Search View Archive

A person sits next to a fugue, To Light Out, Now Then

A person sits next to a fugue

A person sits next to a world of possibilities
leaving the latch unlocked—
I have a question about fugues
but I’m embarrassed to ask it
while the weather’s on the bounce
as if all other things being don’t
the fugue appears through the unlocked window
as omnipotent as the horizon’s 360
rising like a struggling would-be fabled bridge
like the fog of a Jewish New Year
quite slippable in hypotheticals
cables and the long space of above-water air

A person sits next to a world of almost situations
making a living as a memoir
thoroughfares fill with drizzle scrambling
progressive strangers with their ding eyes
I am sure a fugue is near
in the almost-echo of park benches—
this is not the city of the blessed worker
Americana seduction like original face paint
reflected in a gridiron puddle


To Light Out

To light out is to burst into young legs
toward an opening in the newly made wild
toward the stain of gold machines we have set in motion
around the curtain of bad weather

in the opening of its glimpse the conversation flutters like gardens that are the garden’s brother
I say Pass me my book of gardens
to cultivate a generosity of opening

You say the gardens are heavy with saffron associations
and we are kneeling in its applied territory
a blistered web of circumstance
is distributing the way we desire ourselves
having been built by these environments

Take your horn out of the night garden of constellations
and vow me a club of body
an endlessly opening frontier of rapid sketches
pressed between the pages of knowing


Now Then

It’s an inconvenient kind of flatness accepting the offer of the road above.
You know alone flashes filmic in its own projection
curdling the light, moving forward into natural relief
with quick-handed horror-movie humor
the bodies pile up and disappear
clouds like magnets on the move:

O, to be a strippling world with a certain thrown-her-glove-in sense of possibility
heralding forth the blanketing noise
underneath the familiar surface
like an animal stuffer shapes death into life
Oh right, but it’s just noise
in a traditional hero rectangle of frame

On the Mississippi Audobon killed the birds then drew them time held out in small delicate etchings
still warm though rapidly aging
in his hands, the paper’s a trigger
big enough to walk inside
the chapel of a bird’s body
is any body
breathing with ink


Karen Weiser

Karen Weiser has published four chapbooks.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2005

All Issues