graphics mode c r o s s X c o n n e c t previous | next

| main page
| issue contents
| contributors
| e-mail us
   i n    t h e    s h a d o w    o f    t h e    b e s t i a r y,    o p e n i n g    d a y    (a n    a l p h a b e t)

--- S T A N D A R D   S C H A E F E R

Awestruck along a wall of mown grass 
industry and diligence enter arbitrage
something of something is never apprehended 
ambiguity especially amorality installs the animal in a few faint lines 
over the entrance to scrutiny, poverty, respect
the ants dance an ambitious anodyne to the actuaries of empire
allegories leaves the antelope to its own devices, donít yours? 

A bat during a lecture on the birth of the galaxy like another beagle of a century through a screen door but always presented as a peptide chain that beats at night to avoid its creditors asks if a beast has any unconscious behavior symbols of motherhood, formerly of feeding and flight stir the tinniest, percussive music through phrases of light.

But how could the beagleís analysis make so much more sense than chewing the cud or dining on camelís meat why are the clumsy so much closer to pulchritude clearly both are capricious if not vacuous especially considering the camelís habit of getting shot up in the Ottomans or occupied by an algebra of clones and calamitous nuance when all that was needed was a little constraint.

As the deer pants after the waterís brook, so go those who call the shots though rarely they take them further than dear lord, donít those dark eyes require discipline to message or does the medium undertake its own divine derring-do does it scramble through the bug mesh and dive for the divan or does it content itself with a sandwich on the sidewalk where the deer most certainly are not, either way it seems a little distracted so probably no protection from the department of defense.

E is for error so not quite exalted, often associated with the eels along the highway oozing toward the exemptions, heels to Egypt, Ethiopia, even the East Coast seem too exuberant in embracing the mangy eagle with its eye on the zephyr of height, width possible enumeration, easily conflated with intelligence but even error leads to exoneration, odd elongations, emanations from the poultice--the disequilibrium between equity with justice.

A fish drawn on the door of a house was once invitation to mass the greeks drew fish on the tombs of those who were strictly fisherman few have found the lesson in the two or embraced the faithless beauty of fatigue a far too a furious many have forgotten the fabulous accounts of mobility, in which the the falconer does exactly as he is told--a function of fright, fire ants or figurations the fissile materials was not a figment, certainly not a false memory, for memory is only a phase of sadness with a fickle theory, and a tendency toward fanatics.

Enough with the goat-songs and their alleged depth, enough with locusts, goddam the gravamen of these comic grievances is that guns make great soup, that the letter G is most grating when gallantly silent. So bring on the gophers with their gratuitous groundwork tonight we shave the beard off Georgia before she flies her goat to the Galapagos, with no more need for your generalities of feeling, your obsequious greed for tragedy and devastation. But if you want go Greek, donít grouse. I suggest you grock the genius of their garrulous guffaws, and gank the obligations to the enforcers of the game.

Huge is the heron who rules over frogs who eats them he is like history or hopelessness however less rude, less exhaustive hierarchies never hail or concern me so much as the hippo or the herons falling into my bed and donít flap. They move through glue like the mind of the honest, hallowed be the haphazard the audience of hydrogen anchoring its handiwork to no headroom, no engine, no hood where no hereafter could possibly hide.

Indigenous to impotence and imperialism, or anywhere else all eyes are beady like an ibis who turns up in a poem illegally, the Indian or innocence are never welcome, except as insistence, but when mine fails I become impolite, almost as if the ineffable were a plausible idea--an ibis or an Indian is, after all, plausible--even more so when left incomplete--though it comes to represent idle, hazy, indelible illumination-- that why the I is rarely recommended in "art" though required in "imbecile" the impossible, the imminent-- never leave it in the ignition, if the idea is never to compete.

Just us june-bugs, jay-birds, just as jack-rabbits certainly no scowling jackals could ever be justified given the tactics of our jaunty, jack-booted creator so why mimic the old manís jargon, then again why judge our gin-soaked precinct or take a jackhammer to our own jar? There never was any justice in the jukebox or in this jerkwater animal pen, so why expect it from our jobs or jumps in logic why get jaundiced about the shape weíre in--we were never Jerusalem and we wonít be again, but I go back and do you too, right? Or is that you just jogging?

Thinking and tinkering kisses your book shut, then bunkhouse after bunkhouse follow the blinking hand past the campfires through the knotgrass until knowledge is a Kodiak between your knapsack and courage then its Krebs's cycle or an appeal to the Koran (some people read for it, others are singing) the timid join the kookaburra kvetching about the cyclone--the worst kill for it and think theyíre cooking--the best drink it and start to sparkle, others simply duck-- very few are kind about it. Even the Kodiak is keeping his head down.

Like the lynx, love leaves a precious stone in its urine. Lambs eat them in a bath of lion-sauce to cure jaundice, epilepsy and mental illness-- only too often it usually causes them. Certainly it provides scant comfort to the harp strings carved as they are from catís gut, and still little less is more important than lassitude on the lips little more so difficult to climb than my leader. Poetry, he says, is about little else but loss.

"Merely blind but not born yesterday" says the mole on why he wonít go metric or meander the fourteen hills between here and the Middle East. Itís a metaphysics of melodrama, this squabble about the mission of the UN. It makes no more sense than how man became the measure of too much. Certainly, itís not even worth mulling over, much less mewling how each morning you got to get behind that mule or how as if standing on the tail of a mouse, these mountains meticulously swagger.

