Monday, February 16, 2015

Suzanne Mercury

Red Honeysuckle

Rabbit, Memory

A change of wind, or did I move

       too suddenly this time

                     a rabbit runs in and then out of sight

runs into the rain-soaked weeds, there, like this

       permanently startled  at the edge of one place

                                                             among many places.

The only thing moving between the light

                                                 and the grass

It is the light between grass.

Machinery of legs,
              soundless, sudden.

As when its feet, running          easily turn the earth

                      as if to red jasper

                 as if to evening, changing its way

                                    into black, heightened by longing

I want its weight to be enough

       to keep me

                      on the earth longer.

This is the kick:           

Those legs are powerful            amplified

                           to the size of our strangeness.


               lengthening as it runs

My Petit Hôtel

The interior is the empty carapace of a crab

                  reduced to paper and breath        almost cerulean

Each room curled around the other,

expanding in precise increments.

A claw.        

Light folding in the corners.

You can get lost here

                               unseen hands have stolen your coat

leaving behind  child’s

                   baptismal gown       and the footprints of birds.

You can fly by yourself

           go with your dreams entangled in your hair.

Stele For My Brother

My brother comes to me, hands held out.  There are pine needles

cupped in his palm, arranged in the shape

of a bird.

                  Some things are like this:  Asleep, lit up

in the hundred shades of dark that exist only in dreams,

the ghosts of  birds flying away at will.

                                                       He does not speak:

But then he calls me by my childhood name:

Suzie, this is our father, he says.

He holds up the pine needles, hands extended

giving them to me.

                    Dark against dark, a fish that shines suddenly

showing its eyes before turning, and then

         the leaf-moving light on his hands.

But I am hesitant to take them from him:

the pine needles would become disordered,

              no longer in the shape of a bird, and thus

                                                     no longer our father.

          I will never get used to these damned resurrections

Gravity gets us all in the end               And in the end

We are a pine needles in a dream

                     looking frantically for the switch that always keeps moving

           around, and that will make it all happen again

Knock, knock

Who’s there?

It’s me, Dad

It’s me Dad who?

Dad, why does God torture us?

Suzie, the happiest people are the ones who don’t ask these damned questions. Also there is no God. I can verify that since I am dead

— Oh. Goodnight then

— Goodnight


When I think of the bluefish, I see it pushing

against the wave, holding the immensity of the sky inside.

Its gills flap open then shut     and become

part of the face.

                                Hunger brings it to the surface,

to the place between

black and silver and black coming off against the wave.

We try to hide our atrocities, and fail         insatiable.

We say we want    other worlds

            red at the center

       breaking the surface, the long fin            extended

                                                    then vanishing.

Something made by a planet, it is the star, staring back at us,

wave inside wave        inside

clear, inside


Modern Moonlight

And the full moon, a bright muscle in summer,

                                                                  a smear of silver in the sky, there.

Let me make a map to it with spider thread:

Its shadow shines beneath the beneath

                                                               and the beneath of it all

keeping me awake and transcendent.

The moon is fast, and show through as
          a root pressed against glass  

          refusing confinement

And the wind pounding the screen open and shut against the doorjamb calls out:

                If only, if only    then

                            Goodbye, goodbye

How far we run together in one night,

pulling the sea behind us.

The machinery is wonderful. One lever does it all!

How bright we are for awhile here,

and for awhile       how brief         brief

              and so bright      until lost, whited out, to

                                       the sun’s duration.

From Variations on the Metaphysical

(A cutout poem, based upon the work of George Herbert; huge liberties taken)

O Mortal Heat  

              O Flame

Less fire:

                 Consume our World:

And such as our Lust

kindled                 shall leave us panting

Heart upon heart devoured

                   And devoured again:

Then shall our inventions

     Send fire again        O flame!

             Our eyes see dust          blown kind

To our wits shall we bow and rise

Touch lips and

        Sing praise with

                            our eyes.

originally published in Summer Stock

Suzanne Mercury lives in Boston where she she is an impassioned flânuer, gardener, lucid dreamer, and maker of strange objects.

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