Goatrooster Grotto

Goatrooster Grotto

The Furthest Point In The Forest

The furthest point in the forest
that you frequent with wings and desires
in the hour you undress, at random,
making good use of a sonnet's mysterious fog;

in the vestiges of the poem's ruins
you set up the door of your name
against the shadow substance, where you take refuge
in an inescapable moment and you are restrained,

my love is in these surroundings,
in the things that serve as borders for you
and the things that declare me guilty: sleepless love

at the margins of your body, that transforms
so much of everything I see into your image,
there until I fit inside of the future.

--Miguel Marvilla
tr. by Tim Kahl

Junk Human

such a dark sky the November sky in March, she says,
the universe's insurrectionist pigeon whirls in my skull a package
of lights, she says, the branch will blossom, certainly, she says,
the barbaric branch in the window, the white blossom, this coastline
in the middle of the room, the TV screen, the firescreen on the horizon,
of the dark the firebird plunges into the handkercief of the baldachin, that
is not really March, she says, I am a March child and I know March
there the sky is open, the crystal-hard air, but that is
no March sky, she cries, the black silk bodies and women's
umbrellas, they are draped
about and without wind movement, the mist of the rain, dust-
matter, dust-chatter
in the eye in the flesh, the return of the flames, the violet glitter in the
the column of fire burning tapestries (oil), wintershowers
on tap, the sky of Chernobyl ripped open, I say,
or the black flag above the opera house, who died
again, we
cry as if out of a mouth, sincerely, an insincere audience, I
musical mesages, dracaena trees, Chinese
ladies' men, tiny little blondes
a grave's cross free of snow in the park's grass : like an Easter hiding place
in childhood
the variously colored and shaped little heaps
of dog shit
and above the meadow the human meadow the tour of Finnish saunas
with naked feet / or running naked through the meadow leaving
footprints of oil
as I ran naked through the meadow, she cried, my hide
smoked through with rain, all themes made taboo, I say,
the cap slanted on the head, the elegantly patterned snow : the
pair of daw's feet, the worn-out mesh of nerves, I say,
the flight patterns in my head in the early morning, the phantom
rocket trails, the rooster-colored fantasies,
as if I were a smoked cuttlefish, junk human, then
the sounds loosened from the sun, already the deep darkness
in the morning,
the iron horizon, she says, the man in the drain for example,
the view of the snow chamber : the Pisano's
feelings about flowers : the hypocritical art of memory, or whatever, the
disorganization in the eye, it looks like a windmill or something like that
huskies from Oswald Wieners' inquiring perspective, it was
a blood-red glimmer, a lock / lips in the first still-life shot
of Ingrid Wieners' face growing fuller with swollen
blood-red lips, the waving frayed blood-red tongue between
the walls of the house and once in the haze of early spring the bizarre
blurred church towers
or the memory of a childhood perspective, like the baths
in the the bathtub she was stamping her feet in order to be washed /
sauerkraut or mash stamped with bare feet, while the big
whips the bathtowel in the snow in front of the
house, what
is survival? what
is an optical dream, sea-snow, oh
I remember
a mighty linden tree at the height of

--Friederike Mayröcker
tr. by Tim Kahl

The Pearl
Write the word and seal it with your tongue,
lichen to lichen, until your eyes
roll back in your head to see
the dark side of silence. Whites show
nothing but white, still usual
in its veined pallor. Oh speech of sight.
The word is a pearl inside: the clam
is still, invisible, and pure, like stone.
The word is written and no one can read
it, because eyes are gone and a trip
inside is out of the question.
So shove your foot forwards and purge yourself
there, with glee. The broken shutters of a shell
will cringe dully in your hand,
and the pearl will bite you
where the sun strikes it at any proper angle.

--Cynthia Davidson


Cynthia Davidson has published in OLD CROW, SNARK, ACM, PRIVATE, LUCID STONE, SLIGHTLY WEST, POET'S EDGE, BLACK RIVER REVIEW, WIRE, etc. She teaches at Univ. of Illinois-Chicago.

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© Copyright 1997 by Tim Kahl