London, England

I set out this morning to see the work

installed in Kensington Gardens

the human-high sculptures called : non-objects :

the cone curved to a needle that’s chromed like a mirror

exploded is another way of seeing

o is only one shape the mouth makes

another non-object in the pond aimed at the sky

this one polished and hollowed and circular

a satellite-dish cupping the reflected clouds

swerve of a swan splits the dull algae

reflection’s evasive when everything slopes

and shines back in points

but in points is how the eye manages

I set out with his hat knit by his sister

dampening in the drizzle

wash cold : dry flat : Uranian Knitting Company

across the pond another non-object but red

sisterly mimicking the other’s point of sky

and a row of posts across the Serpentine

a bird beaking its wingpit on each o

I set out here and he sets out to Devonshire

his sister brings a bucket to get sick in

since she hasn’t been on a train in fourteen years

tan swirling : wobbly pitch of rung iron

a slosh as the train pulls out of Clapham

to the home of their dying father

o is only an exploded point

approach the rounded non-object and you’re it and in it

crosscut with bands of ground

last night was the first we spent together

in his East Croydon two-up-two-down

wedge of evening : night : dawn : I saw

each one from his bed while he opened me

and : yes : we stopped for tea in the middle of it

sipped from repellent Spode

:: scoop sugar from the far side of the bowl

and mind the brother and sister in blue ::

do you ever know your own barbarism

before sleeping with a gentleman

:: I direct the music for a very old church :: he said

:: and have you ever seen an Elgar twenty pound note ::

:: and my asshole is bunched like a fist

so to hit you in your teeth ::

o is the sound of being taught

before he opened his shirt for me he asked

who were my favorite composers

and when he put on Sibelius No. 2

I could hear my lips smiling off my teeth

those long metallic contours like a body growing a body

:: it’s meant to be a shore growing ice ::

I have never been so tired of being taught

he explained his sister is schizophrenic

and his father dying and :: did you know

Elgar conducted an asylum band

made of orderlies and nurses : not patients ::

how long have I loved only things older than myself

off the train he carries socks beading in his pocket

she carries a cushion stitched with siblings

she plans for their father’s splintering chairs

I write down his name twice

only three days ago I met him and let him tongue

my soft palate

we walked back to my room where

the grunts of Lambeth thumped through the cracked window

and he said he teaches music

names are never as important as type

sonata : fugue : first species : overture

men are florid compared to their types

I will get a phone call saying someone has died

he opens his cheesewhite arms as if to say

:: yes I know many people want to speak of sad things ::

and then does but those are only the shapes

peopling the purple periphery

he will say at another time :: this is the sad part ::

while laughing at the maudlin violin

I make my mouth this way because o is for obvious

the shapes one imagines one imagines one sees

are a matter of decontextualization

so the sex remains pointedly central

a blank sheet and reflexively blank rubbing

:: let me tell you my theory of the Devonshire Woods

a culture is no better than its etc.

we need them to stay dark and wide to put our sisters in it

the dark one with triangular ears and a jelly face

or one old one holding a candle behind her head

whispering a charm to make her husband’s face appear

we need woods for our sisters’ sakes ::

Dorothy Wordsworth lost her hair and then her teeth

but she kept the wedding ring she stole from William

and then her face went jelly and droopy

purple repositories of someone’s strange uncharting

:: but that was Cumbria not Devonshire ::

she once opened her diary just to write :: I forgot ::

Devonshire is stockier : more diphthongs

:: the first night you will be the boy the last night fuck me ::

but that’s too fast and simple when what I want’s exploded

wash cold : dry flat : Copernican Knitting Company

how to treat who won’t be shocked

something is eating its way from behind the fowl’s heart

the soft willing bottom of its pink chest

I’ll show him the Blake memorial

which he never knew existed

prints blown up and glued against the walls of tunnels

in mosaics with red buttons : press them

he’ll show me the hall in Oxford where he performed 4’33”

remembering the puff of catkin that drifted in

and landed on his cheek in the second movement

I see a glint of tinsel from the loon’s beak

I will spend twenty more nights with him

only the glint like Sibelius’s suggestion of tone

meet me on the platform among the hundreds

when fate happens as much as it does to families

dying slowly by the sea barely affording their homes

no : American schools don’t have deer parks

imagining his sister : his dead mother : his dying father

I write down his name twice and watch the non-object

a catkin orbits as if resisting

only a touch of blood like most long weekends

mold me into cups and pour me into cups

no more ruining the right words in the wrong order

we lack the science to press against our orbits

in a moment it will open and you will see yourself

in the poem that spits in your mouth : a hair

she once opened her diary to write :: trouble with my bowels ::

what manners what manners what manners what

he will show me Schoenberg’s Musical Idea

which is incomplete and full of errors

he explains but I propose we only got it wrong

:: The paths of harmony are torturous ::

:: only with the requirements and possibilities of its motive ::

:: The effect of broken chords ::

:: especially in deceptive cadences ::

there was one poet whose intestines crossed

over themselves so he was in continuous pain

a stitch : a stitch in his gut

wash cold : dry flat : Aeolian Knitting Company

euphemism for dying

euphemism for dead

euphemism for insane

another struggle to describe someone’s hands

I remember the lover I left in Colorado

how clean art is bothers me torturously

like the dream of the animal in which there’s no animal

but I wear its hide

he won’t tell me about the dying deer but the eaten deer

how he heard shots coming from the deer park on Christmas Eve

and it wasn’t until spring he realized what he’d eaten

the night was a long fancy and the color of all colors

at the love of the center of the heart is fiction

the other man that I was loving in Colorado

his mother is dying and no one knows this yet

how many faces do you have when absent

like so many poets’ insane sisters

there are spurs of cancer in her stomach and liver

what an education this will be

his mother knit me a hat before I left for England

she asked me my favorite color and I said purple

I’m in a sprawling park carrying two hats

once this park was a woods full of deer

and a king stalked and shot them with arrows

the white one with red eyes was spared

a steaming ornament against the gray

hot with the fear of becoming a poem

but that isn’t this one which is the one

on the eating of her dun sisters

why do we say heart when we mean gut

why the rubied Latin of : anthologize : and : taxonomize :

it’s not a brocade but a self-striping

interval of white zagged into the knit

he used to say :: friend of Dorothy ::

but it’s always brocade

wash cold : dry flat until old and stretched

a knot of brain that snaps one : claps another

a tuning fork that hums big enough to hum a house

I want to say I will be out of myself

but I will never be more myself

hurting a man and hurting him from behind

one of us dangling off the other

one of us lifted above the other

like John celestialized over the cross

a man becoming moon or mounting the stairs

and I want to say that I’ll reach in and touch a family

but it’s a tricky distance : future tense

since I am in the park with famous non-objects

and he is in Devonshire with his schizophrenic sister

and in Aurora a man younger than him but older than me

gives the mother milky medicine

purply words like lineage or inheritance

as if it comes from something other

than the x’s in the backs of our eyes

where spurs of dying hide and spurs of :

but how the brain connects to the eye

resembles how the gut opens to the world

palm against a shattering glass

though no fingerprints on art

sweet mystery of where the center of the body is

and the education in finding it

rediscovering its starry opening unskeined

a million shapes squiggle away purply

to hide in the head of the center

brainy splatter : but my ears are cold

I leave both hats on the bench

under the parsimonious drizzle

which moves through my body’s closing o

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