excerpt from ORE

by Christophe Casamassima



In the beginning was the word
He bore his threefold soul in his hand
His poems: singing theses
Even the winds will shy away from their dust.
His subjects swell with size
streetnoises, loving sleigh
We look and we see Requiem
No poetry before ours
in the insane who clip you and store you
Ping, ping, ping! throstle-whistle,
Of every glistening leaf.
a limb—who looks? Who falls into the water,
ones own language
leafing through lips like
angelic leagues and you
Look at how quiet the world is
the names on the bark rubbed off—
I don’t want to express it in words!
the decalogue of the
hurls and
devouring his own loves!




and when we come back we’re floating on
the brilliance of the going on, the loneliness
climbing or falling no one would say
which happiness is? do you hear
What was in my way I cut down.                               
now we’re senseless                                                    
in half a second a sphere a hundred-eighty-six
This new pen hardly works at all                                
That singing in the streets or was it screams              
when I meant fault
is he watching? Is it expired space                              
and what is I, I love for my I                                      
and what is the word that stands for these things
Or lines on oneself as a pissed off William Blake, the wryness
the harmed who will not harm.

but war, too, is dead as the lotus is dead
and this is the poem I have chosen
and the wildness of it all context. Siam
asleep next to music which renders the mind
from its lone eye a voice sobsinging,
the way the saved look down at the damned,
calling attention, calling. You recall, “Nothing
and the end of loneliness,
the loop meaning safety, meaning me too,
Two breaths, two patterns of echoes.




a gape
christen your book (you balk)
to break out again
to accompany me now.

lathe when the wave pours open
Gins that spin to stoke the lapping of their liquid song,
How done to know it beginning not done.
and grew and plunged like waves
to maim and hamper in the name of order,
beneath the weight of winter and the unending
what page the lack of face.
and all day listened for the dripping of water
there isn’t enough blood in my veins to write my name
I sleep and wake and sleep and wake and sleep and wake and
Your teeth are sewing (sound-of-whirring machinery)
The line part of you goes out to infinity.
The note: “To be killed this way is quite alright with me.”

and then I took a deep breath, I said,
nose? he says, It’s the ruins of civilization
The thing, he must have wondered, could it be put to rest, there, in the glance,
Poets who mistake that gesture
and all that means—stirred earth,
choice the thing that wrecks the sensuous here the glorious here—

the middle. I assume I
I thought, painfully, but the whole mind,
but to hold it holy in his rough ideal of
As I turned its face to regard me, myself was nil, nihil.
(and how “nothing” is both always and never a lie—




What kind of staircase
missing, without a mainstay, mast, or bay in which to be
he, beached in that chair, knows I’m
Nothing, this froth, pure poetry
to which he agrees, knocking
into abstract concepts:
this page, these words.




I can see the proof, lofty, invisible
That is the tune but there are no words.

I felt the stirrings of new breath in the pages
And left this message: “You got the whole thing wrong

Because it only builds up out of fragments.
The indoors with the outside becoming part of you

Of speech. The story worn out from the telling.
you reading there so accurately
(The lines once given to another, now
Toward a flustered look
Because these pauses are supposed to be life

But the name Love what is my love’s name

It’s sufficient to choose one, or a fraction of one.
Of whatever came over us. Perhaps the old chic was less barren,
Got kicked into the sod of things.

These things sitting like mail to be read
The dark around you. It was all
Yet all was desiring though already desired and past,
To the end of the line




               The first word would be of the susceptible being arrived,
               Counterpoint of the void in which
               Instead of hunger, died of love

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