inter.library.loans I

paperwork for strangers
is best left unfolded

since you don’t know how it’s filed
–whether in folios
          upright like reeds
–or envelopes
          dangling like wind-chimes
          from clotheslines

whose to say,
        the way
a stranger might file paperwork
        or not file it,
they might just pile it, up! up!
until it shifts under its own importance
        creating layers in eras
          we might discover
   after the roots have grown stiff
 and words are sap and honey.

paperwork for strangers
is intimate that way
      personal/impersonal
vital, lifelike, removed
written in secret–in a way–and not so
rushed. It takes time to say
  exactly what you mean
        to a stranger
        out of context
without clarification
  to say exactly what you mean
is best left unfolded
so as not to imply
            or assume
            or limit
the life of a document
      which you have sent away.

–ECW

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With Aura

How can I simplify
the set of lines running,
binding what is perhaps
a probability, to the reality
of me. Nerves that never
cross come in contact
with pulses, which are,
perhaps, thoughts or maybe
words that carry with them
the weight of language,
empathy.

This roots my migraines.

I cannot fathom the mind
with my mind. Maybe this
is the true hope of computing
to see through object
lenses a sense of human
unburdened by ourselves.
I would not imagine
that each cell is itself
a star, but I have heard that,
in passing, that the brain
lights up more connections
than stars, even though
we are uncertain how many
that might be.

This fuels my migraine.

Still I am uncertain of the soul
but have most certainly
seen it from the left side
washing over what is real,
perhaps, or maybe not real
in the least, a gesture
of light that beckons away
or might not beckon at all,
I just see it that way. I have
seen the soul, or maybe
my own soul departing,
returning again and again.

This shapes my migraine.

I know less, it seems,
in the morning
when the narrow
pulses have passed
and even these miniature
symphonies have ceased.
I am quiet.
As is the migraine.
Which is not separate,
as much,
from me ,
as I might have hoped.
I am the migraine.
Which now, it seems,
is not so imminent
to cure.
—ECW

White men no college

White men no college
never read Virginia Woolf
on the toilet in the morning
early morning, 5 am morning
not having woken up but
never having gone to bed
never having felt that sleep
was safe, or that time was plenty
holding her in hand like a white dove
Mrs. Dalloway on the roof
deck of a bus headed away toward the city
white men no college
will live forever without that scene
will grow old beautifully untouched by ache
dusted with golden flecks of hate;
white men no college
have in their canvas hands
the bald heads of daughter babies
whose eyelashes are infinite
and hold in them a future
empty of trees—perhaps—busy with busses
who might go away, far away, to college
and hold in her pale hands
a borrowed novel, a stream of conscious
a woman she might someday be.

—ECW

Imports: Middle East

Would you believe me
if I told you once the
carrot was purple
but a sickness came
over them and they
turned the color of curry
and all the carrots in the
world come from the cradle
just like you did—the cradle
and the angel—see, you
said once, see? Where
the angel dips her hands
in the ocean, there lies
the center of the universe
where you are from and
will never return
for fear of war and nitrate
and sickness that comes
not from nature but man
the violent pursuits of
kings and farmers
who dip their hands
in the center of the universe
and create chaos
and call it science,
are we not all on the verge
of utter transformation
teetering between extremes
is it rotten, you asked,
with my teeth halfway
through a purple carrot
not rotten, I said,
just rather old.

–ECW