Sunday, November 9, 2014

Catherine Daly

Where am I?

Notes & Quotes

Elegies open.

“one blue bird / …swoop(s)”

Mourning was taught to us.  By whom. 
By experience.  By language.  We learned.

where is
the dark

what is

where is

When will we return?


Clouds ought
escape my notice.
Where does this rule come from?

I shouldn’t screech.
            falling notes
I track clouds
tracking clouds means following an entire song, distracted
from purpose; clouds distract

He, she, it is, am, be are clouds around us.

Over sea, over rock, over the Keys, behind condos,
apparent meeting, meeting as appearance, aperture, a blur.

Blank, flowing window, “diaphany”
music rather than actual wispiness inside, indoors.

order things, things only (after music)

Concentrating, I can see auras, but anyone might –
might be like the ability to hear certain types of music –
blank, glowing window and clouds.

“place for poets, not nature”


Dogs or rats or possum and birds of prey murder
when you don’t know the light switch
or your glasses where
from your dream, your disturbed sleep.

Romantic view “madness”
pain to liberate, satisfy the several demands of…
sharp pain or dull pain is better
ignore, walk it out,
listen to birds of prey.
Prey, descend.

we are not safeguarded,
are no less victims.
Stress is white noise, pink noise, orange static,
weight, viscosity.

Where is that fucking rat? Jumped from the lanai, the LAN-fucking-I, through the window above the sink where I was washing a dish, scampered over the cold cooktop, jumped down and took off:
grey, white underbelly, strong tail, not large, maybe five inch body.

(there are other rats)


We make no frame, plants don’t.
            obsessed with border plantings
                                    boundary         hedges, green screens, growing walls

Jalousies, miniblinds, verticals
only impede insistent foliage,

many lizards, mangroves, banyans:
nothing as careful as a note,
temporary as a note.

Who is worshipped through voice
voice only
worldly instrumentum
choice sunder
voice worships.

Learn through conversing, sing

I frame and end.
Christian = I
Two “I”s.  We are opposite.
                                    “verdant garden”


Plants open.  Also open, these rooms.  Flow.

Every thing is born is partly closed, open, raw and
more sophisticated than
some ax, bucket, radio.

limp dahlias, camellias, stems
rotting in flower water

ringing the cheap deal table
they’ve littered with pollen.

Was stark fear and relief
“whitens a vine at the edge / …unsaid”
subsumed in grief formerly?


Let the stars be our blanket.
Oh, they are.

Let the stars be our mattress
and roll the sod up
(like raccoons do).

n. 1. see Matress

Light pollution
streetlight tops uncapped
only Orion, Big Dipper, visible tonight – too much ground light for many stars –

and carves
diamonds carve
What are you whispering to me?
What do you whisper?

Why am I sparkling?
I am naked.
Oh, I am married.

“stars shining right above you”


subject, object, infernal, don’t last (effect remains).

(with me)
(where? one)

A subset of nature contrasts city.
A subset of civilization (nature and civilization overlap in this construct) deserts,
architecture, rum, beauty, Olympics, public art
classical order, classification…

What does “delusive” mean?

Not elusive, allusive mangosteen
pineapple guava, acai

salmon roe

without eyes unclosed.

“the pleasure we receive by the new scenes and objects which are continually passing before our eyes”

Simple things darkly, running, ahead
judge, our flaw, their simple appeal.  Harmless
mint draws vermin.  Used for teas.  Tisanes, properly.
Plants top a retaining wall we braced.

Supernatural, loveliness is not nature; it is observed.
The thorn, Ophelia, Old English, early vernacular

“tripping the light fantastic”


Loose strife
“loosestrife / purpling the hill”
attaches, lets loose (all this striving).
Sui generis dynamism,
some strange vortex of ferns,
dinos, all get-out getting out.

Demon scrawl, generic sprawl,
intimate outdoors

meaning by making
meaning by finding – not locating, finding
meaning by construing – not re/locating… but finding and arranging

One created holy, one wholly sensual.
Then cross
that edge,
go over.

“the pressing / blue / I’m pressing / through”


Oh, no one can help me sleep.

Your body, my blanket
faded from pink satin to flesh tone,

a ragged corner tucked into my hand particularly.
I had begun to develop another corner, anticipating the deterioration of the perfect one,
tucking and picking and tucking underneath my thumbnail,
resorting to the perfect corner only to sleep,
when I left the blanket in a Holiday Inn in Racine, Wisconsin.