The newt is the enemy of numbness, north or south, always with an eye on remuneration. It used to be associated with novels that made the nose dirty, now the interest is on the invoice, never mind accounts received or that no verb of light is holed up in a stone. But if you need roots, the recommendation is rancor, even vindictiveness because nothing is left of near extinction, except its pronouns, a few dead names on a no longer scandalous page--the void and its nightingales not withstanding: no, there is simply not a nickelís worth of difference.

Opinions are omens of obituaries to come, and order, the owl muses, only attracts them who then but Odysseus could coordinate our travel plans given the otherworldly nature of our dependence on the optimism inherent in offensiveness. How can this orphanage orbit whatís left of the ocean, who but the owl knows the empty boundaries of the starsí halo, who knows how low the echo oppugns us, who has seen the asteroids oozing through it where is the officer on duty or more importantly who has not taken the oath-- who but the oyster can swallow such old, obstreperous scores.

Pleasure does not please me, says the phoenix. Wherever it is permitted, the parents are born dead. Purportedly, a few have been resurrected by their offspring. Thus the parakeets pander to politics and politics returns the favor, although at a reduced pace. A purl, then gradually the whole pig is served. Thus impulsiveness is rendered preamble to provocation, or as the parakeets put it, "Poetry is impossible. Why plead its case?"

Because we are not qualified even to quail before such questions because the quacks running this bestiary canít keep quiet because quips are not literature, no matter how quotable because in and of itself, quackery quaffs very few longings because democracy is no cure for the quotidian because of Iraq and Qatar and Kuwait because who dare coo "Quiet, please!"

Reason is a thief who hums a robin song with a ravenís thirst for craven lust rarely has room to speed raised on raw varnish with a taste for riddles. Lately it seems brazen about its low regard for catharsis. Reason, the raccoon believes, likes its reading light. Reason, it seems, rarely has the time of day.

"Sounds means so much to me, so say what you mean," said the swallow reaching for the long spoon . "I like things that go down smooth like spiders," said the stork. And "I like things verified by observation,"-- this from the sphinx who works occasionally in customer service. But what is splendor if not surface tension and who believed skin has ever been anything but pages, just as a halo is only a lack of spears. Ecstasy requires loss of balance, just as jokes told backwards reach us like silence-- in stages, and with stingrays until snobbery is just philosophy by other means.

In the velvet tooth of a ticking kitten almost too embarrassed to survive, truth is a tarantula softly speaking--how it buried its treasure in the tigerís river, behind the silent T in "sentimentality" or in the wet sparks off stolen grain--always one more flight down, three bolts into an old tire. A can of condensed milk teeters on a friendís book. "Tigers do not burn bright," Bob wrote followed by the paraphrase of a boot that canít help but tell us--nothing is as swift as once it was, but you gotta get active if youíre planning a feat. No, a feast, Bob would have said adding "I donít like terrorists." He would have wanted us to wear cat pants, but never very fast.

Understanding is unbecoming and should rarely be unleashed--unless by a unicorn and under agreement. The powdered horn, it goes unsaid, is something of an aphrodisiac-- dappled on peasants they light up the bridge--and sing the world of the unhappy is an unhappy world, built on eat mes and brick walls. Itís better to undo the sunlight up your body in a small room, lie down, steaming, light dappled side of then wake up. Though through it all and under every circumstance, it is of the utmost importance to remain utterly unapproachable.

Vultures or voyeurs it is never the voyage--it is only verbs looking for something to do. Victims recite their last volitions, one vagrant remark feasts on the virtues of others Until the voice is full of vivacious viruses. It is they that keep us warm. It is not the votaries, nor the saddle varnish. Certainly it is not the vanishing herds. And though it is a privilege to have had them, To have known the vibrations of such birds and the power in a vacuum tube, It would have been even more of a pleasure to have the veto instead.

A lone wolf is a lonely wolf, but upward the wand forward with the whiskey or not. It is a lonely world but when it is quiet and the water is a mirror, method is reflected. A lot is riding on the writing with or without any dark vowels or any more white lines when the wolf is buying his newspaper already unwrapped, but knows it is unwise to ever unwind. And so he takes his time in waiting, since what good is a wolf without warm blood, san time or sans world, what is there about which to woof?

Xiphosura are too esoteric to be so exultant, especially since whatís left is most extinct and even they are not exonerated but driven more exotic by the excisions and dissection, by the ox-like excavations. It doesnít get any more foxy or extraneous than anthropomorphizing the over-examined. Perhaps what is extant is only the proportions and relations, whatís left after the examples and animals after the hexes mark their spot after xenophobes of the barest life are finally exasperated-- What is left rolls over on its back, a horseshoe crab with nothing to exclaim.

But lean as a yak, the yolks continue their yodeling the young seem oblivious to the yellows of their pages concerned chiefly with yardage, they overlook the yeasts yawping to cover whatever the yesmen donít eat mere yo-yos like me go off over yonder where our yearnings yield less damage, where no whys siphon off ours yahooed days.

So what if snobbery is just philosophy by other means? said the zebu bet you were hoping for the zebra, the subspecies of zilch, but given its high profile as the end of history and its zealotry for ambiguity how easily you can be forgiven but heís not here, he zoomed off to bore people with his fuzzy accomplishments this is a zoo of dividing by one, so, no, I am not the Zeitgeist or an exalted zygote of your salvation. I am a zebu. I donít zing and I donít horse things am even a little boring, with the one hump in the sizzling heat maybe youíll sit there waiting for your appointments maybe youíll have some zucchini while the days and nights will fizzle out maybe youíll be a zombie when weíre finished, something preciously unspecific like Zion or Zaire or Zoroaster and maybe we were always nowhere but at least we zeroed in on the zip code of indistinction how many but zillions can say as much?

© crossconnect, inc 1995-2004 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |