<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| winter 2008

Robyn Art
from Second Self in The Valley of Tongues

In what serrated vault the body stores its longings?

By what music the night sky strains the last sutures of dusk?

How fathom the confederacy of distant stars?

By what means gauge the distance from light

To the recollection of light, that memory, that hovering,

The vast and wondrous undead?



And here at long last the body, its window cracked open at the helm, biding its own
sweet time toward the pulling, the hunkering, the descent and the darkening,
the lowering of the alluvial shade, the road behind it impassable, sealed
as scare tissue over a barely-remembered wound, stay now in the foreseeable
whatever, the here, the magnanimous and harkening, stay here all you broke-down
visions, supernumerary impulse-buys and over glutted infomercials of love, stay here
betwixt and between Restless Leg Syndrome, TMJ, discretionary income and the oft-extolled pleasures of the drug-free life, O boggy and efflorescent self, self of root cellars and forgotten tinctures, of mud and excrement and loam, but still at long last
the body, the non-body nearly arrived, relentless, full-throttle toward the irreparable
becoming, the crossover, handoff-on-the-bridge, full surrender, point of no return,
the rebate withheld, the appeal denied, woncha give us a holla, a shout out
from the otha’ side






[her, sleeping]

like a catch in the wind
like the beating of faraway wings
a slow tide a stream
over denuded ground
a sapling’s mnemonic quiver
a wilderness in the room
after the final dark, a bird
that goes on singing






[She was:

like rivers
the fellowship of rain
the secret language of falling snow
endearments whispered under colluding stars
a catch in the voice
the beautiful violence of storms
a stand of elms on the highway shoulder
like loosestrife, tyrannical, wild…]






Past rapture, past remonstrance, the turned key in the widened
orifice of night, past knowing, past the body’s temperature at rest,
past waking, past the gone and knowable body, body of old wounds,
night vision and hives, body of mouthy desires preened and oiled
to the gills, its first unassaible right, to love and go on loving,
its second unassailable right, to tear and go on tearing, to dream its terrible
clubfooted dreams and check for signs it isn’t too late, it could marry yet
an Accountant or a Data Systems analyst, mark its days with Court TV
and long walks at dusk, past witnessing now its tired old self
gone round the proverbial bend: obliterated, knock-kneed, swaying on the hinge





[Her, waking]

the way the rain sets snowdrops blooming
on the slag heap’s ruined face
the way a body still inclines toward
his lost and contraband touch
the way the morning lightens
like the progress of a bruise
the way a body falters
then carries on with the song

Robyn Art