MICAH BALLARD

September 25, 2010

Let Us Wake Rifles


M

M

POOLS OF OLYMPIA

Those who pass through us

cannot be touched

I raise my hand & allow another

first unmuffled slurring

later colloquial blending

I learned it from spilling their crowns

& these are the Soldiers of Bourbon

I am a pupil of their torsos

we would travel for a night

then practice at making ourselves available

many divinities imposingly free

it’s not important to know

who they are, just what they do

smashed glass gutter core

exact proportions darkly mingled

it is the right of the rite accomplished

the highest farewell between heaven and earth

luminous species, visible breathing

a real sermon in marble

main attractions left unfinished

M

M

M

NOTES FROM THE CHEMICAL OUTPOST

Of the death of my hair

I have a devoted lisp

faux forgettables to fade the stragglers

& concoct one with the other

for more of a Pac reservoir

exiled surroundings

with a minor plea for secrecy

I’m leaning towards a new astronomy

dream copies to peep the future

& mark them off as calculated weeks

for a kind of luck that perpetuates

more writing less survival

enough with these familiar voices

fusing about the terrace

this vista requires faster cutting

as in “fools who rush into the scene

get rushed back out”

or how I learned to mix the languages

& do it in code

because you called I’m here

because I haven’t a phone I’m here

let us start over & wake

rifles like we used to.

M

M

M

HAILING A LUXOR

Walking through

these projects I need another out the door

for everyone else to seem free

spare the details, look me in the eye & mean it

but don’t humiliate me from a lack of dedicated grandeur

if my predictions are off it’s not out of boredom

qualified reality is conflicting enough

it doesn’t take forever to gain admittance

though the codes keep changing

to wake up alone is to lie in bed with everything

some choose to erase the swagger

others trick it out by a wage made worthy.

There should always be a score or a least

a looming hook-up to balance the opposites

I recommend what she recommends

Little Kim interview number six

different track same diss, see how we are now

slightly worn & captive with any pairing.

M

M

M

NEXT DAY AIR

It is three o’ clock.

I shutter the fortress & sign her name in cursive.

what I thought an abduction

turned out to be the last of the Bordeaux

do not be abashed

I was second in Greek, fourth in French

but that was before the thrashing

I am one of the mutineers

(Adieu. Good night)

a few lanterns here and there and that’s all,

one less demonstration for the Headmaster Ritual

the gong will ring at any moment

everything you have given me so far

has been an excellent choice

in short my idea was quite legitimate

divide the controversy & withdraw my candidacy

that score cost me a fortune

be careful to cover the corners especially well

recommend speed, the greatest speed

M

M

M

AN ERROR ON THE VERSO

We specialize

in stray touches, half-hinted speech

minute arrivals that offer no protection

we are not mysterious worlds

only what we’ve made on our own

in an alley, a parking lot, the back of a bookstore

we are the inmates, imitations of the original

busted at the age of eight for flashing motorists

later for criminal trespassing

at twenty after so many…

we sit underground at 16th

registering forms & leaves of absences

heightened perceptions that move in the untold

they exist as we construct them

& have lurked the system long enough

our lineage is of that a different kind

we dial a hollow return

a crown of renewals that disorders the heights

M

M

M

ALL POWERS ASSUMING

I troth the swamp sheen

bucking shadows of the many mirrored

not like the horns we used to

these polarities faileth not

you enter thru a trap door

& follow the winding slopes

the baths are like provinces

& filters rolled to perfection

we are broadening what was obvious

well sought sheets put off by surrender

“I was never a thief in the material

anything I owned was a gift

& anything given I gave away”

the rest is too inadequate to recall

centuries before I would have

now other cares encrypt the mind

well graduated light

with mother-of-pearl pretenders

their free & easy manner was always contagious

Micah Ballard was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Selected books include: Negative Capability in the Verse of John Wieners, Bettina Coffin, Evangeline Downs, Parish Krewes, New Poems from the Winter Palace, and the collaborations Death Race V.S.O.P. and Easy Eden. From 2000-07 he directed the Humanities Program at New College of California and currently works for the MFA in Writing Program at University of San Francisco. He is co-editor for Auguste Press and Lew Gallery Editions.


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