Friday, July 01, 2005

3 Poems Jennifer Pilch


It is difficult to plant oneself in a preconceived aesthetic
One should rather wait to be supplanted
From an emotion keen to the geometry of trace clouds moving through a jigsaw
As if the plain would reflect in skies
Scratched corneas, really, where tables and chairs were stuck

Someone was an orderly stacker
So that each leg rested squarely
On either the back or the underside of another
Until that orderly was replaced
And the tables were hurled precariously, side angles slicing

With a knock or two the tables might rest


Hatched rain of limbs
Hypothermic scrim
Try to avoid it looking like a haystack
Meaning: in close observation, residual factors of inclemency seem aggressively contrived
Now imagine the confusion with color


Invisibly the sky ties knots in the cold front of a storefront
Palette of seedy oppression in the ganglia of chance


If you house a bird in city limits
Green finches that sing, What are you hearing?
A walk-in closet for birds, each hole painlessly
Drilled, each tiny dowel
Details that admit the bird may be too late
In further dimension, birds evolve past cages to sit on windowsills before an obvious escape
Happy among coins or fruit or vases
And nature’s inclement null to the scene, phenomenon too raucous a form of peace

Middle Western

Within without
A caustic disposition

Without a theory first
Within the doorway out

Cruel about losing trains of thought

Instead emotional knots are working their way out

The emptier the passages the closer one gets to keep

The sound of a despondent child confirms that you will sleep

Waking shaken
Each groove felt between brick
Something coating the exigent
A body of negative light
Gray and translucent
Pearlescent at certain angles
A bird flew through
I didn’t notice because I was drawing birds from idea
Thick strokes resembling wood cuts
Black on white blinds flickering

These were the moments for roofs
Chicago brutally unsympathetic to a dream held in a blanket
Vomit on the outside of it
Something spit in it/Something to spit on it/Something spit it out
An echo crawls through the caverns of a face
Down blanket subdued by gravel

Progeny’s Plot

For months she lived on strawberries, toddling a red hopsacking bag full of bobby pins, pennies, and bolts. The goods were placed in miniature pots or lined in rows to gather dust made from sand, carried home in the ties of her shoes. When an object was removed, a shape was left. And this form was an obstruction—though a good one—as she learned was true of the shadow that mocks innocuous movement. Shadows at first were claws ripping sinister grins in construction paper skies. Fearful indeed before these features could be turned to commodities. For once Raquel Welsh nursed her on the stump of a tree among manikin parts that in a perfectly put-together world made sucking sounds from a neutral display window. The manikins had been hauled from their stands to her yard where today they gather black fungus in ruins. The yard is sandwiched between delivery roads where service trucks jump and bang in potholes. There she drags red wool drenched in an emulsion of strawberry juice, sand dust, and finger grease over a pile of paper trash. To finish, she performs swaggering telephone antics with a plastic carrot.