Cyber Corpse 2
Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
issue 2 home || ec chair || critical urgencies || burning bush || ficciones
stage and screen
secret agents || letters || portfolio
by Ray DiPalma

Counting Doors

Signals and echoes
marks across the geometry of the last seen
signals for echoes
the indifferent memorials
to intermediate directions
gunshots and operatic laughter
the flow of ink through the words
not across the page standing onto the line
with the hook in the shade of a nail
three nails to make the former A
the state of the pyramid
a finger slid across the angles of the room
ties the air expands the level one way then another
how the edge is lit tangled in the furrow it threads
the nerves in reverse
language turns into speech
testing the adaptability
writing turns into language
testing the adaptability
for a dialect to prove the rewritten yes


The Darkness Beyond the Glare

Among ourselves-
at least for the brief
time we are together
tracing the source of the error
bewitched by the complexities
that perplex with methods, tasks, and rules
of more urgent distractions
no less demanding than the first flaw
turning through the purely descriptive
and what is made to be found there
Information is brought to me:
the trivial essence of just proportions
But even in the fragmentary records
complexity defines their unity
and betrays all outward signs
Pointed evasions remembered
or partially remembered-
debated in their divisions to enrich
the unrecognized texture of life
overlaid with retrospective feelings-
only apparent variables and expressed
with far less ceremony-
a rendering of interiority-
beyond surveillance
Reason solves nothing
We are led back to paradox
overloaded with associations and allusions
determined efforts of a personal nature
still riveted to the spot we have chosen


The Narrows

Pistola dismounted
A trifle sentimental
His or hers a spiteful swank
Pressed up into the dazzle
With this to say and that
West with clouds into
The abode of the defended hand
Precious space of cave-blooms
Nimbus conjugated with iodine
This waning occasion
Of the half-mast imago
Shocked smooth
Breach sealed with a strand of clutter
Voiceless succour
Clings to the conspiracy
Replaced by splinters of transmission
Tulips and billiards
Jugging the gulfs and gasps
Profuse as the night's ebb
Pilgrims pinned to the reefs
Down from Labia Pericolosa
Derelict consent meant to appall
Skewed cangue of wrack
The only remains
Fidgets of lamentation
Root the gauntlet of chagrin
Solitude and its pretended havoc
Revels diagnosed in the barren splash
Nest and anonymous doldrums
Piked loop undulating
From a broken tooth


Tenth Finger

Forgetfulness makes a great unity of time,
its fluency determined by the coax of self-reliance
and the disparity in the cues of logic that account for
Transfixed by remorse, goodness, distraction, and emptiness
possess all the use-options of a jagged instrument;
candor and restraint pursue uncommon contact
in lines of contour and isolated stages of displacement,
serial closures made legible by repetition and cross section-
read ambiguously they embrace their subject in disbelief
and provide a baffling awkwardness
corroborated by the purposeful ideals of some tame animal
and whatever can be quickly written down-
something continuous and misplaced, a precipitate
meticulously intermittent added deep in the air.


An Elliptical Orbit

The direction: To the left then
to the right then straight ahead then
to the right and right again another
left a right a left and a right and you're there
That's a left, a right, straight on, two rights,
then two lefts and rights in succession, and bingo
Closing in on the remains of the marginal-
with its gothic scraps and rhythmic notations
-never mournful-just a pointing presence
oiled on the Plain of Peeves
Still-but working backwards: two rights and lefts,
two more rights, a straightaway, then right, then left
Uncertain hypotheses are put into motion
'Where was I?' 'You were with me.'
'Well, that helps you more than it helps me.'
'Then where was I?' 'You were with me.'

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