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Six Poems, by T. J. Anderson III

 

The Language of Faculty Meetings

*

Procedural      fault line——-(s)
:di ver sion s) tabled to
to distant border(s
boulders

ephemeral spac iaL(s)
facials

*

Motion(s exfoliate(d
No, expose(d
No, “x” spouse(s) (ed)
Voca(l)
bularies s/play(ed)
constellation (s arseniced
No, arsenaled
Who’s in control here?
constable/ con stable/
: conceptacle:

*

Language stockpiled
spew(ed) by degree*
decree
a. to stay rooted
b. to stray routed
c. to spray rustic
not this ram rod dying in the, in the, in the, Oh
do not go gentle into that
 Good Night!

*

Colonial   Continental Shuffle
{Don’t you know everybody’s doing it!}
Syntax singed    sin tax? Credential[ed]
crop combine(d  cop/ped a feel a flicker a filigree a filly
for Robert’s Rules
harvest (ed. It al

*

a mine of mixed grammar (s
a mind of nixed glamor (s
)
(t(he
:lectern:
)
Ivory no, ivy pillar  pill or
mirror pilferer     voltive    voltaic    volley(ed)
where multiple variants exist  exit
in space, in place
of a discipline specific

*

Diploma?  dis\in cline(d
To kinder(ed)
to kin
No, you’re too kind
Too collegial too congenital this
handshake, shook, shuck, shoot, souk shit!

Scratch my synonym
Oil my suffix
Prime my prefix, my prefect, my parliamentary predilection
Solitary this
Soil this
call to odor.

 

Poetics

A poem is a geode:
She was at the faucet,
filling a glass of water.

I am concerned about the vast immeasurable space between wor(l)ds:
He was at the table,
his face lost in print.

The unseen permeation of things within things:
There was a tabby at her feet,
tail erect and purring.

Systems within systems:
An ant made its way
across the table.

All manner of being and nonbeing:
There was a hint of smoke
coming out of the toaster.

All implications and motivations:
They both looked up
at each other.

All mechanizations that cannot be classifiable:
She turned off the faucet.
He put down the paper.

Under a rubric of terms:
There was a knock at the door.
The phone began to ring.

 

Site Specific

I

The measurements for cappuccino
should be fluid like jazz.

One starts with music.
Attention to clef signature, tempo,
and bridge, the opening up of space
In the collective sigh of the downbeat

Call it like you see it,
as if you were calling the kids
in for dinner or the elders for a night of pinochle.

II

Sitting on the mantle
this ornamental mug champions
the history of my tribe.
My uncle brought it back
from Atlantic City, walking
on the boardwalk with a wife
that was not his own.
Now it’s a carapace for the froth
of our arguments, my refusal to part
with my mannish ways.

A certain camisole
of whipped sugar poised as surf,
this drink evokes the satin plumes of paradise.
Tell me, what was her name?

III

The view from Lonnie’s tenement
revels in splattered class, busted
street lamps, rusted engine blocks
cracked graffiti on sidewalk streets.
“Whatever” has been played out
long ago & the doorbells sound
in minor keys & a pigeon struts
& dances in the carnage of lottery
tickets. “My God,” Lonnie says
surveying his kingdom.

The limbs that settle,
orchestrated in the silica of heat.

IV

Sylvia is from sea joints specializing in hot air pot or postage or portage or porridge, a ridge of teeth to latch to, part of a chance shanty, a song to the special rayon of mandible ants in my uncles’ basement. This here rest is molar, this be upward mobility arrested sand, a gallant embassy of pines, an hour when the scalpers tumble their silhouettes from the sky. The temperature is brusque, is aquiline, is the hat check maid in the leper leap who scours toes, an angle worthy of chivalry and taking our orders. Counter of malfunctions that key the bones play in the dog muzzle up to the lap, wins the top blue prize. Sylvia closes her vespers and whispers of night while the poor frost puts a remedy of ills in the aurora of our throats. Don’t sever fate. Tap the table that judges the dinner. Sylvia, take up your own horn!

 

Involuntary Shutter

I

At the urinal,
the muscle in my thigh
has set to wiggling again.
Perhaps it is a warning
that the ravages of age
are carving through me.

II

All is silent here
save the random spasms
of a faucet.
It’s one of those moments
when no one straddles next to you.
A troth to witness
your stillness.

III

In winter, I am strangely quiet.
My skin becomes ashen.
Crevice of gray canyons
and dry riverbeds. I stumble around,
bump into things, unaware of the vulgarity
of my own sullen weight.

IV

At the urinal,
my thigh has commenced
to thumping, gravity is pulling me down.
My ankles are wobbly,
my eyesight, blurry.
The duration of my stream,
doubtful.

 

The Clearing

Blue mountain
push up
green hills
gold trees He could see the face
of the Holy Mother cowering
between the knots
of a slanted birch
Oak leaf
clouds swirl
(They have reached
the breech, or rather,
the pitch.)
& she wants to know

why everything he says
is couched in blackness.

“Look the fuck here. Does anything need to added?”
Swallowtails floating
above dandelion
array, addled stalks
of white hair.

She revealed the seed
between her lips
She revealed the seed
between her lips

She reveled in the seed between her lips because it was his issue.

With weather like this, it can’t be spring.
lone leaf afloat
they are adrift

she gestures towards a group of trees

“These pines aren’t
evenly spaced. You
can’t go through life
expecting order.”
{He recalls storms where trees fell like matchsticks.}

This child would be his.

 

Nine Lives

for all those mfs

 

overheard

i remember water
white spray from
jutting rocks
i probed ahead
measured the sweat
on the neck
in front of me

accord

Daddy left me
this guitar
A string’s
busted
But, it’s
a fine one
Ain’t it

arrival

a bus stop
5 am
a rain slick bench
Just waitin’
for the bus
to get here

neighbor

Charlie Frizelle
once told me
I look like
a chocolate
ice-cream cone
with jimmies
on top

security

Before i walk
into any space
I check to see
if there are
any black
people there

incident

In high school,
the Greek kid
made it crystal
clear when he
called me Nigger

lyre

Mr. Woodworth,
the toupee-wearing
choral director warned
My “Power to
the People”
button was incendiary

interview

“and you are so articulate”
was the ass-end
of a back handed complement
dispensed by a businessman
who prided himself
on his ability to
discern my curriculum vitae

m.n.

& in
some places
I have
been
magic.

 

T.J. Anderson III is the author of Devonte Travels the Sorry Route, Cairo Workbook, River to Cross, Notes to Make the Sound Come Right: Four Innovators of Jazz Poetry, Blood Octave, and At Last Round Up. A former Fulbright Scholar at Cairo University, he lives with his family in Roanoke, Virginia, and teaches at Hollins University.

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