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Sunday, May 10, 2015


"Dinosaur Whitman," (c) 2015 emily eissenberg

from Pearl and Other Poems

Restless, I entered the chat room with Jack
distended in speech & hyperlinks
& lonely from solo work of scouring

vast archive of internet banks &
Google Books & encyclopedia sewers

& hundred thousand fibers of
work-frayed hair & scholar hat

& bleak-slouched shoulders &
motionless butt of sitting, numb

& flittering thoughts of argument
moth & outbranching
vain bibliography brain

colorless emotional & restless
for love

& the formidable robust muscular
                  bonds of human text:

for Sunflower Allens &
rose-sick Blakes
asphodel Williams &
blossomdeep Annes

but in the chatrooms & forums
                  & journals & blogs

the text was too abstract
                  woven layers wan & flavorless

soil too thorny or shallow
                  or deep:

no proper soil for the work
to seed

the only ones who could read
                  were Jack & me

& me & Jack, & our reading was a lovely
                  tekatak plant.

I am a lovely tekatak
                  I have no history or culture

a flower of no particular nation
                  relaying my clean fragrance

no asphodel or poppy

no gingham print patch of sassafras
or Appalachian sawtooth grass

no shield-flat plains of Asian paddies
or rice-ripe rows of sun-red grain

no chickadaw tree of tan savannah
or arboreal star of trilac plant:

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed
I wasn’t one.

When pearl-wet hair of willow draped
I wasn’t there.

My wet fronds wave in lavender ponds
                  in seas no eye has ever seen:

Indian Sea, Atlantic stretch,
Corinthian bays, Mariana Trench:

All earth’s oceans are too deep
                  its plains are far too shallow

even rarefied air of moons
is too blood-rich & thick

for tekatak’s tremulous branches

I spread across every continent, and across
                  every continent’s origin

and at every continent’s conclusion,
                  there I am, a tekatak blossom:

luxurious and single,
                  particular, disparate,

a disparate particular layering of
                  single luxurious fragrance

alike to each who smells me,
                  whoever smells me, respiring

the singular unique sameness
                  of each to each his single
                  breathing—this—this breath—
                  this breathing—

the breathed out perspired flavor
                  of his diet & habits &

the scent of these things each
                  to each nimbly parting
                  the individual fibers

all truckling to sunk-down
                  shoots & roots &
eager to receive

the tekatak-lovely tekatak stalks
                  & tekatak feet &
                  tekatak flowers

Of all particular continents,
                  flavors, diets, climes,

& also the ozone husk of these,
                  invisible distillation

the produced offspring of everywhere
                  & nowhere, native alike

to canyon-sediment nomad pasts
                  & passed over oral traditions

to musk-bright neon modernities
                  & homogenous rows of Tai Pei

to refugee camp futures of displaced
                  workers & pidgin-ambivalent
                  lingua francas

to furred ashtrays of dank
                  Alexandrias & machinegun tons
                  of child Crusades

to spaceship moons of forbidden books
                  & Caribbean classrooms of colonial

to crowded streets of Bollywood screens
                  & traffic-thick lanes of Bangkok

to North African ports of island palms
                  & Jerusalem mosques of desert

Among all this, remarkable fact:

I have never been seen, no
                  soil bears me

Everywhere-wide is too thin
                  Nowhere-thick, too deep:

except your marmoreal branches, Jack,

                  the tekatak plant wouldn’t BE

(c) 2014 lee sharks

from Pearl and Other Poems: