THE STRONG FORCE: Page 2

There is No Author

 high eminence of deconstruction
Paul de Man
declared the text subversive--
meaning debunked--
the author dead


writing in Belgium, 1941,
for Nazi Le Soir,
called Germany the future
of Europe
said Jews might be shipped off
without undue loss


at Yale, negated history:
the aporias of Auschwitz
transformed by hermeneutics
into jouissance


all accusations fade
to écriture

millions of corpses
lost in the text  

Plato’s Internet

 “as if a magic lantern threw the nerves
                            in patterns on a screen”


a monitor
articulated blueprint
of bone, muscle
neural interlace
circulatory system (red and blue)


your body
puts you in the movie
God says,
I’m gonna make you a star


you lift these limbs
trudge through landscapes
clothed in the language of the clan
trading dead rabbits for grain
herring for coin


searching those points
where feelings jerk back against the strings
where that which is not puppet
hides its heart  

Control

 How long can I keep them in my head
those little voices
suppressed by Ego’s law


chattering monkeys
brain full of maggots


when will they stream out


as children burst from school
at three o’clock


as nebulae erupt
in flowers of light?  

Salvage

                                        for my daughter,1997


because you’re
so tormented
and I’m so
fucking helpless


and like the ’92 Accord
I bought you
unmangled
in the body shops
of San Jose


both

stamped 


by the past  

Opiate

 your body beneath a dress
your body bare


trying to discover the art
of touching you
of cradling your nakedness in mine


of matching smithereens
of the first marriage  

Two Meanings of Cleave

 last night
I could feel
how I felt to you


we were one
in the sense of “cleave to”


our fingers
embedded in flesh


today
time cleaves
our entangled atoms


I don’t remember
how I felt to myself


as distance numbs
cooling skin


and I see you
as someone

else  

Possession…

 the watermark of love


her thigh
across my groin

 
a sentry
of her sleeping mind


stakes out my presence
in the breathing dark  


The Strong Force

 charged intimacy of paired particles
binding of quarks
the strong force


you who are so no good for me 


but in a flood of pleasure
give yourself to me
beyond all measure


whose skin spreads heat
under my palms
whose stirrups are my feet


from that which drags us down
that pure perception

 
awaking, we can never keep
up love’s deception  

Love Affair

 shatters the calm surface of his hours
goading the pulse to blind acceleration
betrayal, guilt
incite disintegration

envelops, everts
devours  


Another World

 Our love
a theory held so deeply


damned by experiment


tries darker formulae
rarer elements;


dreams of
a flat-earth world
where Troy still stands
Lamarck’s confirmed
aether, mermaids
cold fusion


prove
to the thousandth place
as theory bends with flesh.


Till then 


tested to destruction
locked in the starry tangles of our minds 


our love defines its own dimensions
and believes
its own soliloquies.  

Moving On

 last year
she put the old retriever to sleep
placed her father in a home
gave away the furniture
closets of clothes

and left the house
where she’d brought up her children
the boy who’s living
the girl who died

last night, 


in dreams, she let the dog
whining because it hadn’t peed in months
out of the house


I hope she lets her daughter out
and then herself
closing the door behind  

In My Apartment

 

for years I tried
to realign the stars 


tear you from a dark populace
of ragged shadows


sad hovering spectre
you smile distantly
when our paths cross
absent—still here


I don my ghost shirt
heliotrope with navy stripes
a cloak of film and newsprint
floating behind  

Hurricane

 from which quadrant
is the wind?
how high the surge?

how many knots and isobars?


lately we sleep
in separate beds


boats thrash in their slips
snapping lines


a gull spins
backwards
in a gale of fragments


she leaves
a letter listing
unforgivable things


I dream of our
wild acts of love 


as walls roar
and we move


into the eye  

I returned…

 half expecting
to find her unpacked
but the hangers all were bare
the photos, gone.


We’d rehearsed this
a dozen times—

with all the sorrow and the explanations
concern of friends
probing of motivations

until we got it right 


no melodrama, no mistaken cues.

I remembered the penultimate
when we’d made love
I was too ardent, hurt her
there was blood


the next time I was gentle
she moaned into my shoulder

some slight redemption
in a world


where every single time could be the last.  

Prairie Lightning

 suspicion
accusation

flashes in distant cloud 


desire
recurrent in the mind


under Fall debris
postcards, snapshots

letters returned 


unopened  

Aftermath

 I wanted to write about your body 


as you stood before me
naked in candlelight and summerdark

 
my hands at your waist
the warmth of your skin
curving from hip to breast 


your shoulders brushed by gold

the sorrow in your eyes
that always returns 


and sunrise doesn’t wait
on ecstasy


I tore your picture from its frame
hid your nakedness
in the pages of a book

 fragrant as morning
luminous as night