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The Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
Edited by Andrei Codrescu
ec chair poetick kultur anti-amthropomorphism
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the making and unmaking of person
Poetick_Kulchur

Poems
by Marthe Reed

which is

a pause which is 
which waiting, a breath

roses dampen the earth petals
sweetening the air

sun petals
a perfume or

rhythm       pauses
falls

petals beading
a texture established by opposition

(he) falls an opening 
a line a crushed flower

petals dampen 
her skin

sweetening   (she
falls and does not

pause on petals crushed       
memory scores a line

in opposition petaled memory
opening or establishing a

line (the play of a scent
under her

tongue a fine beading 
a pause or  breath

which is not
waiting over her skin

petals, he a
scored breath

there is no opposition in this
waiting defers an established rhythm

(he
inhales a scent of crushed petals

flesh which is
memory

(his tongue cannot alliterate these pleasures)
a pause or flower which 

opens memory
which is

hers a taste for
heat the sun a fine beading over her skin

a pause (petaled
which is which

    falls 
is a petaled rhythm 

alliterates desire
longing which is memory folded


1
pathed markets
turnings beneath window boxes herb
and flower

lemons depend upon the walled
parterre
roses twining the air

out of the kitchen door a child's
cry "fruit"
wild

succulence of water cress,
longing which is memory folded


2
beneath window flowers and 
lemons
a walled 

longing
the rising of kitchen
music par terre

pathed terr-
itory
into the wilderness of herb

and air  a cry
depends
upon abandon

succulence of fruit
a child roses memory


3
longing which is
a wilderness 
folded - 

lemons a pathed
desire
or walled territory

a music composed of
shade water
or a child

this rising or turning that wakes us
succulence of
desire

she speaks a rose into abandon
a flower calculus 



Lilith (1)

Of which I understand nothing
sleepily

      --Mina Loy, "Three Moments in Paris"


understand sleepily
nothing

(carved in
relief)

vertical channel
a necessity of which

I
nothing vertical

stands
a sign or surface

sleeping
a glyph

a preference for names
understanding necessity

collapses
relief (sleepily)

she understands
such glyphs of god

a channel worn by
his desire

but she has 
put away such things for now

consorting with 
necessity



Lilith (2)

The book is as old as water and fire.
      --Edmond Jabs

Telling of tales without words
And lies of no consequence

      --Mina Loy, "Three Moments in Paris"


consorting with necessity
in relief

layering there
lies, surface

of water and fire
surety, book

or sign
without words

sleep transforms necessity
taletail of desire

collapses in an
 "halfhour of being a woman"

consorting
with demons

glyphs of longing
a mere 

groove or 
channel, necessarily sleeping

lies form a 
surface of relief

a beautiful halfhour
demons

also beautiful
architecture of fire and water



Lilith (3)

Having surprised a gesture that is ultimately intimate
      -Mina Loy, "Three Moments in Paris"

a preference for necessity
for fire and water, heat of her lovers beneath her

a preference for tales 
mirrors and infant abductions

a preference for surprise
for a gestural vocabulary

a preference for deception
for the illusion of a green earth spreading before her hennaed feet

a preference for empathy
for eyes spilling thorns and petals, fragrance of suffering

a preference for angels as well as demons
sharp angled ache of a scimitar

a preference for laughter
for obscene gestures and filed teeth

a preference for fantasms
for her daughters' 1000 shimmering skirts lifted over their lovers

a preference for mourners heedlessly keening their grief against 
Samarkand's gold and green mosaic walls

a preference for ambiguity
for the mystery of the hermaphrodite and the bloodied earth

a preference for exuberance
for brilliant crimson and curcurmin embroideries, damasked cloth

a preference for secrecy and texts
the halfhour gesturing toward itself

a preference for doubt and honor
for hot sugared tea burning her mouth

a preference for defiance
a woman clothed in a 1000 shimmering skirts



Taking on speech

A compass, a means of composing a moment. As if it were possible (a means of articulating). What suffices. Blue silk washes over her hips (water), or what alludes to water. The faint grace of silk where she lifts her face to the light. (A compass). The sky given over to blue. The precise ordering of fine, blue threads, or particles of frozen water. Blue. A thin line of cloud moves away from her. Where she opens her mouth as if to speak

Vanishing point. Intersection of two lines (lives), a compass notating their retreat. Lines on paper. The precise point where she arrives on paper (entering a discourse). What she will or will not say. She gathers the crinkled folds of silk into her palms and presses the blue into her skin. Discursive transgression. The second time she appears to speak, blue silk spills from her mouth. What suffices

Water. There is no precision in this. What was said, or ought to have been (compression of molecules of air, beating in her throat). Air moving at a higher velocity well above the layer of cloud. What seemed to be silk or the motion of water heard (palimpsest), embrasure of a word playing itself into existence. Fine threads of cloud or breath

