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Scene Gaining Ground on Itself

ISSUE:  Fall 2006

Backslash rain
tipping yellows, stil-de-grain, flickered.

October clematis, each flower taking
in a square of fence,
zazen posture
or diagrams for wiring on paintings,
Chinese chops—

Crow in the flowerbed—
usually don’t see just one—
Crows, little dogs, hang out, don’t mind rain, shake it off—
except for the cackle—
smugness a dog never could imagine—

Reminisced yellow like woodgrain found under paint like Asian pear like prurience
like nailpolish bitten in jags like penetration like interpenetration like like.

My friend says crows will designate one lookout among themselves,
and if it sleeps,
attack it. Dive and rip,
kill it for its shut eyes—

blood-caking of feather—

Twig snail aerosol unlit loam cold-soup—
Agar chitin wiring veins insect wing-leaf—
incense of breaking down—
a lü-shih of else.

If dragons fly up above the clouds,
nest in stratospheres and preen thin wings
till winter says its last nasty—

they torch heavens, split spring, where

bushes open xanthic throats,
trunks exhale yolk-bright leaves.

If rain-blacked bark,
wet-lit leaves, pulse yellow
their right of yellow,
still I, with no right myself, watch

a crow fuss at woodchips, turn them over one by one, clever beak
finding hors d’oeuvres on undersides,

then in a slow takeoff, jump,
up from the driveway gravel—

day replete, if nowhere else,
under its wings—


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