The occasion is marked with impurities, with swans
quieted or frozen, with minor crimes committed near nightfall,
with bottles and bottles of wine, with Possibly until No,
until there is no one left in the mirror. I rise to look
in the mirror. Gone are the days of finding myself
in the mirror, of celebrating victory: whistles, streamers,
and the objects that shake down like blooms. Their absence
is troublesome. The occasion is marked with gardens wild
and belling throughout winter. With a well-kept air I explain
I am a fixed principle, then bury my hands. Thus I am marked
throughout winter. Thus I rise and stand in line
to be marked throughout winter. Gone are the days chiseled
from stone. Gone the days this was a town. Gone those
who spoke of fleeing. Gone the days of sand and hourglass;
the lions are pacing at the gates. I explain my tears,
shift from one vessel to another and taste of anise, then
bury my hands until I am unsure my hands are my hands,
are such a fixed principle. Gone are the days of wine and
the glass to fill with it. Gone the chiseled stone like a tattoo
of a name. Thus I change the tattoo of my name into a lion’s profile
and bleed for days. The absence of a name is troublesome.
The occasion will be marked with a long winter, will be fixed
and etched in the mirror. The mirror will be hung at the gate.
It is worth speaking of ends, or a circular
room that will not still on command, but
then, eventually exhausted, regains its composure.
This is a tendency, this is a fiction: The room
is a person talking to overcome a degree
of nervousness. I should stop, a degree implies
enough. Perhaps more: I cannot be certain
that this body will eventually rest, become a pasture.
What is enough is to sleep, for a memory to shudder
and take a form; to recall the sun is a body of light,
a body that could break at any point, arrive suddenly
to earth as artifact. The mind, no matter its logic,
its written description, veers toward an eternity
grazing on itself, more submissive than will be
remembered. And rather than take a breath to say
the light that filtered down was breathtaking or
the room we occupy is a perfect square, as perfection
cannot be imagined, or rather than speak of what
the air that moves through the room happens
to be thinking. Say nothing. Someone else will
rise to the occasion. Instead let me be anxious
with beginnings, as the first sound of morning does
not bend the limbs, but for a moment stiffens, and
then back to sleep; as a halo is returned to its place
as atmosphere, to fall again as noose, to fall again always.
Expressions of Wildness, Dreaminess, Nervousness & Spaciousness
Beneath me, I acknowledge traces
of existence: knotted blue air untangling
in waves. The air wavers, the night comes
in increments, as white powder is slipped
into a drink. I must swallow or I must shake.
Everything injures my judgment. The body
too long without forgets when it was with.
I cover up & keep my belief overcast.
There are no new mechanisms only more
gradations to suffering, to headache, to tremor.
I decide to open to a “new way of thinking.”
A premonition arrives with harps and small bells
determined to be released. Each note creates
a digression. I must remember
to integrate with the blue air.
My body is full of moons,
impossible to cut, they are a field of energy
insomuch as there is a potential for shattering.
Nothing justifies that I barely move
of my own cognition, that the stars are in the sky
with predictions, & that their prophecies
are meant for you alone.
—Brett Fletcher Lauer is the Poetry in Motion Director at the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of CROWD magazine. His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, the Electronic Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.