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Jay Besemer

from A Kind of Word

the thames unrolls licorice-like, pangolin-sexy stretch : there's a city somewhere in all

this : maybe just meters away from us : so well-played, tight dialogue plausibly

rendered : action is hard, in character : what city is this : can you be london if you've got

a bit of dallas or port-au-prince or helsinki in your teeth : does that sliver of meat shift

everything off-plumb : does it move you off-script : does it move at all : what city is this,

thames unrolling in the middle of a desert : mad ruin : an animal alone in its cage ::

you are about this : you are about this limb & this barn door : you are the work of

winking, the chain-link jaw : you are open & closed yes the way a young flower

& an old flower are both open & closed : you are moving the hand of the clock

forward, back, forward : you are the simple garden cutting through the glassed-in tower

: you : the family of riders you carry in your chest all trumpeting your concerns : your

love resplendent galaxy of swords ::

little bright lizard-stone, marking tongues : pockets of opprobrium : licked something,

silent & clean, broken out of sky & dendrite : a vein of desire : make it like a

blood-clot, grime-encrusted window in a ghost town :

i love the way a golden light moves through a certain type of cloud : i love the way my

trash talk collects in a corner & makes a lizard : a lizard fucks in mica sense :

pierces my skin in jade crawl : makes a day into a nest, a big display for justice's shining

scales : she's one too ::

will you approach me like a catapult so as to create a zone of meaning between us : as

mutual denizens of no exact mode or meme or bat-shaped lap of shadow on the ground

: will you have some tea : is it in our dictionary can we say love about the things we

happen : the photo in your hand the waiting list the mule : bash a nail into a tree for me

maybe for us both : what if it stings what if this contact leads to corners &

evergreen poison : what can we do our oars sprout buds we reach we reach : what is a

touch in this place what is a mouth with words in it ::

great holy monster beating bone laid bare in the teeth of the day : some moments

make a man long for stop-motion sequences & fur : night thunders you to sleep : a

gray gift hand reaches out to stroke the flesh below the awning of the ribs : to grip the

hip the mouth of the west the helm of yes & of need : holy monster sucking the

fallen stars scooped in handfuls, rubbed into raw skin : wait for my capacity to arrive, to

respond to your urgent hush ::

Poet, performer and critic Jay Besemer is the author of various poetic artifacts including Telephone (Brooklyn Arts Press), A New Territory Sought (Moria), Aster to Daylily (Damask Press), and Object with Man's Face (Rain Taxi Ohm Editions). His work appears in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat) and numerous journals and reviews. He is Contributing Editor and Multimedia Content Curator for The Operating System, and founder of the Intermittent Series in Chicago.