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James Meetze

By September 26th, 2020No Comments



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

of tendon

am flimflam man

I think, but no

you in my O

my orbit

can tell

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

believe it

will bear


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

if closed






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

exquisite life

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

into being.


I incant

aleatory beam

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

language for

a song?





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.


Its circumference

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.





Porphyritic mass

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 AGNIA Public SpaceAmerican Letters & CommentaryThe Rattling WallNew American Writing, and Prelude among others. He lives in San Diego, California, where he teaches creative writing and film studies at Ashford University.