Apr/May 2007 Poetry

Two Poems

by Doug Ramspeck

Artwork by KOB ONE

Fugue State with Vinaigrette

There is the house he walks away from
when he isn't walking toward it.
The night is lit with a single match.
He escapes into his memory
the way a skull grows a tongue in it,
the way a tongue grows a skull in it.
Or imagines a cleft palate
as a yawn of evening sky
set on a salad of dim and brooding clouds.
It is the way feet
colonize a life, the way experiences
sweep themselves into dust bunnies
to be licked up by the starving dog
he has become. There is the fog.
He recognizes it against his eyelids,
which he wears like a tattoo,
and which burn like a migraine
or a premonition that hides
where he can almost see it
behind the bedroom curtains,
wearing pajamas.



When the satyrs       when, imagine,
                                   the whole body flushing
like ameliorating figures
forming themselves naked from the loam.

Then the air thick with syllables,
the mother of humaning            the shame
the first heron rising
above the cypress swamp on awkward wings

into the earth-curve
into the scissoring of flight
where morning has resigned itself as     goat legs

amid the tupelos, the horns and ears
of the possumhaw and bladderwort,
the smell of stagnating water
in the swamp

Here the transfiguring arms,
the insect larvae in the shallow
bottomlands wriggling
                                                        like goat lips.


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