Commonplace
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www.common-place.org · vol. 13 · no. 3.5 · June 2013
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Poetic Research Department


T. Zachary Cotler
Poems
Statement of Poetic Research


Dry Creek Valley

On the second

and third

wires over the wire
on which forks the zinfandel vine:
barbed knots
and spirals of old
severed vinetips:
one can flick
these wishbones of waterless
grapewood into
full rotations
on the wire:
some are not wyes,
some have the look of shrew-sized
brainstems into
the knots
of which I fail
to not
project my proprioception
and the regulation
and insistence of my breathing here
in the plutocratic hills,
while quaked reactors fail
Japan, and bombs fall
in Afghanistan
for purposes of regulation
and insistence, and
there's a crow (in an oak with a copy of
Whitman's beard
on every limb)
counting to five
over and over and a propane truck
filling the tanks of the vineyard opposite.

Maalaea


Stones half-buried in pulverized star-
fish, silica, coral, basaltshatter, a waterline-
threaded
band ofscatter, an-
agrammatic
stone notesin a wavesequencer: bright, 'h-
onest' tones, each
has 'bend'and 'pitch,'
has length,
and some come
with echo effect:a stone
turns in the eyeinto
a minormodel ofthe cloud-and-
turbine-
studded Pu'u
Kukui,itself
a scale-
invariant stone
in sequence inlittoral blue
isolation as
the eternity-bird's eye view zooms out: Earth-
stone in sequence,tonal music
of sphere after
spherebroken by
sweetwater,spacewater,saltwater
dulcimerhammers into
non-Euclideanscales, corals, and
liquid iron cores andpitchblendes and
denserhalf-life
ores ina band of
stellar
scatter, each withpitch and
bendof light
from Spica blue
to Proxima
Centauri redto red
of an open mouth to benthic blue
back to late childhóod,      
when I lóved yoú.          

Saugatuck Dunes

I and the others, over the dune hill wall,
confronted the Great Lake and wandered
with paper, pens and dying in different
parents
directions, and I sat a long time on a beech log and wrote

The Dearth of Rods:

The structure of the retina imposes limitations
on homo sapiens sapiens' powers of observation.

Spacewise, rods and cones being finite, resolution
must be finite. So the 17th century invention

of the microscope began the apprehension
of the infinite space bounded which is that suspension

of reactor stars and matter darkly theorized to be what
it resembles: something of a universe within a hazelnut

within an Epicurian atom. Timewise, that neuronal

signals pulse discretely means that any visible phenomenon

must last beyond the interval

(during which Lucifer-Icarus falls) of milliseconds

needed by a primate brain to render an experiénce, hence
the 19th century invention of photography commencedthe death birth of God,

until one of the others walked
toward the black dot
that was me
and arrived
and sat, and I felt a pulsation, acute,
a desire to
protect, and felt, too,
protected, but she
sat with me
for less than
a minute in silence, then
asked for more paper and walked off.

Could it be True I
Once, Alone Walking,
Found

A split tree trunk
with a torn off back
half of a water-
logged Paradiso
in its hollow?


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