THERMOS 6: Robert Fernandez

We close the first week of our Robert Fernandez feature today with this sequence of poems from our sixth issue. Written while Robert and we were in graduate school together, the poems are now nearly a decade old — and while Robert’s work has changed significantly in that time, these still hold surprises in them. What astonished us ten years ago astonished us when we took them three years ago, and does so again today. Our feature will continue all of next week, beginning Monday with some writing about Robert’s work done by Alex Walton. — AS

Child of the World


Suits, plural with hive-dope

wasps skin woundlets to shone-

blank: oval hemmed.
Sun: ping of graphite

in the stadium of the blind spot,
dithyramb of the virtual theatre.

Blood finds a fellowship
in freshwater / euthanizes

will / undressed and lain:
girded by the river’s shadow.


By holes we mean graphemes,
        cords of silence: the after (synesthet) of

verb: Lyrælis.

Augustine: allflesh in luster pockets,
    Thanatos of the gallery fugue.

            Slavish glottal            leash harried,
                your name of weather passing into

ibis nets: the herringbone stitch of the horizon.
    Thirty is twelve,     so visit us     sfumato.

serviteur closing his hands.


Atrophic languor slumps to June,
rots vortice hips in cherry groves

of clicking sandals

Red cell of cordite powder
in which we seduce power

and conjure up the tree


Week by week
I find my shape–

if the wound is cold
fire that smells like silk

rock of estuary,
jetty of perception

noon of
ordinary shapes,

but never Sunday
in a white poker dress

never on, like female
magistrating, never

or fuck-spot,

white prune or spoke,
brachycatalectic fascination,

judicious matter
or gender vine–

in time, we die because
the bull’s hooves are white


broad robe is a powdered
heat             a cup bearer

the feet have swollen shut

chiasmus alters the face,
      tongue of aspic snow

A book of hours
tells you its maiden name


Zombie: white face, red hair
                Arthurian lacquer

The sun undoes its belt:

do not forget the threat level
or to peck into the anus of the ruby


Promiscuous millet of the rain:
it never stops. There are only flowers.

They are each named Mary.

I tend the wound, clear the air.
The sun a federal prisoner in Miami, beside Noriega.


Homelessness is our liberation proposal,
the true quantitative revolutionary art.

Diamonds splinter but cannot flower.
The splinters carry the entire sky

and move collectively like airy brussle stalks.
I will be thirty-one when the blade changes to male/

All parentheticals, eternal.


The way the thunder trapped me:

grey glade,

cormorant like an oiled Hades
and heron traversing the scrim:

scissor buds,
SWAT roses:

forgive me, spine like
red jade I’ve carved

a dolphin across your


In our own hands,

in our own art,
I become other

white alligators


Clamor: charmed,

constellated tree.

Traylor’s pig with corkscrew tail:

the bladder a lantern

swaying over Hialeah.

Hatred courses through the bardo–

charm splits its lamp lights:

wet tattoos on the arms of Adolfina.



blade that sends out spokes,
mandala in a sun-pocket,

thorny guitar,
mellific hive of a body.

I will not have had a drink.

The blank totem poem will have had too many.


Fear unwraps its calves. They
are banana leaves: sweet millet.

free canary muscle soup
                                    on Sundays

at the shelter. We burn coal.
The air is rich with peace.

I have invented a homeless body.

It is called Bromine, child of the rocks,
hardness of flowering mathematical life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: