Gillian Conoley


Fatherless afternoon, very untitled death,

partial the anatomically endowed
tree burl that gathered many before it

along the hike the country road glorifies the human gait

the human gait developed over berries
harsh and crude

then perfected in the lunar shafts I sleep for—
I was in the life class

wanting to copy copy copy it as becries the scrivenor,

the inability
of white birch
grazing the picket fence,

yellow smearing blue across the pallet,   white spackled

into sky over river
over upside down chair bobbing up
from the river

it is all waking up only to feel like a freak.

Do not simplify
any whole paradisical tale,

river held and rolled
against the small divisions,

most minute cloud displacements
please extend sunfallen hours.

Thousand words
don't eat this.


Gray suit in the shape of the drapes there       busy one with texture

then figure through flowered walls with open unexpressed lips

you are the big picture, my eyes to foliate later.

Blank window at rest now dusty in its corners, no one calling

as the lowering pink clouds
surround the motel


ecstatic the sparrows
in bursts in trees
above the Western American fence.

And fatherless afternoon I spend you,

big gold watch and chain
big gold watch and chain

Dingy pool of sunlight
the white mule drinking there

Lucky stag in a waterfall

lucky stag

washing perfume from your moonlit shirts
Tide brings the one who loves you

Tide pulling the world

but you must not attach


God please ignore more slowly

Drive slow       genus  species familia

Contain no voice     presentable

no sun    bleaching the roof, feeling    masculine

throning        deepshaded        eden

No failure to love

longevity of

no      failure to love

slight wind of girlish breath

strain in every bird

fantails  scattering wind and dirt

calloused hands holding the half-eaten map

must not attach

Turning the mobile, handling
the long black snake,

thorn and crown

sky weirds
the empty lot

there is work to be done

drive slow

grave bride
with a black boutonniere, shorebird on the roof

do you feel a little displaced       so high
over the underwater lawn?


Still water

stewing tangled vine,

orchids snagged on one's bodice,

country gate         do not attach.

The guide figures
go psalming,        patching

the chants,
secrets of mine flesh is heir to.

Census returns

census returns
fail to indicate

our ocean has a sunlit zone, a twilight zone, a black depth, and abyss.

It is a world of complete darkness, bitter cold, and crushing pressure.


creatures who live here,
           do we say after this is all over,

one climbs the stairs of a big white farmhouse
where love inclines?

Wild roses on the fence existing,

robust with something in the human makeup,

land of shades, trembling

of sea

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