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Part 2 Contributors

 

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch


Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky


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Elena Karina Byrne
Californian Poets Part 2: Five Poems
by
Elena Karina Byrne


 

 



That Van Gogh Was On Drugs Wasn’t Funny

                                        the comedian said, which is why his sunflowers’ yellow
                                were so very yellow in their deliberately askew heads, &
                        from there now, know too, bees can dream, which must be
                a kind of drunken wavering from the sun, dizzy parallax of
        dance to dance flower-color crowned in the mouth’s epiphany
carried home. Hive’s hexagon. Sunflower’s Fibonacci. Like
        grief in its sudden ownership of your thoughts, its terrible
                perfection. Love too, is this precise, yet feels so lie-lawless
                        once let loose inside of the body, all Nile & noontime, black
                                seed & spiral, to that hint of foreground-yellow paint between
                            the teeth. I do, I desire something new every day, like his later
                        painting alterations, wet from another’s hands placed so very
                    carefully over me with the unleashed look of light. That is how
                we know nothing but sunflowers, we become a different version.





Lynda Benglis, We’re Good in LA
                                        in memory of artist Bob Chewy

confusing ourselves on impulse, completely melt-down together like that heat-
welt of hundred crayons left in the childhood driveway, whether we, now or not, like it,

to “look at this and just die” ahead of ourselves, suffocate under Lynda’s Eat Meat giant
bronze, or inside my cousin’s carpet once he rolled me off the bed to a hard landing
where I couldn’t flee or breathe. Far from her black beeswax, we will take a resin course
of action, turn & gut-twist to be fluid, fall to our lover’s floor without form, be continuous.
Or pour ourselves from a great height, whole, into a glass held out by another’s hand

because we want to trust. Yet like history, look how objects fail us by default, by
means. I’d make all my mistakes visible, add her Day-Glo pink to see my own blood clot,
bring back those who are gone, change the corner traffic light that phrased a drunkard’s
truck clear through his front windshield, turning its glass into snow & active noun.
Because any idea of his painting is incomplete, bile-black at best. Because live long

enough here & you will see Tar Pits boil over these sidewalk seams, freezing like my dog’s
lawn excrement, mat in color, holding memory of a previous self & heated to gleaming.





Almost Harunobu

Black wings
of hair, Binsashi bone pins, women of me come now servant to
the Tama river, washing courtesan brocade, multi-coloured on
a screen, new lovers kneeling. She too turns cinnabar-red by hand
paint, vertical to horizontal, lost memory sheets showing months.

That court gives rank for autumn & winter, after a milk
bath in front of the mosquito’s net, musical motif, when this
advent-end of the 17th century pulls back the bow. When

you first costume, when home, you’re story-making back.
A child learning how to shoot arrows, finds the bullseye straw.
What pattern singing from this color page reaches in secret? How
no one sees ahead, eyes half-closed, not looking up when walking:
a carried landscape. Butterfly halo above trees, kimono sleeves open,
hands each to each holding & beneath obi fold, her clit sex-knot is

hidden like a dinner bell underwater, like the impermanence of
hello or farewell, like violence rhythmed in the mind
                                                                            after war.





A Martine Gutierrez Triad
                                    -for Dylan Tara

Angel, | are you
drowning your bedsheets’ skins in
the moon’s pool water for a better muse-muse, for a body in thrall?
We wake against feeling like worn party undergarments torn out &
garden-buried, cut fruit thrown at foot | of the wood door, their fire
candied-colors crushed from an insect’s head. . .

                        To be deity-desire, | polished chrome, or coughed-up sun
aureate occupied by breath is everything. As if otherwise was a beauty
choice every tribe recognizes. I’m my son, the girl | he wants to be: so,
kiss these genders in us, find each naked mannequin twin | in the crowd,
a fish-mask breathing under our dining table downing all the last light.
We’re just one flame | thrown, tied hair to leaves into feathers &
for a pierced, jeweled-hungry face, | knowing perfection is always

sexless. I’d cross
over, again & again any day to make her feel safe, crawl inside carved
base of a tree, | meet wet anemone’s brooding for its pink & green axle |
revolving in the sea’s seat place, let him be her, them, in the visa-versa,
be uncured of expectation, dancing. Hands up––
We’re original owner of this one body | & I want you to see it.





Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Cliché Lives On Inside Me

meant for the hundred-yard dash I won again & again, flint-chip

        starlight breaking in on the fractions’ failed tests I tried to hide under
        the bed’s dark universe. Tempting eternity in a child dream, I counted
        endless abacus beads from inside my mouth as party-goers passed on to
        the next lit room ignoring me, pile of red-spotted sea creatures raising
        this girl body to the black ceiling. Anxiety is as endless as love, a grove
        that began in the mirror in the open closet. It’s a history carnival out there,
        abyss-run for your money on the only face of a clock, its crystal, bezel,
        wheels, & gears laughing violet. Now infinity’s mindscape’s steep fall
        finds a starter gunshot-heat at the beginning of everything. 11.3 seconds,
        & I wonder how much of that fills sand grains inside a glass half-full. I
        could have escaped the room, waves crushing behind us. Wish my caul-

dark child knew that then. Math fails me now, not the other way around.