Poetry: Susan Gevirtz

HOUSE, excerpt

No, he’s not inside the
house. Thunderstorm is
conjuring tamales in the
doorway when 13 Lord
passes and 8 more days
bring 8 calm
                    Popol  Vuh #13, Tedlock

We lay on our hands
As they pass under
   we are an arbor
And their curved backs our
bread rising

We are the ones who tend
    the other bodied ones
 marsupial and nailed
wearing shoes


Stocking up supplies, stories and docile be

Eat, the unconflicted                                          domicile

     blood of the plant
            bulls eye
midnight inventory

chameleon of forms

beckon of forms

tinker boat
toy house
box turtle sunk in the tub
pig heart in a nutshell

midnight survey
track and count milk lunch

Come crouch around her radiance

oranges, cunts, seaweed and
           sweet briar, cockles and a floor
       of pastry crust (sawdust)

 the house made ready for a ball

She wraps her lengthening vines
A skidding augury of arms

1st  2nd   3rd degree burns
of the distant children

That’s the house, sentimental as brick
hard as snowmelt, bright as a gas flame

He enters again    breaks or putties
         the surface    calls everything he
touches Hope and then hope itself has to reach for itself

Again, the house, so like the
and the custody of the body
             by the body of the house

mind of rotted bone or coral or styrofoam

task on the long prairie between

holiday malady

crumb by crumb

on their behalf

What falls, flies, hastens?

swells the ribcage

 of my heart

Swollen gland
by oil of jasmine
to cast out strep

Everything else is junk mail

Anything that thinks it escapes

drinks anti-freeze

while here under the stucco and

lath roof constellations spill

we harvest

to splash on fever

All the while the

anchor of somnolence

drags the house

below sea level
in broad daylight

Send them

to the wolverine den

gravel pit

When they return the fanged slip in too

road rash on the house

So delegate –eye of newt in the thermos

So wake up –

Endure example they’ll mimic

tedious appearance the shell

of the procedural versus the shattering of the shell

uninvited inhabitants dwell in ownership

so calm
calendric passages

presto logs
         candlesticks carried from Lithuania or the lower east side

Always the cheerful pillage

sundering the rudder

Knock in the middle of the middle of the night

pumice to bottom of bone
dead reckoning minus thinking

dogs guarding the borders
the boundary waters and
boiling water guarding the borders

unnamedunnamed (1)Susan Gevirtz’s recent books include AERODROME ORION & Starry Messenger, Kelsey St., 2010; and Coming Events (Collected Writings), Nightboat, 2013.
Some recent favorites:
“The mind begins early to select from the buzz and humdrum, till most men end hearing nothing, when the earth speaks, but their own voices.” –Ronald Johnson, ARK,