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Old 03-05-2014, 09:03 PM View Post #1 (Link) Missing something (Isis and Tredyakovsky)
Tredyakovsky (Offline)
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I'm in the process of making you a book of poetry
It'll be good when it's done
I promise. I've tried to section the parts into four
so you may stick with me, on the same path

I thought about binding the pages in ribbon
but that wouldn't make sense
because I'm not a gentle person. But I'll put the pages
in order

at the very least. I sectioned my life into parts for you.
I even named them. The first section had the name
'pink tassels on the back of some rollerskates, and
a lot of eczema.' The second section pulled
away from being named, but I tagged it anyway--
'A council house, and the kind of embarrassment
girls who read experience.'
Subtler, the third section: 'Chaos, or a
conceptual scheme?' Last:

This is not the kind of book you review, or share
with your friends. But I'd like you to have an opinion
on it anyway. In my parents' house growing up
we had a fish that swallowed stones
only to purge them; he was spring
cleaning, all the time. That
is what I mean.

And you're in it, of course. At one point
I talk about how you are a peach. Not because
you're soft, or supple, or both, or anything
like that, but because the first time I met you
you were wearing creamorange lipstick
and I know I'll never see anyone
pull it off again

I try to pull out recurring themes and it was easier
than I thought it would be. I guess human
beings aren't drowning in track marks afterall.
I noticed I talk about two things at once a lot
never just cars, always driving my car while you're
in a field of corn in the rain, or I am in my car
driving it but I'm thinking about being with you
in the corn or I am on a train to Birmingham remembering
being on a train when I was eleven
and everything the window showed me was magic, sped-up.

There is a clock in every poem, always
in the form of a watch, and I am always the one wearing it.
I'm not necessarily watching the clock
in every single poem, but each world I write about
has time, and I keep track of it.
In one instance, it's Shrove Tuesday
and I know, in the tense of your wrist, tensing
the pan in your fists
it is not going to make the cut. I watch
the pancake catch the edge of the pan, half
as the other half sears for the floor.
I count three seconds, almost

I write about faces in the afterthought of the dark
I write about faces in places you'd only see
them if you really, really knew them
enough to be there
The left side of the bed, above the sink
when you look in from out the back garden.
Between the back of the passenger seat
and the floor, that wild space. You haven't seen
a face untamed until you've seen a face in
a place where the legs
normally rest

In my poems I try to articulate certain feelings
and give up immediately. I say things like
the sound of some sort of vehicle, going past, fast--
I feel like a foreign country, I feel like whatever
is inside me is sadder than it would be inside
a person who is landlocked--
All the time, I click my tongue to a rhythm
I have never heard anywhere--
No, my thoughts, all the time, click, tim, tum
I am so conjoined--
						Last edited by Tredyakovsky; 06-15-2015 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:39 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Isis (Offline)
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The first time we met I had a different voice: I was part
birds on the golf course, magnolias, steely screens of rain.
And part trumpet, part lipstick, part film. You can imagine
how I saw these things going together, the blue-gray
memories against the brassy ones. I wrote to make memories
into something worth writing about. As though

I were always finding and wearing
someone else's clothes, as though I could figure out
who I was by taking someone else's clothes
off and becoming a figure myself. Now if I had to

be anything besides a person who loves
to look out the window I would be oranges,
which unfold so easily into sections
and which remind everyone of home.
The crate of clementines coming in from the snow to roll
around with onions beneath the microwave;
the spurt of orange juice in a cafe,
a lemon as round and as sweet as an orange eaten
half a century ago on the street in Cairo.
Oranges come just when we need them
a reminder of what the wan sun will become.
If you eat too many
they will burn the corners of your mouth.

Last time you wrote, I wanted you to look out the window
in the rain and think about it for a long time, to see the rain
behind the rain. And other goals stolen
from poems I didn't understand. I thought that to not understand
was a sign of willingness and above all
to be deep and supple at the same time, like the river.

