Monday, November 30, 2009

Camille Martin, "double sonnets"

Camille Martin

double sonnets

flagrant green and blue, smooth as a baby’s
earlobe, i’m guessing. the sun taunts, let us pretend
that you do not exist, except for your terribly useless
words. now who’s reaping jigsaw puzzle pieces?
windows! something gets lost in the translation,
and it’s not me, friend. the temptation is to repeat, to
repeat in rainfall (aptly) and only then do the dance
that has steadily been surfacing in a text-
bubble, taking advantage of the opportunity to make
a surprise entrance. windows! just so we’re all
clear, this morning i slipped in a puddle
of milk, but where did it go? a prognosticating
horse, where did it come from? windows! muddy,
streaked, crystalline, apprehended in a flash. lucid

errors tinted blue vibrato. i say hello thousands
of times a day. colours stand out against
colours they can’t see. like that. i hoard, greedily
hoard parts of broken toys in the holds below deck. then
i casually swab the deck, listening for the various
parts of the toys to decide they will follow
tradition, gloriously, but will they still be toys?
if puns like surfacing so much, why
are so many in the same category as a heartbeat
or a breath? windows! they flatter, they whittle
away knife blades to nothing. they remember vistas
in tuscany painters die for. they whisper,
“who opens me opens,” all the while hoarding
their own dim future in broad daylight.

* * *

re-inventing stairs takes a plot as subtle
as dust drifting onto a slope in undecided space:
position is everything. even the drift of stars
implies a story. gather enough stories and some
get buried forever in urns. the chosen know
that memory and sunlight forever walk hand
in hand, but they keep it a secret. they also
know that neither is true, and that both
weave their mirrors as loosely as spider webs.
they’d be shocked if the webs could reflect
the extravagance of a clear sky. but they do,
the reflection broken by more ripples than words
to describe water. in the words of an old saying,

the lake shifts its eyes in light of the hill. shifting
the alphabet is chancy, like the judicial system
of a virus. how soon vapour driven by chance forgets.
the gift of speech is soon followed by remainders
of debris. the creature remains hopeful, only to hear
an old echo on the tundra: “i am your voice
and i have your vote.” once again, frostbitten trees
as old as thieving birds that sing of flight.
even echoes of song aren’t the best antiseptic,
but then isn’t all life sacrosanct, so to speak?
thus embellished with disease, warriors would like
to be able to say they understand their spoils.
but what they really want to fathom,
they killed in battle.

* * *

let us pretend, though our philosophy
limps. a dragonfly constellation twinkles
like a photographic strobe in an attic. someone
(does it really need to be
someone?) snips the picture to simulate
the true life of the room. and why not, when
bedrock shakes even the far side of a life
of a life sitting comfortably, waiting
for the swift synapses of fleas traveling ocean
currents. winds buffet feathers. feathers buffet
parrots to no avail. parrots have their own
story, gypsy children walking across
a pasture and into an elevator. closure
in all its forms replaces

sunlight slanting through windows at crazy
angles. blood-sucking shepherds
roam the steppes. there is no hope
for movies or zombie genetics. try
again. a robber strides out of a saloon.
he starts changing the light bulbs of trees.
a doll takes his place playing cards.
tiny creatures curl up in the men’s ears.
a hush falls over the artificial room.
guard rails slowly rot as the elevator
glides along a catwalk, ruminating.
would it be a horrible mistake?
pagodas instead of pine trees?

Camille Martin, a Toronto poet and collage artist, is the author of Sonnets (Shearsman Books, forthcoming in 2010) and Codes of Public Sleep (BookThug, 2007). Her works-in-progress are a collection of double sonnets and a long poem based on her Acadian/Cajun heritage. Her website is http://www.rogueembryo.wordpress.com

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture, http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence

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