Aphrodisiacs range from banal to bizarre like memory –
this bouillabaisse, this fertility rite – created gem
sets the tone (ensure, treat).

Your unselfish heart
turned, the emotions –
you don’t realize

on them

leaving wanting
luxury and attention
from marks, bounds
to real nature, body,
this here we can’t cross
are left with “perfumed erotica”
instead of real experience thrust
thrash rather than dirge

where am I paying

“we live off each other, the heat mostly”


“there’s nothing to understand about beauty”

Falcons, hawks, eagles, or carrion creatures reassemble nothing.
Killing cruelty circle, tighter, down, strike
after watch, watch, watch.
The shrieking is not about that.

Rat screaming – s/he suffered – I put it “out of its misery” with an oar.  Before I got out of bed, “bedclothes” tucked up, I ensured there was one rat, trapped.  I plugged in the lamp (broken switch), put on slippers and winter coat and landlady’s flashlight, sweeping to the oar with light, locating the undead rat, killing it, oar and plastic bag conveyance to the trash can.


I dreamed a loud “snap.” It woke me exactly when I needed to check the traps for rats, 6:15 a.m.


“A random number suggests stopping at a random place, when I just as easily could keep on”
            Amy England

Inevitable numbers solutions
correct numbers relationships each other
one an-
world describes, check mark tic
next, not x.

Null, dictates my beloved, is the number
should would marry; not if Jupiter himself asked for her hand.
The beloved’s speech deceives:  a quote of love in wind is to be carried by fast water.

Null dictate my number.
Deceit:  cupid, cupidity quote deceit love
in fast writing.

beloved cupidity quote deceit love


A deep draft port, 40 miles from the city center
annex annex annex
a city with no center
nature w/o center, just proceeding

fresh local flavor, the city’s motto
decorations are down

grid of streets
a girl imposed on an island
“where am I” who, me?

the city’s real cadence
inescapable logos

Destination Brand

The plage is the place.
Streets are strands.

Inside Her

That’s why we’re in this:
xenophobic paranoia publishing activity, communal sensibility.

The Trail’s dull roar

slick rail tricks
writing as it is sounded is too loud

“you can’t hear yourself think”
clearing quiet for “your own” writing


Identify with the environment,
become the other,


How to be repatriated?

Species’ small tender

lining out.

We aren’t books when writing, but
we aren’t cliffs or bays or bay trees.

dark bay reflective bay
fishy bay
dull harbor, mud bottomed

I live in a climate.
What’s unchanging?


names on landscape
letters and words

Certain statements about physical entities were now impossible.
tired of the road
trip step
not in love with its end
conflict scenarios limit presentation of complex…
lampoon the musings

I have not seen her, her heart monitored,
her breath, her small face.
I do not know her name.


out to dry

out in the rain-

Products might seem plain, but recyclable, portable.

Statue of a fish on a pedestal,
fish statue,
fish on a pedestal:
the several demands of commodity used.
Are they elegiac?

Things don’t know they are dead.
What if we don’t remember, if nothing around us triggers
what? memory? of what? where

where is history?
only here

a truly grand experience
never matched

“think reno.  think monaco.”


Memory Against Pattern

“this world being visited, by those who mind little but their own affairs,
or travelers, who make too short a stay, to be able to report any thing exactly of
their own knowledge”

“only following”
marital, imposed

to leaves, to shells

in order to only to (the unlikely)

too many moths

dilated, the crowning

speckled backs, browns and beiges slow, killable

grains in the fridge
my sweaters, holes

Manuscript, weapon, problem:

I kill them; they also die

© Catherine Daly


1 comment:

  1. I have to apologize to Catherine Daly and to many other poets who contributed to this issue, I have no way to format their work better. In this specific case, I inserted an asterisk with the page break. The original text is much more fragmented with larger blank spaces.
    Catherine also writes the following:
    "I'm attaching some pieces of Where am I? which have not been published (I don't seem to have my copy of the journal to hand, and so I omitted those poems). This was first drafted when I was killing rats in Florida while my niece was being born in Los Angeles. The quotes are a patchwork of quotes, mostly elegaic, from books I had with me and that I had to discard."