March 11, 2006

an excerpt from Flicker (Signature Editions, 2005)

obsidian sliding, a throat; the comma catches, and then what is heard is what is here, divisible not by focus, or measure.

the rock comes lost in a box of other rocks. deep black, revulsion even, the texture charted by the textbooks, revising its insane purples and blues. a necessary magenta falls away. the word as much as anything. "obsidian" and it was.

a throat as audience, beginning with attention, attending, the idea hooked into air, hooked into a palm, oblivion between fingers.

the only rock for miles and miles in the silt-sandy soil of the Peace River. downstream Dunvegan drowns in bridge. this chunk of hurt churned up from the subterranean chambers where rivers flow with four banks and water falls upward.

contorted masks of igneous, gneiss, quartz still hot, hissing out between teeth, past tongues of lava, eyes of mica. but here, once, on a plain stretch of summerfallow, is the dramatic entrance. a throat. sound. obsidian.

the word sets a pace and first is breath, wind, furrows, a comma disc cuts roots, thin sod, rhythm, the rhythm of steppe, murmur of water surges, convulses --a body heaving with names.

carving. carving away possible images of a face. carving away. settling on a method of handwriting after many nights of practice. settling for that face. that face.

finding strangeness, and love, in a palm cupped in practice, pressed to stone, stitched, the pattern believing in sight, believing in the stone. the hands cupping the stone believe in gradation, the granite hinges turning, await the taste of a stone tongue.

a picture may have been taken. holding the camera with a latticework of brown iris, precipice, pupil. the edges of the stone blotted out, a blur of inky black. this is obsidian, once.

the artifacts of conversation, touch, maybe the silence after. forgetting to breath. pressure, the subterranean seething in valiant black, a glass-sharp hush, inhalation without colour before its own obliteration.

the stone, obsidian, was lost. the oblique moment, stooped: an eye flash, toe stub, laughter even.

No comments: