Thursday, August 27, 2009

4 poems by Connie Michener

“Rough Start”

I tried to find the proper inflection to make the
word have the right ridges on the key-edge, to offer the
leverage, torsion, to twist over the tumbler
to popstart the engine, I'm banging on the starter
with the handle of the jack, standing on the air filter
turning the ignition trying to generate the sparking
get the firing going the engine purring, Hwhat!?!?
Speak damn you say what it is, what makes you
because I have always been willing, just cut the
crap all the time because I want this to run well,
and quiet, the endless whining


We had ridden forever
our every waking moment
pedalling through rolling dells,
a long thread being drawn out
behind us and in front of us is
the mass of tangled darkness
our bicycles as spinning wheels
making fiber into bound yarns
of memory, somewhat crystalline
and somewhat pliable yet fixed,
malleable, to be made into stories
we had yet to fully discover
the stretch through time and space
here, a long taut thread
setting our range from coast to coast
we were far-ranging animals on machines,
machine animals;
our purpose was to be far-ranging, to see
far, to live just about everywhere, to have done it.
The messy jumble of the to-and-fro daily life
of running in the same circles again and again
was untangled somewhat, or the knots
pulled to tightness, the organization of
our thoughts on the recognition of
the necessities in the constantly unfamiliar
and we rode as if
we had dropped from the sky riding
we had come from nowhere, from over the
horizon of yesterday, from the between times
and we were born like this and
we had always been like this
and this is what we knew
which was everything.
We found our way and we threw ourselves in
ditches or rested on banks of fog on in the swirling
eddies of rivers when we could find them.
Yes pain and hunger, but the moving, the keep-going,
the absorption through all senses the experience.
Nothing else was, Nothing else mattered
the rumination of bottom brackets and miniscus
and the throwdown of the derailleur and
we just were is how we came to be and
sense only had to be made
later on.

“Bay of Alexandria”

[You] pull me up from the depths
With your winch still powered by
synthesized energy siphoned
from, after all, my own will
I feel the turbulence and exhaustion
Turbulence that tells me yes, still feel
at the farthest capillaries and endings
From the heart and nerve center, still.
And I don’t know what will happen when
The salt water soddenness leaves me
Will I be
Dessicated in the ambient breeze.
Or sputter toward an even growl.
Hearsay the chatterings
To know which is small talk
and which is big
Nothing from nothing, as you say
“And not of taking it for more than what is it
Not of the wrongs-taking
Don’t take it badly or not of
Encouragement of
any meaning to it at all”
Is was all heard from others;
The turbulence, the drag.
The equation on the paper
Seems to work yes,
So to double-checking the maths.
Rush the gun barrel from the side
And let go the connections the
Overstated compatibility of the makings before
The trickle-charge half-livings
of feed the captive.


Off-throwing of all the jibber-jabber
And of the hearsay and the endless
Ask of the forgivings the drain funnel
Into former repository of sadness,
Is of to turn out, pour into the
Wind of blowing away ash of never true.

Is of a thing the time of makings-
Decision the feel of comfort the
Matter negotiations
So many the deals never so good as now.

Not of mean shrink from the extension
But had need pause of the moment
Examine new tools of unfamiliar the
Manner of usage

And run quickly into the past collect
Pieces left behind scatter far and wide
The fight and flee. Runnings of outrun
The intense, maddening battle the shredding
Cast off of the detriment and essential
Alike in confusion of boundaries, no boundaries,
A crumpled balled map blown open
By the wind, rained on, run through by cars.

Break trust the notion that I cannot see for myself
As much stop believe the reports of supposed aids.
Slip the sleeve the jacket of champion
of the undeserved and false morality
and of tribal duty that asks blindness
excepting of the flash of precision the action
from the short list of condoned, the good of all.
And of make blind the seeing of forced looking
The wrong direction of now the search
The speartip and examination of [direction].

Stopping short the manufacture of whitewash
The pieces; I am not made of wood nor stone
Not so the interchangeability and break taboo
the make comparison formerly of mere politeness
is the erasure of my limbs.

Is no mastermind evil genius of makings the
Dark woods bad, and hence no other of
Equal the opposite value of makings felty.
No one to tell us what to do, only to listen.

Is only of the trail and error
And the pressings of on
And of the go and see
And of the here and now.


Connie Michener is a writer and designer currently living near Boston. These poems are from her chapbook "Hiccough of Wonder."

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