THE LONG NOW 22 (AUGURY)
Ligature and limn the bones
the rune the clock tells us
time is a way of passage.
I see myself arcana
a kind yet undone skein
am flimflam man
I think, but no
you in my O
the way the time takes
toll on the body loss in the body’s
self-deceit it brandishes the way the sick
overtakes the muscle and atrophies.
Will these shadows lift?
Will they field an image I knew?
Haunted, I sing, by what I’ve seen
what sung from the lover
unringed in the dream
the poem can cry
the second death
but can’t predict it.
Draw in the gold earth a circle
call it a grave
give it grief
sand blazing star and wish it to open
out from O and into the names
of all the loves one day
will call me home.
It isn’t sad
into the whole
who writes this spell
toward knowing the fut-
ile force of the future pushing
back against temporality’s current
fascinations it is a feint of life a wave.
But before the body goes wan
a chance to time
no, it too will leave
lovers’ lost things
return’d to me.
I peer behind the curtain
and mean it
like an incantation
can voice a thing
a weave of light enangled
through skull through spine and in
and into the poem the poem is making that you
live the isolated shape of static in the blood dark heavens
the belt the sword she says to invite more beauty is to invite more brutality.
And how is sorrow in a life not worth making time from?
How does the modulated voice arrive at the body
or rime against its promise to lift us
into the lived world, the
It doesn’t matter what desert
one is lost in
she imagines her body
an ocean and vast.
Eurydice swims back
to the surface
O is an absence
is entrance to
not power over
is not a periphery.
We rewrite the story
then rewrite it again
give it to flesh to skull
to eyes like O but full.
too broad to see.
I am lost in selenite sand
white wind-crossed singularity
bomb-crossed space, a you and you
are not there, your talking in my body
still calls me into an underworld
no mortal leaves unchanged.
One hundred days in Hades
before any hero comes.
Sigh. The hollow dark lives
of the buried beneath a stone.
The lives of those with agency
would steer always toward Ithaca
always home, but no, we falter
collectively, fuck up the good
things—that’s why we can’t have
an object for awe, a love that bests
fable’s happy end. No, we augur
the stars, the cards, the bones
but never the body’s cable, lived
through reality TV’s stupid script.
I am lost in the desert these 40 years
and I know the way the story—
What is this condition the present cannot escape?
What does it look like to call into the void?
Who is at the helm of our Argo, I do not know.
When Saturn parks his car / Saturn is a difficult influence.
I know the unsourced nature of truth, I feel it inside me.
Ache or ash or the pain felt after fire, it comes in many forms.
As predictable a prognosis as coming death or going windswept.
The pictorial way the sand ghosts the dunes.
“It’s good to hear your voice.”
“How is it you make that sound so…O”
Interrupted ritual goes flat, loses its magic, but only momentarily.
“It’s a good voice.”
“How do others hear it?”
I can tell the time is nigh to make a move in what direction.
Mercury. Stop. Mercury. Call it hermetic text. Just call.
When yes sounds the alarm or when the voice drops into breath.
When the phone slides too into pillow, time repeats.
analog transfer of energies
between voice and space and body
I augur what the words do
Yeah, I fuck with crystals, too
Like them, language has a shape and grows up
from underground—it doesn’t need to be solved, but sung
O and O and O makes Ah
So, let us be impervious
to speculation and let us be the things
we most desire to see, which is not me
not my reflection repeated
but words upon words stacked
to make song
Chant to the ash
Chant to the alm
Chant to the let
Chant to the her
Chant to the skin
Chant to the skin
Chant to the
James Meetze [pronounced Metz] is the author of three books of poetry, including Phantom Hour and Dayglo, which was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, both published by Ahsahta Press. He is editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (FSG, 2010). His work has also appeared in five chapbooks and numerous publications, including AGNI, A Public Space, American Letters & Commentary, The Rattling Wall, New American Writing, and Prelude among others. He lives in San Diego, California, where he teaches creative writing and film studies at Ashford University.