Poem for July 10

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment


It is the special circumstance of abundance
and abjection that makes for the blues

only modifying things
nothing under our boot-soles
only the troubled muddled
and hectoring of modify
your NO your YES
when hailing pleasure is hailing pain

a cautious lot, cocking the head in such a way
you didn’t know if you were being greeted
or being shunned
struck twice by lightning
twice in the american place

modification and sameness: kith and cruel wool
united states of metamorphosis


In the giant lawn lightning struck
Or the giant pond lightning threaded

you have to have a lot of patience
with bureaucracy to live in a river

speak hear see here touch this pulsive community
chartered by fathers fingering the humane
the men who had preceded them had rendered in-between things
more clearly, bringing into focus the gradients that connected
this to that, showing how you got from here to there

this patrimony tho
with everything in between missing or, at best, out of focus
that this ground be under something legal
with many cells


what these blues is
between two seams
sames a long styrofoam plateau
on this parenthesis
“take this message to the other side”

this long lonesome loft
from that
between NO and YES
of forever roll-over revolver

the garden is open to visitors between


The body knows where it is in space. It tells the mind more or
less. The body is very far from the stars the body says to the mind.
Sometimes things recede. Timing goes awry. Because doing some-
thing is always a resurrection, things tend to be done poorly. Driv-
ing a car feels like driving a person who is driving a car.

I’m trying to raise my hand in greeting, but my hand is choking
you. Sorry. I’m on the long road of a lawn. “It is human nature to
stand in the middle of a thing, / but you cannot stand in the middle
of this,” says the mind or the body. In the tide of the road, where
things get done: lying down and getting up.


The drive washes through the cemetery. The ground is all uneven,
gullied at a tight bend that trails down and away, back to the main
road. Like any place, the cemetery has ways leading in and ways
leading out. The driveway is sometimes a waterway. Entrance. Exit.
Head. Mouth.

-Aaron McCollough, from No Grave Can Hold My Body Down (Ahsahta Press, 2011)

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