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Thursday, November 6, 2008

THE GREEN INTEGER REVIEW Nos. 11-16 (John Wilkinson)

John Wilkinson

There is no I except the I I will allow.
You will not hide your face except I hide it. I
know you want to spill what you withhold.
I & you will make a team, triumphant team,
I hold your truths –

team unicorn.
Except I hide your face it will not hide.
I hold your truths, a team you want to spill,
except what you withhold, triumphant I
you made. I will allow I know there is no I

but in her lap this cornet,
this burning weapon.

There is no I except the lapping I-face.


Over this channel, sharp pain
crosses & retreats
[opening the channel.
[And again.
Then painlessly the channel silts & binds.
Pain rages back,
unbinds earth by drilling wormways,
[opening the channel.
Yes I hear you

spreading out this murk to desiccate
on hot sheets.
Mud-flats would be thin but apt to clarify,
mud-flats would bind like silicate,
pathways are exposed across the trellis,
earth’s blade-shuttled breast
what might soothe, if pilotless –
I know your voice.
[I see the condensation.
I was thought to have been condensed.
Stretching, it feels, could be my specific.
[Anchor off. Reverse in.


‘Sometimes I feel my shadow’s casting me’
[an excruciated stick
bent double.
Or would shadow cast its body backwards,
the past for form’s sake, back-story cast ahead
shuttered eyeball
[snapped a bench, a waiting room,
disassembling the cross-bar, leant it parallel,
[elbow hinge
jutting through the window,
[a braceleted one ankle,
one stuck out his neck, he wrote blood-hyphens
from his nipple to their biopsy,
evidence adds up,
time to collapse it like a white stick. Maybe
what befell him
[needs this load-bearing bracket,
so we launch
Plan B to cover every angle, like the one
splayed submissively,
[shook the flimsy
door stove in, worked a towering rage,
[else careened
through every group of the lobed for the mislaid
piece that cannot be restored
[even when correct
in every lesion, every nick. The template
shakes himself then more aggressively shakes apart.
Needs must take it on,
[needs must,
in wreckage of such nullity, damage
of denial. Small growers seal confederacy,
corn harvest hurries,
[drowned villas bob
& iron wings flap torridly on sidewalks;
a lens pulls one together but his monstrous wings
tug prosaically at his lapels,
letting him down to earth in bloody chunks.
[Speech casts its speaker
forward: Kick the traces over!
Though in his previous form, which must be under-
played, dot dot dot, a flying toilet
smashed the roof,
[gaped the frontage. Wipe
that stupid character off your face,
move your hand away.
[Your big foot
crushed Versailles, the Petit Trianon.
[Locked gardens
possibly flourish
[in your forward lee. You’re pissing away
the ice cap. Set your stamp.
[The hungry cars couple, couple...
What rides on each outing?
Puts away each shot glass?
Tugs at these lips?
[Diminutive arrows sew them, they smart,
a cloak is cast off the stand & I re-occupy it.


O brother detainee. Within his middle nest
extremities, its soft régime does it not spool
surreptitious thread from a cinched
O, plucked & drawn with due diligence,

the mortal truth. No clue beyond the cell’s
walls, what you wrest springs back on
glugging reels. Pipe-work festoons
round a hingeless mouth then floods

O, with what you need to know
pumped back & forth, words volunteer
their transcript, cell to cell,
floating sticky webs play out.
How the downy nest’s hissing startles,
snaps at morsels
snaps at catechisers
caught amidst blowflies,
O, the tainted middle
yields to the touch,
sockets that disgorge will not stop at this,
it is the mortal truth flows dying.

Please note: Since blog pages generally bring all lines quad left, I have noted
tabs with the brackets sign. If someone, well acquainted with HTML codes might help me enter tabs in these poems, please do contact Douglas Messerli.
Copyright ©2008 by John Wilkinson

Born in London in 1953, John Wilkinson grew up on the Cornish coast on Dartmoor and endured a number of boarding schools. He read English at Cambridge, followed by graduate work at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. Among his several books of poetry are Proud Flesh, Bones of Contention, Stages Along the Lichway, The Nile, Flung Clear, Sarn Helen, Effigies Against the Light, Signs of an Intruder, Iphigenia, and Lake Shore Drive. In 2005 he moved to the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, as Poet in Residence at the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, and teaches both literature and creative writing for the English Department.

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