Palimpsest (the movement of air as discrete particles over her skin) the discreet movement of air over her tongue. Discursive acts, a digression. Do not be misled, the two lives (spoken and unspoken) move in parallel. A curtain of silk faille points at the misdirection. What is said, or was itself. Itself is a digression. A faint motion or current of blue

Neither cloud nor breath. Beating into existence, the fragility of air at high altitudes. Is sufficient. She peels away the light armor of silk (blue silk) embracing the cold air. (Embrace.) Lifts her face into the light (a discourse) a compass of shaped air. The way these (the precise point) letting go into the light, weave sound



a wave standing: live oak

aerial display, a wave or pattern of motion compresses and displaces air. gray and wreathed by green, action of a branched body described by currents of air. clustered over the earth. a wave upheld, pressure and counter-pressure: refuge of blue jays and brown thrashers, their calls another set of displacements. or waves. ferns and spanish moss take hold, tossed as a wave standing, green against what seems nothing at all. and is

a movement outward, twisting into the light (intersection of wave forms), branching into the dark. atchafalaya silt a denser (alluvial) medium, compressing and dampening wave motion. boughs bent back upon a shifting (wave or succession of wave-like intensions): land. half-pointed ovoid leaves clatter softly, one against another, pressure of morning air rising before the heat of the sun

jade shapes, gray ( ) and wreathed by. wind, thrown up against air. compression and oscillation of a branched body, its leaves clatter (air in motion). motion of other bodies, wood thrushes and nuthatches. wind-lifted wave, a movement outward, sound making its progress (bird call, leaf clatter). "morning" displacements across a medium which is motion (itself in). sounds shudder through the soft draperies of live oaks and air. a wave

where a branch collapsed. (scar) wreathed by. action of wind birthed in warm seas, (hurricane). melancholy water: waveform resembling the curve of a parabola. motion or path. a shifting or succession of intensions. deep-rooted, live oak a counter-pressure of its own. branched into the alluvial earth. a sudden breathless compression of air (boughs bending and giving way). survivor: ground orchids, asters, st john's wort sheltered in that standing wave



a wave standing (2)

branched and gray, a wave 
standing

a wave lifting itself into the sun
clustered in spheres, it's boughs

spheroid forms of live oak
glossy leaves

 resilient
unburdened by 

summer, or winter's 
lack of light

a gray wave standing
glossy or 

green
dark jade gloss of leaves

cluster  laterally
 into the light

within and above the
alluvial earth

gray wave standing
branched and spheroid

leaves glossy against the wrinkled
bark of the wave

form: (branched body lifting
and bent

over the earth)
a wave, or 

motion
suspended above the ground

gentling the wind
:: wave



a wave standing (3)


a wave
standing over the house

a wave (its
shadows and light

sheltering us)
we 

lift our sight into the
crush and 

weight of its water) 
wave

or tree
live oak 

gentling
even us

(a wave) setting 
in motion

pattern of light
and its absence


where we are washed
:: wave



honey song (shekinah)

"like a tent 
         stretched tight
                            around the ones who live
                                                             above" 
                          (Meshullam the Great ben Kalonymos, Hebrew 10th century)

                          "who is daughter of light"
                                                    (Syriac / Greek ca. 200 AD, "The Maiden")


daughter of light
her earrings make
a tent of the sun

whisper against her skin
rubied
dwelling place

light's
amber reflection
leopard eating sapphires

she bards her table with wine
with bread and sweet 
myrtle    lemons 

preserved in honey
(hers)
a garment 

worn, a garment
or 
garden

pitchers of sweet wine
and honey
garden's table

earthy
mouth of sapphires
kindling

between her thighs
wisdom
's daughter

tent hung with golden crowns
with sapphires
an earth

or leopard where she walks
letters tremble 
like webs

daughter of wisdom
her
bangles light and 

honeyed flowers
        forms a garment
she welcomes him

the face of god
sweet 
table, a garden

or garland
on whose back
he rides

mouth of sweet myrtle
her eyes
form among leaves

dwelling place
silvered letters
fish swimming into light

a woman
her body
crown inscribed with glyphs 

face of
god
garlanded with myrtle

tasting bread
tasting
sweet wine

she welcomes him
sweet, 
fish like

lanterns, a light that whispers
in the air of the tent
or her earrings

silver and 
red, rubied
whispers at her shoulder

from her mouth
(garden)
he takes

daughter of light
gold spheres
myrtle

flowers
bangles lit by the sun
bronze

moons and drapes these
over her breasts
dwelling

place, text of
light
or silvered air

she bends her
hips against his mouth
letters falling like honey rain

whispers
silver light 
over her skin

in the air of the tent (she)
where she couples
words

in Samarqand the face of god
is the sun, it
rides upon the leopard's back

 

 

 

home archives submit black market comrads hot sites search ec chair peotick kultur anti-amthropomorphism
new economics of late capitalism gallery zounds the making and unmaking of person
diaries and memoirs translation and her retinue
the book of revelations and epiphanies working class sweat
the making and unmaking of person the corpse reads classics letters

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