I am in my lover's car, driving and thinking about
being you. I am thinking about how
we always want one part of someone
else's lived experience but never all
of the messy web they've created to hold themselves

I want you to read
my poems and letters and feel a burn at the corners of your mouth
I want to hunt something down, maybe memory, with the skill
of someone not afraid to hold a spear or a bird,
and put it with a thunk on the table
I want to guide you through the woods of memory to my favorite part
where I'm at the top of a hill
and the wind is blowing without bringing rain
and I am a different person, thank god, and the city is a different city
and have you say
that you know a better place
where we can stand and talk about growing up
and that it's just a few exits down the highway.
						Last edited by Isis; 03-08-2014 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:24 PM View Post #3 (Link)
Tredyakovsky (Offline)
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Always, I say ‘there are’—
There is nothing. What I mean
is that inside me – swells
an already robust thing. An orange
or a sun, or a home. The prelude
to the swelling act was you. Nights
facing each other on the white linen
your blonde hair sprawled in a shape
that inside me matched ‘envy.’ I love
the way you sprawl. Inside of me
you peered whenever you felt
curious, before zooming out again
Your eyes left something; an infection?
I know only that I swell like a dumb
thing, or a fruit

Tell you what it’s like in the rainless
days. Dandelion clocks beneath my feet
like small children running home
Tell you what it’s like in the rainless
days. The rain even more than you’d think
inside my stomach. Laughing maniacally
in the sun at even things the sun
cannot temper. Orange in my gums
like a mouth shield; I won’t fight
with anyone today, I promise! Just
let me dance! Let me forget the sad
music you play! Let me forget
the sad music inside my stomach

please. I’m spinning inside a rotundra
of fantasy. There is everything here,
there is even the past. The past
which plays like a broken VCR
however, retaining its essence. The smile
that shaped your soul. Nineteen smiling
Cheshire cats, a song now a chant
a crop-top I wore when I was seven
years old – I always think I look
much more distinct in clothing
than I do in real life.

But anyway, I know a place. Where?
Somewhere, shush, don’t worry.
I know how the sun grows, and I know
its menstruations, and I know how the
night bites oranges, unaware of the
segments. You’ve never seen a sunset
bleed? I know a place. It’s seventeen
minutes away from your house. What?
No. No, don’t worry about me. It isn’t
far from mine either. Seventeen
minutes from yours, third exit
on this roundabout

although-- There, I'm sorry, no


wait, it might
it might actually be here
we might be here already
it might not be seventeen minutes—
						Last edited by Tredyakovsky; 03-10-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:33 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Isis (Offline)
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- or it might be us at seventeen, years apart
but now, both in the past, comparable.
I hold you over me like a color slide
up to a window. I want to see the landscape
through the landscape, the forest
through the trees, the little stained-film box
of your life against the riot of mine.
When I was seventeen I used slide film
to record my paintings for a national exam
and taped the slides to the window
to measure my progress. How measured
the paintings looked, captured in slicks.
How composed. No matter the subject
from far off the slides looked like little sunsets
taped over the gray late-morning sky.
A cloud would track across my miniature face
and then across my real one. To know
I could not paint that. Only the eye
could take in the tininess of the image
and how easily it was destroyed by the most casual
shrug of a cloud.

What I imagine now is like that: your life at seventeen
stretched into a tiny frame. I hold it close to my eye

so it overlaps mine as much as possible. But
vision is a strange shape that shifts
with every shift of my eyes. Is that why maps
are ovals with flat edges? I can never seem
to make out the edges of even my memories
but your slide is sharp, the two images blurring
only in the middle. Both have oranges,
or a rising sun. The blue ribbon of road
a turntable glimpsed in the corner.
I think for some reason of the violin
long dormant in the corner of my place
though slides and memories do not
come with music.

How far my teenage years feel sometimes and how
near others, as if the intervening years
have not happened yet, as if my biggest thrill
was still to loaf through art museums
or slump into cars with boys, as if
I were acquainted with the visual world
of latex paintings on plywood and boys
leaning against their cars, as if I didn't
have to fight my hand for every depiction,
as if I could step outside and wander
among the maples and rock walls, the rusted cars
and streams, the endless string of lakes
like bootprints filled and feel myself fill
with the shiver of melting snow
or the shudder of an engine against bare skin.

