Rod Smith, p.1


of the abstract scene in the book jacket photo
doesn't have a setting so much as a latent impenetrability
not unlike the lenient, bitter, bracketed latticework
of emotion I'm culled to reincode for no reason
lost, or lone & lost, or leftover & lost, or lacking loss
based in a brick sickness of stilted words
the scene leans in, fortunate, unmasked,
taking its saturate incongruence to the hilt.

Witness the solemnity
as an excuse for however central
such simple shapes sound in a show
of coloured lights under the eyes & notice
how subtle the supple learn
the other's graffitoed violence.

or a shapeless mass?
or a loaf of taudry
shinola? or a list of fictions like days like stars burning
like ideologically judgemental harmonies out of their trance
a wake--patience
thematically lactate spirits in neutral space
yearn into the dreary cone it passed pale to taunt that step
that blatant sleep
that singular individual instance of one it.


yet monochramatic war was no longer satire so much as some
technophobe totem experimenting over the balcony
in the gas he goes to call
& is stirred by--
but managed somehow to boast
anyway, something about a drinking problem
or a missing arm or an alien culture
but I stopped it there feeling the terms alien & culture extremely
& felt the danger, the literal urge
in fact to actually say something about
micromanaged alienation &
the experience of audience participation as portrayed in the
soft porn novels of my own two-teared society.

Nevertheless, this urge passed & was lost, was gone, was

jettisoned, was judiciously disearned, & left out--
the lathes of the intervenient chaos locked in on the smiling
clenched dust revealed to me in that light thus spoke or the
sound of a footstep which unfolds which for it to be what it
is for itself I give up & look up

This is why the sick child falters in a field of abstraction.
This is why chaos can be so disheartening to those who would
control their lives. This is why the stalactites must be left in
place for the next clumsy oaf. You are not here! Heads or
tails with ink in it. Open &/or closed in the amused
swerving, almost always unable to find the underlined passage.