Robert Fernandez: Edens

We’re pleased today to present new poetry by Robert Fernandez. “Edens” is from his third book, Crowns. We’ll continue our feature the next two days with some editorial writing and an older poem from THERMOS 6, then on into next week. Check back! — AS



Edens


Let me live a long life
Among clothes lines and bats’ grasp,
Fleshy twig grip,
Or kites, how I love
Their—too false to say—
Their dance with nothing;
How I love, rather, their clarity
That falls, skin that dissolves.


Every image of transcendence
Comes in a white marble block
Within which a bat is fixed
Like Satan himself
At the bottom of Dis.


And my three bearded heads
Garble dead cacti,
Wrinkled worm and caramel
Wrapped in foil.


Hold. Begin again
Where your face
Is a shield.


There, you are like kites.
But it’s false to say
We are flat and fleet—;
We are, rather, red steaks
Falling into a pan
Under raw moonlight,
Whitest of moonlight
Behind which the void
Gnashes.


Still. We are
The ark’s reeling tower.
And how I love the ancient sky,
Purple, god-soaked, of faceted
Silver and phosphorus white.


Nothing’s the pit
You expel from your stomach.
And the dia-
              mond, fleshy
Only in its negation
Of all flesh,
Slips from your mouth
Into the pan.


Speak. Eden,
Your rain
Is cut wrong—
The giraffes
Bend sideways for their meals
Of leaves and flowers;
The baboons
Shuttle their skulls
On their backs.


And the day is trees
wind smoke soil
grass rock shit
sickness death
animals animals
sun


The day prints our eyes;
The press of type
Falls into the flesh;
Our eyes are
Tired of reading;
They are scarred.


Eden
Is a scar too,
A laughing slit of mouth
Lined with black, shining fruit.


The baboons stretch their jaws and sleep.


The rivers travel until they do not.


The insects grip, multiply, and descend.


We are fortunate if we find
Some measure,
Because every day I see
A god bathing in the river,
Blood streaming from its mouth.


Let us
Split open
Our stomachs
With the unicorn’s
Horn.


Let us
Spill warm
Platefulls of guts,
Pinkish things
Picked at.


Magisterial vultures,
Wings the size of children,
Extend themselves
Over pink plates.
Yes.


O gods. Fall.
Fall still. Remember us.


That noon, highest point—
But a fork of little bone
Breaks from the dancer’s throat.


Still I love the beauty of these serpent colors.
And I love the dancers
With their naked feet.


And I love
The dancers
Who love the light,
Who unfold the light into the light,
Who bring the light to itself in witness.


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