<Previous      Next>
Re-mantic CentOde

O air,
O death, sole kiss for silenced mouths unfed,
O wester wind let’s not.
O the mind, mind has mountains, cliffs of fall
shaped by teeth O with O the letter O a howl
and O, I am afraid!     Our love has red in it     and
A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green—
O what a physical effect it has on me
in my life O this life.  Yes, this one.  O, it!
O, to release the first music somewhere again, for a moment,
o’er the disordered scenes of woods and fields,
o’er evening hills they glimmer; and I knew
 “I FELL IN LOVE.” O none of this foreseen.

                                               O reader of the future,
listen to the night as it makes itself hollow. O stars
your power, like a language of whiteness, O Ocean.
O one, O none, O nobody, you,
O Walt!—ascensions of thee hover in me now.
O ruddy god in our veins, O fiery god in our genitals,
O speak of not enough.
O enter an apostrophe
to blaze     O the bring of blood
into new bodies:  O gods above, inspire
(-ologies be damned)
an interminable list of romantic O’s.
O verb, O void,
O evidence of blood,
O, for a Life of Sensation!
Darkness, O Father of Charity, lay on your hands.
Make me, O Lord, a last, a simple thing,
op’ning the soul’s most subtle rooms.
And O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson,
O diver, to be sea-surrounded by a thought bled white—a blankness as likely as blackness.

                                                                      (O we waited so long in the waves.)

Then O, through the underwater time of night—
O. O. O. The libertine bell.
You give, O lips, the supreme tortured moans.
O give me burning blue!
O help me through the fact of you, unfasten
O Eros, mangier than I, the nervous coils.
Send our delicately scented innards our O so small

presence O—
                       O, let me suffer, being at your beck.
O fluent one, O muscle full of hydrogen,
O now no longer speak,   but rather seem.
O laugh it out roundlaughingly, the laugh of laughed-at laughians!

And this:? < O
O caring and not caring outside me quiet,
turn us again, O,
to the O’s collapse
and sighing.  These lives are not your lives, O free,
O desire reclining.
                                   O heart whose beating blood was running song,
blowing, blissful, open.  O most immaculate bleached
of speed.  O limit case.  Why linger?
The beach ignores the power of words as words ignore the power of things O stranger
behind me. O world that forces joy,
no is the O, the concentric; how to open the O, undo the easy-for-me round of renounce?
                                                                                O causes,
                                                          O certainties,
                                O, vestiges that limit us, O, vast machinery of what—
call it a night.    O soul.   Flow on.     Instead


“Re-mantic CentOde” borrows and builds from lines taken from the following poets in the following order: James Schuyler, Federico García Lorca, Peter Gizzi, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christian Hawkey, Ted Berrigan, Arthur Rimbaud, Kenneth Koch, Rod Smith, Robert Duncan, John Clare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Berryman, Walt Whitman, Rainer Maria Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Paul Celan, Hart Crane, D.H. Lawrence, Andrew Zawacki Christopher Rizzo, Alex Lemon, Ovid, Morgan Lucas Schuldt, Matt Hart, Karen Volkman, Allison Titus, John Keats, Charles Wright, Theodore Roethke, George Herbert, James Joyce, Andrew Joron, Frank Stanford, Jack Gilbert, Anne Boyer, Stéphane Mallarmé, H.D., Joshua Kryah, Lisa Jarnot, Olena Kalytiak Davis, S.A. Stepanek, William Shakespeare, Heather McHugh, John Ashbery, Velimir Khlebnikov, Kristi Maxwell, Matthew Zapruder, Robert Johnson, Dan Beachy-Quick, Wallace Stevens, Barbara Cully, A.C. Swinburne, Harryette Mullen, Kiki Petrosino, Lisa Russ Spaar, G.C. Waldrep, Liz Waldner, Barbara Guest, Frank O’Hara, Nate Pritts, C.D. Wright