Two by


Mark DuCharme





After Guest



The nude depends on our perspective—

A seeker of form who clutters space.


July isn’t leaving

Until we trace


The heat of the seen by the longing

For grace, a portal of vital wildflowers


Tied to the speech of the nude. The nude bloats;

It bunches up & tries again.


The door to the air of the water heals

& A cloud alters the perspective of shimmers,


Ragged when we go.

The nude depends on her own agency—


Flowers by the water

Bent in cut light.


When we go & contest what it says we mean we do

In the light we are vanishing still but do not know


We are always & only saying & vanishing

When she knows what she knows & we go there, too—


Disjunctive pillows, tethered heaps

That slip out in the wind, then leave.


What is it

That you want to know? What makes you despair


When we are always & only as we are—

Savage birds in a savage terrain?—


A state, or statute, of grace

Held out to sea, as if hoping to vanish.








         “Apprehension is so close it produces and can’t see.”


                                                                          —Leslie Scalapino



Time goes out & moves around us

Sky isn’t equal to bone or crystal

Igneous foliated dusk while being

Sentient parts of lucid trees


The wind is sometimes cruel

We smile awkwardly

Who am I when I look into a mirror?

Is ‘being’ being ‘natural?’


I can guess the circumference & weight of a frog

Of a star, of tentative guests

Who never sing or whisper

But foretell an ancient doom


I laugh at moths

In comfortable houses

Full of cheese

I rot in foyers full of interlocking questions


The ropey willows’ shadows are not all I seek

Blur the factory & its agate entry points

Infused by pipes of petrochemical whispers

Bound in fruits of sand & copper


Blurted into the very pores where you seek peace

Here, all superimpositions are the same

Are we ever purely connected beings

Who seek a cure to unknown doom?


The freight trains run, to dull excitement

(There is no ‘freight’)

There is no freight or arching bird, roused by the sight of gloom

(‘Freight’ is an attitude that must be ordained)


I don’t know where I go to speak

The future is inside us

In forgotten drifts, promotional banter

Toward which naked winds may one day intervene









Mark DuCharme is the author of We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film, Counter Fluencies 1-20, The Unfinished: Books I-VI, Answer, The Sensory Cabinet and other works.  Two chapbooks are forthcoming: Scorpion Letters from Ethel, and Thousands Blink Outside from Trainwreck Press.  His poetry has appeared widely in such venues as BlazeVOX, Caliban Online, Colorado Review, Eratio, First Intensity, Indefinite Space, New American Writing, Noon, Otoliths, Shiny, Talisman, Unlikely Stories, Word/ for Word, and Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary.  A recipient of the Neodata Endowment in Literature and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, he lives in Boulder, Colorado. 



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