Saturday, January 14, 2012


REVOLUTION / RESOLUTION now turns primal with the work of Chris Mansel. Chris Mansel is a writer, filmmaker, musician, and photographer. He is the author of Ashes of Thoreau, While In Exile: The Savage Tale of Walter Seems, Soddoma: The Cantos of Ulysses, Interviews, and two books of photography, Ahisma and No Burden. Along with Jake Berry, his band, The Strindbergs, has released two CDs, Ghost Thresholds and Etudes and Purgatorio.

Dislodging the Storm

awakened by the gray matter
I once called my own
I could see my skeleton
writhing on a wave returning
like a word spoken repeatedly
across my eyes

when I sat down to write that
morning, I followed my memory
to the night before
I found myself lying with my head
next to a candle's flame
with my hair just catching fire

I could hear the waves breaking
they didn't always return, like
animals watching humans
screaming aloud, to no one

if I was a flame, I would learn to swim
if I were an animal, my skeleton
would betray me
I'll die soon enough
stranger things happen at sea

Reading Holderlin During Wartime

dreams about ditches and ravines
mud walls on both sides
an animals paw sticks out from the
rancid pool of water
then its head
it’s the day of my birth
a new passage way
for me to regret

I disappear, digging until
my arms end with my wrist
For hours until I see daylight
only fleetingly, then again
the mouth opens and I jump

leaning against a frosted window
a grenade is tossed through
unable to retrieve it I stand and
look at it until it explodes

Only Ash, No Smoke or Flame

I can't find anyone to kill me
as I have turned over stones
only to find my own reflection
I am convinced I will have to
turn my attention to the forest

I will have to turn to the wolves

these wonderful creatures that
haunt great scenes of battle
and tear at the often still warm
decaying flesh

these land ridden vultures may
very well be my salvation

there was a time when I too
roamed these scenes armed only
with an ax certainly to feed my
children this great store of meat

what I could wrestle away from the
wolves or insects

the gag reflex being my only stopping
point for returning to battle, insisting
instead to return to the hills

daily piling my belongings in the rain
as I watched the fires grow stronger
and closer, each day

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