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Four Poems, by Edwin Torres


In Semblance of Being

roaming isolation, disappears on cue
once home           too many walls to return to
too many sudden walls

what if I were to suddenly alive
for no one, surprising         definition
with instinct           my oldest friend

so much passage for one being
so much adolescence           in one lifetime
who was receiving

all those messages, but me
growing new ear canals           to alive, is always
to affect, scattershot

I swear to have seen
what once de-railed me          I swear to lives worn through
I crossed re-telling, rewired

in the evolution of new limbs
to survive the porous         in times of calamity
life, is a time of calamity

the instant
caught, by its swipe            the landing spot
outside this window

what I use, to familiarize my displacement
phenomena            as derailment
who, is moving through

but through            who, is receiving
but receiving            who, is not there
but everyone

dare the world its flaw
finger swipe neural            I swear to have been
what once de-railed me

I swear to a man worn through
dare the bird its beak            I crossed
the untellable, to find

connection, outside these walls
dare the line its cross            the heart its pulse
invades my sleep, my wrist

too supple for dare, resists
as opening, as pencil grip            to know, who was it
all this time I was talking to

but all my selves
who were all those receptors
of words, action, ability            but me

looking for connection            to me
those careful arrangements of descent
who were they drawn for            here

in the letting go of immediacy
my cycles of immediacy            my relevant chambers
of inconsistency            dare body, to get up

to leave, to get back
dare the get back            to tell you something
who gets something from the get back

the air against the window
the vent over the stove            the heat
whose touch escapes

get up, leave these walls
move            to something familiar
to not familiar            the something


Post Isolation

          —for Ian Curtis

if everyone leaves me tomorrow
if everyone leaves me today           will everyone know me tomorrow
did everyone know me today

this morning my walk in my shadow
last night my surrender my screen             tomorrow my water so hollow
I’m telling you things you don’t need

in isolation / every sensation / gets elevation / in isolation

if gratitude is a contagion
a sign of the catchable rise            a question of human erosion
a quiver inside a demise

to see the eclipsed intervention
what severs the server we see           to enter the size we embody
to follow the follow we feed

in isolation / I found a nation / in hibernation / I found creation

if bodies are made of existence
we’re doing the best that we can                       if language is made of resistance
to offer a hand for a hand

to learn what we can from our body
to honor the teachable plan           to enter the question of body
to answer the best that we can


To Summon the Kept Immortal

eagle of sentient origin — I’m scaling a language
I don’t know — one of us, in winged invocation
is staring back, invested in speculative ancestry — that morning
over the cliffs of some instant fall, you came to me
my cloudgate open — my heartshard quizzed
am I to retreat the found breach, the flighted obsolescent feel
I encourage — to breathe, hovered in mid-air
a civilization’s height between our species
pierced by a borrowed climb, your golden iris — these words
what we’ve become — what you saw, that sun
what you gave, that mountain, what I was, that man
what I became, that human
I relive your visitation when lost, floating
on heat drafts — your height, what no ground would give — your gaze
locked in — you came to me
you saw what I would be, you waited I waited
I saw what you were, we had a conversation, it went —

say say savi savi sor sor salee saloo sweven sweven swalla swallay see on, say on, to see, to see, to see, on blanking the moment, on silent integral, on obfusement, o words are coming to me, you are making me into o words, I think of you and say o words, as you imagine my grounded smote, as I imagine your wind torn slatch, I am in your o words, was that, where the o poem came from, remember the o poem, I have to find the o poem, the one about the cliffs, about adolescent menagerie, about using arm as limb, thrown to ocean, about inner quest, my early inner quest, I miss my early inner quest, did it leave, never, did it change, always, I miss that, the never leaving, what is it that I miss, that, and in, your o word offering, is where I am falling now, in your o words, offering, is where I drill into sinew, my o word ommorrow, my o marrow, my ongue, my orso, my or, so, in your o word or, is my own, o, my o, in the that, of our mutual offerings, we stayed frozen like that, for hours, on that cliff, though, it felt like seconds, or do minutes feel like seconds when we, move out of the way, o of the way, do we feel like time, when given a chance for movement, do we give our solace its vertigo, when staring into eyes we can’t see, yours, there, in hovered magnitude, mine, there, in softed o pression, of scented imperfections that form this o body, the scented immaterial of my hover, the amount of space I claim, on a ground I call over, to call the ground I claim as the ground I’m over, o word sentient, o word logum, o word rib, o skeletal, osiris, okhemba, ojun, oruba, to inform my landing of promise, to escalate equanimity by using that word, to imply justice, by using that word, to re-train forgiveness, by using that word, to enter matter by matter’s color, to enter marrow by marrow’s color, to ignote color, to in color, to note color into speech, by using that word, o word ontological, I gave you one moment, a lifetime ago, a poem ago, I gave you one word you interpreted as your own, I gave you my word, as your own, you never took, you never gave, we just stayed, cell to cell, eye to eye, intra-spectral atmospheric, it was me that stayed, in that momentary void, it was me that chose, my momentary sunlit apogee, my inner climb, those early days of not, how they formed what I became, how I knew to leave something, when I got too close, how that protection defined my fear, it was me that feared getting too close, how I defined my word, as yours, o word, speculation was a sentient, my body was intact, when we were younger we’d speed through, it was so much to take in, when I was older, we slowed down, it was too much to take in, knowing that standing differently, is what we’ve become


I Thought This Thing

years ago I thought
this thing

— it’s like I never said it
because no one ever heard it

and now
it’s come back

— that reference

and your wishered fantastic
on residue lake

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