all the unborn babies
poured unto the ether pavement.

Rehabilitate the lost;
why not the woodland path?
Live with vast infusion.
Touch the water.
Trace the watery extents.
Take that picture, damn it!

All the ways of water,
falling from darkness,
wishing they’d quit talking
strayed so far,


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