JAKE SYERSAK


SUDDENLY SYSTEMS OF CIRCLES COME ALIVE ONLY IN LASSO-VISION

The more time harbors circularity, the less meaning I can establish clockwise. Circle, circle: The start of every zodiac’s circuit is a whirl forward, a motion astonished by a starred asterisk that at what point stops to talk a clock into a westward tick-tock to returning to, to returning eastward, most westwardly bound? As if I, in thinking back hard enough, could see an east prying its way through the stem of the westward cornucopia to lead me like an arroyo into some ambiguous pool, some pendulum of a lost thought . . . north . . . south . . . east . . . & west lay like so much mess of tesserae spooling intestine-like out a laugh track. Maybe it does work. But somehow I feel I’m a nude descending  N U   D E S C E N D A N T    U N   E S C A L I E R  descending an escalator molded by the descending wrist of Escher. A cartwheeling larynx removed from the cardinal points of laughter (crawling on all fours). A lasso hung purposely from an invisible isle’s palm, imprisoned in the geometric curvature of fronds—where the only compass exists is an exit to is.




A CIRCLE RECOILS LONG ENOUGH TO DWELL INSIDE OUT

The souvenir I am of any past me in mind in the holy o holy holy of existence asks like the curvature of venom through the half-circular question of a scorpion’s tail, “where am I?” Circumnavigating the crest of what Descartes thought, I think therefore I am the am I was when thinking me. Memory is impossible. Pizzicato falls not off on a sustained vibrato unless to believe that I am I am I am an iamb to grasp that I am. That I am, in reminiscing, a revolving door inflamed with cellophane to mimic now a trapped cocoon a merry-go-round no out but reify; a blast of wings to iamb the am. I swear when I was 5, I saw an umbrella that was a swan skirt the obsidian of a rainy Seattle street with tin wings. It’s times like these that sway me to say, only the inordinary is worth a coordinate. Sometimes a wing is so little to Earth it hurts. Language my memory only knows me as alleged: the most arachnophobic of webs. What chrysalis this? My best guess now is drunken as an azimuth—where a circle is made from turning an x in leftovers of ashen horizon. No bee may emerge if a swarm from the apiary that foams ablaze with buzz but the most obsequious of stings anyway in the query of x marks the spot. Nevertheless, overall, x as query remains the inside joke of x in xerox.




JAKE SYERSAK is an MFA dropout. His poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Coconut, DIAGRAM, and Conjunctions (Web).