word for/word
issue 6: summer 2004
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Brandon Shimoda






These words, currently: a means of overriding concussive moments, which water memory; of re-ordering soil structure: is it my body that's heavy, sinking deeper among the snapping and electric, or is it the water itself, weighing me down, one among jewels? Of re-structuring soil orders working when biological, when concomitant with organs and blood flow. To consider is an improvement upon order and structure both. As for the biology of things, there is an elaborate history of suckering and error -- including contemporary "organics" and post -- that needs to be bedded and burned of romance and/or misunderstanding, and loss built upon loss and neglect, with words, currently.




Bird  a ctuary


We saw no birds today
our preoccupations distracted us      mud
sleeving the limbs of the trees in coming
waves, the spiny fruits      of thoughts
hard       hemming the cover of witness
over tail feathers; fledging birds      rest
less in the rustling glands      of reeds.

We too are fat and feeling
it, the felt      woosh      whose angry eyes
and accusatory beak      quarter our beliefs
of what these birds, if any, have
to give, to banquet with song
and shit      naturalisms of the under

           We were never fit
for wanting more than light and intimate
emptiness, though we've gotten it
tided to us with the risk of not possessing any
thing to claim as      walking, to claim a loss on.




Orphaning the Earth

Just who is that
standing there

in the hallway? Spilling buds
of property on the mat?

'e or 'e, who has been
en      trusted
with the legacy of this      this
                                acceptable rape?


Farmers gather together
in their dwindling

to decide upon their ritual
foreclosure:                We've put in,
                                 we're pulling out.

                                 We've made much, no doubt,
                                 of doubts, of teas
                                 of corpse:

                                 of horsetail, of manure,
                                 of comfrey;
                                 sodden, reach
                                 and leeching.


They've been around for      rhizome
snaps, you'll suffer the ropes and      ever,
bringing things from off-farm,
and folding them in among the native
dignitaries; watering and letting the soil
dry out, resting their chins in the dirt
for a first glimpse of cotyledons
digging their way out of that sable,

as if on assignment
                                 a gutless hope --

                                 patsies lain by
                                 green and copper
                                 and railed to a hollow
                                 rib of drip tape.

They're seeing the influence of explosion,
which says:                here it is,
                                 all the scouring
                                 that you can suffer,
                                 all the seeds
                                 that you can measure

                                 in your fist,

                                 all the seeds and more:
                                 expired or checked
                                 peering broken
                                 from spending

                                 , gorged, black
                                 with waste and die-out

                                 ; here is all you can
                                 mule across the clear-
                                 cuts, absolutely hatched,
                                 absolutely . . .

                                 Now run along to your beds,
                                 raised, grave sustainers,
                                 to your orchards,
                                 your orcharding

                                 lace, and fuck,

                                 and learn it


Brandon Shimoda has lived and worked recently in Brooklyn, southern Mexico, upstate New York and Woodfin, North Carolina. Written work has appeared or will appear soon in New Orleans Review, Spinning Jenny, Crab Creek Review, sidereality, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on various land- and water-based projects, as well as an ongoing poetic collaboration with Phil Cordelli, sketches of which are available at thepines.blogspot.com.

               /    o
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