By Leah Umansky
Was a worse-now torture. I will break this network and it is too, too hot. There are two splendid littles, but it is hardly worthwhile. The three hunters were too many. A thousand plans now, but stay there. All words and motions are disagreeable.
I shall always be a balm. I shall continue on without being. Without being able to explain to myself, but to know the whole life will happen.
Will be, not meaningless / will be, not before/ will be, full of the deep and fuller / and I will impress it.
That is intentional – the marked . Re-think, and it feels like a truth.
The big hot end of a day is great/ is greater/ is greater even grated whole.
* lines appropriated from Anna Karenina.
THE SAVAGE BANQUET OF MACHINES (for M.E.)
When the machines all got together they shed their coats and met in the bare in the round. Cross legged, they crossed wires. They fused parts and aligned keys. It didn’t matter who was cuter than whom or QWERTY-er than whom. They dined on prosecco and bruschetta. Like ordinary people, they told vulgar jokes, and mocked the machines who were not present. They played charades, and hangman, and then one machine brought out a gold bag. It dazzled in the half-light. The machines got close-like – coming in towards each other like one would for a secret, but this was only a half-secret; a particle, really. In the golden bag, was a little knickknack M1 found behind his desk. It had marks on it, like small groves. M2 grabbed his case and turned his right arm until music started playing. He made M4 touch his middle, and then, they realized, he too was a grooved thing: a music box. M3 moved closer to the Golden One with the golden bag and felt the small groves that rested before him. No one could figure out what it was. M6 felt the soft side at the end and smelled it, pressed it, bounced it against the floor. She couldn’t quite place where she had seen this thing, but had a faint moment of déjà-vu. M8 pushed through the crowd and noticed the spike its end. He was about to jam it into his side, when the Golden One stopped him, “We can use this for our own good; Let me show you the way.” They all stepped back as the Golden One took a mustard sheet out of the bag, and placed it at the center of the floor. It seemed to be glowing in the light. M9 drew her little m’s close as they rolled their way to the front to get a good view. The Golden One pulled his levers and took the thing in its claw. He pressed the spike to the sheet and then there was a “gasp.” It was a miracle. The Golden One made lines on the mustard sheet and the machines knew this was a wild time. They were re-creating the past. They were opening doorways into rooms left cold. “Pencil,” said The Golden One. “Eraser,” said M10 as he flicked through his database with one hand. “Yes,” said the Golden One, “we are now participating.” Then came a loud belch, that came from afar, and the machines turned their faces across the room, towards the prosecco which was all over M9’s little m’s and already starting to rust their parts. They burped up bubbles and clanked their motors. The Machines laughed, and the light dimmed with their heightened electronic awareness.
THE NIGHT GENIUS
Take this, and hold it.
May the call be recognized and willing.
Remember, because I can’t remind you enough,
some will simply refuse and one
will profusely bank in on the solemn wanderings of nightfall.[it begins here:]
One night-genius humbled over the saturated sky; over the pastured bleak. Solitary but prepared to make the leap; to lean deep into the hour and let his loins reach the wanting.
He was tender in his wait. And he waited to tenderize what would soon arrive.
He stared and he storied. He let the day erode behind him. He counted. He danced. He slept.
This is not a poem about angels.
The sky burned blue and then turned quietly to song. As if the night yearned for chaos, for light, for a stringed theory of the future. All was now-kindling. He felt the sky scrape. He felt the light bolt as if a star let go from –
One small bravado.
One leap for planetary-kind.
It yearned for glory; for the spotlight. Was it merely shucking the universe? Did it have a good laugh?
In an ongoing battle of colonial unity, it did secede. It waved its coat tails above its spark and rode off into the battered tomorrow. It tore away from the night, waving its banner behind it, all the time running, and bolting-on
His eyes learned awareness behind the bewildering. He slapped himself and then stood in the darkness. The night-genius felt revolutionary as if he were pioneering starlight. He who was not struck down. He spun around three times in that dark, vast place. He do-si-doed with reality, for he had one true vision:
Life was cold-cut, but electric in the palm.