from Counter Fluencies


Mark DuCharme







A frisson is an emblem on your tongue

In afternoon parks exposed to no rain


Exposed to the tunelessness of any Other

When afternoon grows dank


A frisson is an explosive in your loins

When all is daylight burning

When all is night escaping


In our dark, imagined voices

Which bend the wind like grief






The insatiableness of writing a line

At the onset of July

Is drowned in all our hearts


We lose us—


Of past clatter


In the clutter of the passage of days


That it is July &

Not so.  A glazing




On divination

& The weight of the tune that    burns us


In the wait

& Weave of what’s not

Needed torn    apart


Filmstock burning, interstitial


& The snare of need to investigate



& Every mechanism in which we burn

In thought grown quiet on the tongue


Where I am frayed, & night returns

Like a demon lover to a bed of stone—


& The weight of the tune that burns us—






Sometimes, a line is faintly



Into dark

Summer’s flicker—


In the discernible

Slip (“Nightfall as



Or the memorable &




Peopl’d with



Peopl’d with

Our cries—






There is no beginning nor

End to poetry


We have to maintain

The integrity of our

Lines, if not our



Open your borders & let us



Complicate borders, but resist not our teeming



When resist

We bloom, then rust


Our airy selves

Despoiled by lust

Stained by hate (our borders



cate).  Why shouldn’t such

Fools, we primates, sketch


As selves, become our hot

Complications & complex-

ities of grief


Where we feast upon

Ourselves & all

That’s new


If only we ‘knew’


If only ‘we’ new






In the mirror where I rankle

Subject to objects’




Say it again: writing starts

& Stops


Why am I so free?



If I write a text

That so means

How can I tell it—


In the words, their bricks, & in

The chatter of my neighbor

On her phone & balcony?



I take in the smell of the ‘weird’


It is uncompromising






How do you live

In a space with no

                Going off to?


How does the next

Word come to pass?

        & The next, & the one

After that?


Locating sites /

Cities / centers

        Of pleasure

In the grope of an eye, in quick-

Tongued grace


In this propensity we’ll call place






Part of this haunting remains

Remains broken


The detritus of lakes

In the eye of the moon


O sing to me

When noon is lost


& Angels stir    in the dark

Throats of sailors    humming


The tongue is silent

Like the bees


The cat does

Her best

To lure

That bird,


                    Imitating its throaty



There are no fish singing


The fine

Cactus hairs

Have been pulled

From the fingers        music is


        Endlessly        new


I am swaying


The cat now is playing    with the hippie cloth’s



Dare we stir        or enter


        In the tether

                                Of belonging—






Being monsters in the exact


Of which skies are made

            Of glass


Imagine sky as a series

    Of crushed vocables

Any of which would empty


            Of past & future


Of mirrors without sight


If you subtract your body

                From the light

Reflect thou on what scorches & has



Cooler & with flowers surging

Through dusk’s ancient panels








Mark DuCharme is the author of The Unfinished: Books I-VI (BlazeVOX, 2013).  Other volumes of his poetry include Answer, The Sensory Cabinet, Infinity Subsections and Cosmopolitan TrembleCounter Fluencies 1-20 was recently published in the journal The Lune.  Other parts of Counter Fluencies have appeared in Futures Trading, Indefinite Space, Noon, Otoliths and Spiral Orb.