Anyone's depiction against our own life
feels tiny and composed
though I'm sure this glance of me at seventeen
wild as I have tried to make it
is tame and boxed
each of us envying the good fortune of the other
each of us omitting something. Missing something,
like bile rising on the bus or a friend envied
so long she turned sour in the passenger seat
of our cars or the same tired dawn over the lake
like an oil spill, not an orange, what should
have filled us with something
but which weighed instead like a too-heavy head
of tufts on a sagging dandelion.
						Last edited by Isis; 03-19-2014 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:35 PM View Post #5 (Link)
Tredyakovsky (Offline)
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In this life, maybe. But what about
the next world? The one before?
What about the sea, and us blown
from land? You asked me once to fathom
a world of ocean-ground, palm trees sprung
from the sink matter, intent on reaching
the chlorophyll. God, we’re so green.
There’s only one problem with being
seventeen, and that’s being seventeen
a stone without a ring, a heart but no
heart to display. Where’s your heart?
Don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it.
And there’s only one problem with art
and that when I’m looking at it.

I denied being synaesthetic and you were
undeterred. Asked instead my favourite number
and I said sixty-seven. A prophecy, or a
confusion? My vision faded at eighteen, I can’t
see you the way I used to. Please come closer
or disappear completely. Hold me up to
the light, my face a balloon. I’ll blame the
sun spots when you’re all but invisible.
You said you can’t hold everything up to the light
I said that when you’re seventeen
you can do anything with an explanation.
You told me that logic has to climb
steps, and I said that seventeen is faith.

Let me tell you about seventeen troubles
I have. Number one is God, because God
climbs the monkey bars above me
and he always tell me I can do it – but what does
he know? I’m not him. Whatever, man. Two
is nothing to be ashamed of actually; it’s the way,
on Pancake Day, I watch what you make falling
aware three seconds before it happens
that it’s going to happen. Number three is the sound
of the bus engine, when I’m sitting above it
and it keeps my thighs warm. Don’t tell me the journey
will only take an hour. Number four revolves
around how I make people into paintings. So pretty
when observed, but I can’t stand any eyes on
my hips. Just tell me about the conversation
you had, and I’ll grin like I was there. Five
is my childhood.

Number 6 is the way that I’m here. You’re not.
Seven is faith, counting its parts on my fingers, thinking
I can use logic – thinking it can exist this way; if faith is
x, and y is fourteen, what is y? I always confuse tautological
and eschatological. Seven – Jesus, seven – is
you in a dark room. The lights turn on
you still can’t see me. Eight – how I am always at the
pinnacle of my future. Why can’t I recede
I read a book named If You Afraid of Heights
because Vivian told me to. The books said
“If you are afraid of heights, my friend, I have
nothing to show you…”
Number eight tastes like salt in my mouth;
it’s you and me in your blue room and I’m crying
and I tell you I’m going to sleep. You say that’s fine
in the shortest whisper, and you carry on. Nine, nine,
nine o’clock. I tried opening my curtains, as well.
Don’t tell me it’s British Summer Time, it can’t
always be British Sumer Time. Fuck
British Summer Time.
Ten. Working in a pharmacy. My mother’s
medicine cupboard – the things I know
are there.

Eleven is motion. Is it a human thing?
Beauty, even, is motion. You wanted to buy
me a pair of earrings shaped into a tree,
and a bird hanging from a metal branch. I don’t
know why that’s a noun. Twelve are my shoulders
the long straight bone like the centre of a kite
and there’s a hole in my stomach; I’m
freefalling. Thirteen is every single glass
bus that exists in this world we exist
in. I won’t hold my breath. Fourteen
are the pixels on my laptop screen, wondering
if they are necessary. If there’s something I need
to do – to tell them, somehow, that the only
times I see spots, even in my peripheral,
are when I class with the sun’s relentlessness.
Fifteen. Cars have this sound when they’re going away,
the sharpness of an engine, receding with the dark—
Sixteen is my childhood, but it’s okay
because the further away you get from a point,
the better it hangs in your memory. I don’t think
I count the days, though.

Can you say everything with words
? That’s seventeen. I used to know everything
now my lips form the shape of words
I don’t know anymore. There’s something missing
and it’s on my lips. There’s something missing
and it tastes like this;

three years ago; swallowing wind gushes and swinging
at Priory Park. The sky is shelved higher
than normal today; and illuminates
more than usual today. Like a watercolour with backlight
and me, with an illusion of higher, higher,
and this realisation clanking the hard of my bones
beneath my hips, and I depart with something
sharply, and with fluency, like when you are riding a bike
for the first time, and can’t stop,
or when you board an aeroplane, and feel
quiet, pinhole loss, but it is too late to look back because
it's probably too small to see now
						Last edited by Tredyakovsky; 03-30-2014 at 08:01 PM.
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