US & THE BAD MEN IN THE ELM PLACE
Spike on rear ricasso, & they’re
Good to empt a man.
Don’t it feel peccant, how many
Windows they broke? the way
They rubbed their jaws like that?
It’s enough to raise allovers
& the damnd vellications.
It’s a Lon Chaney Christmas :
Sun pale yaller & hung
Like a cape, halfassed in its last
Look at the world.
Us & the bad men, godblessit.
In the elm place. Each of them
Esau : one woman on either side,
One dexter & one sinister.
But not a single one was witness
To our honings. If you forget
Them they are gone. They are
All Gone, our real movement.
FOR JABBO SMITH
Dress it in key lime honey &
Banana ketchup. The whitest rum,
The greenest egg : When it’s peeled,
One can pattern the shell flecks, &
That’s language (an exterior delimit
-ing an interior, entire unsubtle Egg,
& the fish crow : ohmigod, ohmigod.
Everybody’s got a laughing place.
It begins in the mouth, shakes
Loose from there, Cladys, each
Your cast turns open’d
& swung like a balisong blade,
Inconsistent but mortal gorgeous
Risk, wrist-to-finger. Yours was a
Scattered thing, but not itinerant.
A means by which to pour out,
Clear up to the brim : to dissipate,
Then reappear, if only shadow :
A book still with its rattle.
A bookshelf with some play.
WITHOUT PREMEDITATION & EVEN AGAINST MY WILL
(in case you really are that close.
O but just admit the will is fecund, tho
Animated & daubed with a set of bones :
spectry composessor which
Empty the self in filling the jigger.
Are you moving it? I am not moving it,
This pencil : but my page is marked,
My glass goes clean, ti pa ti pa. What did
You there see? (doesn’t matter :
Only what sees you can matter.
A poem sees. It sings. The last man
On earth singing the first
Song ever written. Doesn’t matter.
You go (
You’ll be seen never & by no
Low ringers, least not until later.
C. Violet Eaton is the author of Some Habits, which won the Omnidawn Open Book Prize. He lives in West Fork, Arkansas.