Opening Gambit

S/he dreamt of lipstick. Of cherries in the snow.

S/he was a painted lady. S/he wanted to rub your face in it.

S/he broke open the locket just to see what was inside. X your heart and hope to die.


Orono '08

(a sideways response to the National Poetry Foundation’s Seventies Conference June 2008)

little swan’s neck
in between the two

from green and green
striated by stalks

white poplar paper ash
breast a garnet among apples or

whispering pines
black flies
gooey in eyes and lips

orono derives from the penobscot indian chief

perhaps there was a meadow

to drift

always a night sky
what stasis in a bed two sheets

a blanket a window open to the night
breezes books but too many
people to read them

am I inside the bottle?
can there properly be said to be
an externicity?

you can share my aorta clark coolidge
nicole I will make your bed

for you be a goose feather
among other eider

bernadette your memory
ticks the voice

from the past a pipe
3-d some photos though dark

illustrate a dramatic sky b/w tall buildings (again)

a liminal hymn

again a sparse room
clothes hung on a fire escape

have flown your body
& are a part

metonymic moans alongside the corps
the corps texte the cortex oh nicole

you squeeze from flaps of skin
bits of protein dna flushed

into auditorium seats a gaunt body swaying

with art or bersani’s shattering

didn’t anyone see?

joe b’s if nancy was
(I got your minnie
hair in my mouth)

and katz’s faces of the
poets w h i t e out the gallery

poet bodies mulled dispersed photographed
kevin’s black and white

stripes moving into a –riley? in the hall of bernadette

jayne you made us

B & K are school boys on the bus
rob and I in front

we play dodge & seek
to have ate
eaten ain’t


mediation– I meant meditation– in airports

prone the window pictures

Manhattan in the distance
inlaid ceiling gray and white dusk ash
eggshell ebony ekstasis

oh moving sidewalks
in a tunnel flanked

by flat screen panels
depicting urban street life


neon tube lighting somehow
rest or joy

sheer mobility inside
a machine

chaplain’s modern times
moving among rapt

Robin Tremblay-McGaw