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For the Living: A Chapbook
Draped Mirror This written by a fertilized cell trying to understand Chrysalis of a monarch butterfly. Plane-beings in an invented world Tricks up her sleeve or tracks Nodding out in the spirit field The one moment there's no field, fear, or force. A room of false dragonheads, devil's paintbrush Will vanish with her Vanish her. On her air-borne wall Is taped a poster of her planet On her poster a speculum. Ingredients: blood, oceans, nightmares Or the periodic table set for Macbeth's banquet. Hydraulics propel sleepwalkers Who want for elemental sustenance Bony architecture of a house made from bodily sounds, The canal that collects charnel flesh-dreams. For the Living If body is an impermanent manifestation of infinite spirit Can anyone deny space is haunted? If love is an expression that death Seduces hardens Ghost lover, You have been gone For some time now. At first I didn't notice. Like a ghost, love slipped out, like sex, your ghost limb You say you love me, I feel you In abstentia. To ghost means take passage on a ship. Without Meaning the world is hollow Parallel word in which he is husband / servant / enemy / father Why therapy exists And one cannot be separate from another Without disturbing a complex Entanglement To pray is to break silence, break bread. To pray is to partake In the dead What's not fluid? The mind, wind, wants Stability, to understand Has no coordinates Quantum entanglement their fates inextricably linked Multiple answers detained through superposition or multiverse She had the chance to love a man but chose a ghost. He will make me happy, she told her friends. He touches a part of me that's dead. More of her became dead the longer they loved. As a haunted human she moved away from certainty, Moved toward what she wanted To be certain. Ha! Ha! The probability of finding a lover at a point in space Until found the lover exists as possibility therefore always exists Lost Potential A web of relationships and interrelationships Bound by boundaries of body If the space we inhabit is shared by all spirit Unlimited realm Circuit Frequency Unrelenting Our bodies containers we pour out Slowly until we've left To choose the extent of ourselves Distance that separates one event from another. Soul. Like the sun eight minutes in the past. How close is that in space? Solar. Look at Saturn! Has it passed your past? Or Pluto? More moons. More. More. Fear she's not loved, therefore value neutral As though love were the sun. Blinding. Must not look directly. Like God / Truth When / where space-time curves nothing can escape it. It captures me and I become it, therefore cannot see it. No communication signal breaks free Do you know loneliness? Fata Morgana 1. She removes herself from the rational realm of feelings Flooded by a prevailing intelligence Where she hides for longer than a mood That which is in the air A surround environment, not all of her own making. She constructs its interpretation and moves inward. Sound Outside boundaries For instance, architectural surrounds built with language—doors, walls, Floors from words. Would she open the window? double paned, Unusually weighty. A vowel she looks through to see changes In weather, to see outside the confines of her scape. When the surround she understood encountered the surround that was. Plate disturbance traumatizes earth. Bends her, morphs her Bedrock 2. Two-thirds of life she's unconscious A quest through privacy of land not created. Splinter souls—sinuosities or organic forms flattened to fill shadow space, The body's music: Awakens for her dream, sleeps off continuity But for the sake of survival she believes what appears to be A one-point perspective system In which recessional lines join where they vanish Creating distortions, objects skew. When the assumption of a system is altered, the space it describes Changes in unforeseen ways. Horizontals and verticals support the couple's stability and beliefs in realism Vanish To scale a domestic scene She sees her point vanishing while what surrounds her Increases size, clarity of focus. Within her flat canvas exists immeasurable depth, Uncountable colors, interminable death, To satisfy her need for proof. If she believes nothing Vacant imagination acts as symptom. 3. She produces information, an energy system, that creates The circumstances of her surround. Since in the surround only present exists Impressions made on space erase backward leaving no record, Personal memory. Even love itself is not there, Or when it was found, A cessation of action would have occurred. Her whole life So afraid of loving her way, losing her way that she ends up nowhere Where Everyone wraps—Internal apperception. The past or space she calls herself, How she perceives Her body surrounded by her room. When she consumes Her interior, a visitation contacts her, A whisper parks in the inner ear or a metallic disc soars Into a whisper park, dense forest and future empty. Afterimage or glow Remains isolated or invisible to the present, which is what she can retain. 4. Without an intact surround, ego apertures leak Into haunts where shame fumes And legs, act as a portal, walk her toward entrancing Reflections, unoccupiable land, foreign, deserted. Even mullioned moon abandons Because love causes descent into death and, yes, belief Impossible to sustain Without her surround. Fever Crisis of refuge and interior design Mind as mirror that draws her Into the struggle to maintain lucidity If candlelight can't be trusted to clarify true color Shame & talk of windcraft sweeping the cadaver she wore Procures a wing for fight Over skeleton forest Astray / astral No rest there! Awaiting wrap up—or wake up Morning's the nightmare Eyes open to A dipper of clear water A milky dipper of stars on a standing night in which ravens revel. * Sleepers dim with dreams tripping off Her disregard for erections And wildwood marrow Memory's chutes and ladders Last ghost before Candyland Sonatas for spiders. Words worry meaning in the space of shape Scalloped teacup space Shy space / sky space Black hole Cyberspace Heart's a rumor: A cut-stone space too inside Like wild flora beds, a living reshape A bellybutton, Clairvoyant murmur, Presiding genius not dependent On light and lens, nor eye. * Her thoughts Leave no track Could be lexis or melody Ashes drift, She drifts, Thick weather midpassage Inspiriting forests and fresh fox burrows Shrilly cricket Sounds fasten us to stars Thought lit and purling, measured and lithe as music A high cord vibrating the sea A cord traveling high with sun's light The higher if minor exploits of sound. * Safe place: abstract, dark, free from nature's rules But only in sleep System of meaning As if you express a sound losing its body A body as a point traveling a rectangle Integrated in the formula for measuring love The movement the heart makes as it yields to death Straight line or unbroken hum A line allowing vibration To reorder its appearance in time. For Ann Lauterbach
Ms. Bellen's poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies including This Art: Poems About Poetry, Copper Canyon Press (2003) and The Convergence of Birds: Writing Inspired by Joseph Cornell, DAP (2001). She has been a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the American Academy of Poets Award. She is a contributing editor and on the board of directors of Web del Sol (webdelsol.com). Ms. Bellen teaches at Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and Rutgers University.