Two Poems by Graeme Bezanson

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J. D. Walsh. OBSC

J. D. Walsh. OBSC, 2013. Spandex and wood. Courtesy of the artist.

Eclogue

Music parts to reveal the famous antiquity, a fine lace
Of gasoline in the tapwater, an anomaly of pinkish light.

See now how the cheek of South America pulls away from
Our kisses. My wife, the compound-adjectived,

Dappled by a net of starlight, hands in a deathless 
Watermelon: Everything you find in the trough of a U

Is rising: Peregrine insects, sap in the fir tree, imperative 
Sentences containing just one or two words. Or you might have

No views on the rolling table, borrowing where it’s cheap to borrow, 
Sleeping where the beds are huge. This is why we’re in your

Wheelhouse, looking for sapphires. Refracted by treetops.
I can’t tell if I’m the flotilla or another wayward curl.

 

In the Shape-Filled Foreground

1

        The woods
        (historical/social)
        seemed compromised
        unpopular or somehow
        insufficient as
        disaster I thought while
gesturing at downed
branches though not
in those words

We set off in autumn
 in borrowed boots  
  uneasy with whatever
   else was the myth “vs” 
    to literally occur 
     Both sides 
      a structural agreement 
       between consenting
Europeans
French people
Trees

       This opposition 
       is a problem
      for almost everyone 
     The hunting camp
    is reachable
   but it’s a cynical 
  compromise
  and there is still
  the art of birth 
  and reproduction the
“bourgeois platitudes” 
of choice 
we trade
in the capital
because I guess there is 
nothing but thin wolves
in the country

              A factory or
              an office is similar
              to the other
              social organs 
              and forces that 
              continue to appear
              in different contexts
              but with the same tone 
              They seem to their 
              predecessors 
              gone and
              maybe forever
              and maybe that’s
              fine (thin) anyway

What is the art 
of literary production 
in the 21st century
Is it still 
  the scripting language of the
    up-till-now
      Is it partially-
        absorbed
         and uneven
         (like sunblock)
          and can you criticize it
          for betraying
         “sheds of light”
          like the Romans did
          I mean
          Romantics

         Antlers
           School books
             Watercolors
               joined forces 
                 for centuries
                  but I’ve heard if a wolf 
                   clamps onto your hand 
                    you should force it deeper 
                    down its throat until
                    it chokes and lets go
                    You can of course
                    look back at this point
                    but only if 
                    you want to

 

2

         The sun rose in
         the clearing and was 
         unlimited or
         limited only by 
            what had already blown
              past while we slept
                a series of infinite 
                  unbounded
                  images accessible to
                  everyone 
                  and a specific
                                        feeling or maybe just
                                          the sensation 
                                            of that feeling
                                              if that’s different

                                                       The forest (doubt) is endless
                                                       and regenerates itself
                                                      with fire and images
                                                    representative of trees
                            In other words it’s true
                            that art and other impurities
                            have their own models 
                            and lists of materials 
               mental processes
    that might be based on 
vice or formal constraint
or gestures of abstraction
(E.g. “Louis XV has the appearance

       of modern art 
   and should not be emperor”)
      Imagine how this could be 
      reproduced again and again
      and cut to every size
      for every fireplace

 

                I’m here in a small cottage
                in the woods outside Brive
                Becoming my father
                Eating heels of bread
                Probably getting boots 
                for my birthday
                My wife pregnant
                in the other room
                singing something
                optimistic
                about snow

 

I know
this is not the end
or a beginning
and the entire domain
is never for sure
That a gesture of abstraction
might formalize the abstract 
   That there’s always
   room (audience)
   for improvement (amends)
   The function is never the same
     as the actual us
      but it could be us
       and that’s worth it
        and has enough energy
         so that by the first 
          frost of December
          it’s no longer better
          to do nothing

Graeme Bezanson is a founding editor of Coldfront. His poems have appeared in Sixth FinchWashington Square, Verse, Coconut, Everyday Genius, and elsewhere. A chapbook of his eclogues is forthcoming from H_NGM_N press. He lives in France.

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