Sunday, August 11, 2013

poems ~ Rob Burton



I

breath a fabric woven in three strands
will let its spool pattern out the ways
hours slipping return in its flux; the life which
flickers in a flame’s passing also carries its heat
into the dark and burns its flare a deep
sea white. thawing the primal wo/man untwists
its mercury lip and pulled from the deep
returns new flesh warmed in the flesh to come.
as long as there is flesh intention accretes in
colour; layer by layer laid in flakes of coral
and dispute it reaches after warmth. this spring
again will not be denied and breath will push
on through the years stretching its limbs out
in your limbs; the air and any future yours


II
we lie out under open skies;
between sunset and rise of sun there is probably
cold enough to freeze water from its vapour
no intervening phase. I try to start a fire
carving it to a lens and focussing
a single beam to paper thin wood,
but can’t begin and who
can start them anyway. Image holds
the surface of the lake for a moment where
we dip hands. The traveller felt pressed
by derision there once, at the hill top
and grinning reached a hand to thawed earth
cracks widened to swallow the journey as fatuous;
her temp a constant 0 degrees



III
in morning I think of my optimism
(disguised) as its own priest
persuading to gatherings, as
smoke in the room and every
particle lit in its movements
turning the skin’s crosshatch
close up

it applies makeup the face wide at the
cheekbones a cadmus son  in drag
its substance drawn apart
by the eager hands of daughters

sometimes it is shaped, as
encounters taking petals, in hotel
corridors, those broad petals
held by dolls



IV
Greet the dog, a good one
Telling condition as “well”
You learn short or long
That’s all there is
Playing its vast weight up on
Your shoulders there
Muzzle pressed against the back
Of the neck a single frame stop
Seeing you arch back into it


V

my girl painted Barbie pearl necklaces
drawn bigger than eyes strained match
wood open
held the wig on blonde like the mouth
plumped trying young and innocent
mouth a little too hard for full and
on fate more than I knew gets there
looking to walk onto villa party lists
stars drawn over breasts fall showers, counterpoint
flesh defies gravity, disengaged as vacant stared
intent and
understrut marginal the elder hand support,
redundant skin the towel to dry
officials after bathing, weathered past it, hands
cracked and aching


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