Word For/Word [ Issue 17: Summer, 2010 ] [ Previous ] [ Next ] [ Notes ]

Jeremy Behreandt


to build a small boat—
simple, lacking the words
which go along with. stern,
port, starboard, aft, prow


―to lash together plank
and plank, to pluck a clump
of reeds—another, another
—and stuff the seams.


to thrust the boat into new
water with knotted rope
in its belly, in yours, in mine
and let the horizon dry up


—and be forlorn. to build
an entire ark if possible.
to be given a rudder
with no inclination


to steer. to steal another
man's compass then
land atop a mountain,
be burned on its flanks


mid-ritual, mid-offering.
to stare past the eventual,
let bones curl at ends
and peel; quit the shared


tongue brought with—
impaired. to know better
of the birds—myriad, flocking
—but not know at all.


boredom looms that large
over. to be rudimentary,
how can we not scratch
and pick at skin and dream


the earth as we have been
shown? to bury, to bury.
to weigh the knot
of encounter—hadn't we


the acumen—hadn't i you,
my lover? —dextrous
fingers merely? to unbind

us, this most difficult shape.




under welkin and the truant speckbloom,
who to peer the rent. there are one true, cusp
and scope my hide, my purchase, pulling my


ezras apart to ezra scorned, aphelion I, flay.
clout me upon the brow. in want to prop
crosshatched, nether lip, the climate splendid: º


if there is symbolic, here, writhing to clarity,
how could you remember thirst or witness †
sky that throbs and that sky is not dreadful?


you will not remember this poem. sip but low
so i cannot shunt nor forestall any fluttering
would have walked barefoot to palestine for º


ezra. the mothfall gnaw when i suggest
too nearly a vexed revenant. soft crested this
carving. there is a canopy of course upon


us and dearly you breach, though i wrote
a dream in your poem. were not prepared,
no particular could peripheral us, crypted


ezra. iterate vessel. as my vessel, yours. i
exhort, tilt you. i idiot, refrain. this is my
daughter. tend, assuage. you are my daughter:








º Shakespeare, Othello IV.3
† Chris Marker, Sans Soleil







the hub

the technique is low and rubber[ * ]several hoses sprawling tentacular[ * ]predications as tattered as[ * ]plastic bags as jarring slim and amplified[ * ]technique implanted behind plaster[ * ]routed under pavement through the seven districts[ * ]the hub coordinates and extends[ * ]aggregates spare memory from hibernating nodes[ * ]aggregates to itself[ * ]the hub may be accessed remotely via four secure terminals[ * ]the airport the hospital the university the chamber of commerce[ * ]the technique entices citizens with a monthly subscription rate[ * ]there are many benefits to subscription[ * ]they will not be enumerated here[ * ]subscription is mandatory[ * ]the technique is several magnitudes and delicate in its many-fibered oracular embrace


:  ::  :                       :  ::  :


the orifice secretes jellied gasoline[ * ]several poets have tended to and perfected[ * ]mathematically[ * ]the technique[ * ]the technique of course has perfected[ * ]extrapolated them[ * ]naphthenic acid and palmitic acid[ * ]benzene[ * ]polystyrene[ * ]the technique requires a viscous incendiary[ * ]poetry is an intravenous drip for the hub's managerial technicians[ * ]the hub orchestrates a calumny of astonishment between them[ * ]wisteria does not have a name[ * ]only an image in time[ * ]bachelor's button does not have a name[ * ]only an image in time[ * ]peony does not have a name[ * ]only an image in time[ * ]there is no[ * ]no there is no collecting this many in category between the young[ * ]the poets synthesize their parameters and debate birds and flowers[ * ]birds and flowers birds[ * ]and flowers[ * ]the hub would prefer a demolition that[ * ]allows for easier ignition[ * ]sticks better to smooth surfaces


:  ::  :                       :  ::  :


compliant[ * ]pixel in pixel out[ * ]least convincing when the ambulance[ * ]white polish slivering 2am[ * ]does the hub arrange words such as even the dullest citizen can do[ * ]is the hub arrested in eloquence and slick of blue gel[ * ]does the hub act on understanding[ * ]the standard instrument[ * ]does the hub execute the needs of its many organs[ * ]merely º[ * ]the hub does not raise an often standard[ * ]but will take tone with undesirable habits and habitats[ * ]poetry shall be affirmed[ * ]the commingling «please do not disrupt the ambiance»[ * ]in response to inquiry[ * ]one might[ * ]after all[ * ]suggest the technique as refrain[ * ]as the arid[ * ]the refrain[ * ]the hub offers several incentives for[ * ]undereducated citizens who would like to enter[ * ]one of the following industries[ * ]timber construction agriculture mining electrical maintenance and installation fishing


:  ::  :                       :  ::  :


the hub commissions bulldozers to repurpose olive groves[ * ]the hub's television network repeatedly broadcasts the epidemic[ * ]the either or[ * ]the hub is housed in an undisclosed edifice[ * ]behind floor-to-ceiling glass walls and hymnal[ * ]the hymnal is a subdivision of the technique[ * ]in presence of the hub the hymnal perplexes every foreign sound into robes into flow[ * ]this is named «the ordeal»[ * ]if one can no longer acquire nor ascertain one's pulse nor nerve[ * ]that is the hymnal at work[ * ]one is then free to leave[ * ]the hub will accommodate any and all departures[ * ]the hub manufactures helicopters[ * ]heritage[ * ]the hub incorporates the latest developments in processing technology[ * ]ecological sustainability[ * ]luxury accommodations and amenities[ * ]redefines all filiation rag to flag








º Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences




there are times when i am happy and the sand is sand drawn up from the beach

the pigchildren were out from their memories by the sea,
insatiable curved bodies and the salt piling at base of spine.
a butcher's poem—least remarkable sea, upholstered
in canny green—almost clean air, flat salival unbuttoned
rite of sky. my pigchildren, not least of which singing
to each other "when you have been proven, my sibling,
when have you, cumpockets all besmirched?" royal purple—
such palisades of wattling bruised skin! that sprung open
voluptuous tide. the littoral—with my only one appearance
to the beach, not at all in the scale of proving or disproving—
how we hoofed through dark soft sand and the crabs
nipped at our snouts, but as known the courtesy is to
disappear altogether or be hacked into. pleasantly!
who could know? while we went seaward to the sea-mouth
to suckle as swine, as swine.º my pigdaughters unbuttoned
into wigs, a rack of glittering, purling wigs. my pigsons
unbuttoned into dukes. daisies! sweltering the sand castle
duchies, and when their sovereignty and when deposed
all my baby spiders crawling over them. in dream
my four hooves unlike their four hooves are four, eight
hands, i have held the unfaltering, the stunted butcher's
blush of warm and the mere suggestion of which, the mere








º Wallace Stevens, "Frogs Eat Butterflies. Snakes Eat Frogs. Hogs Eat Snakes. Men Eat Hogs."