Jackie Clark

A Poem About Heat



The sounds sound different

in the snow   Splicing riverbeds


Getting the out out of my person

This facsimile of city streets


Crossing avenues our hands intertwined

Wary of the romance   To write the romance


the biggest betrayal   How integrity

can go awry   My lenses like catacombs


Please send new weather to improve

the job of snow   Send direction to those


who lack it   Anonymity to orphaned

children of light   We are all always


writing our own inferno anyway

Please remember the order when the time


comes   Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally

The inevitable conservative swing


In the meantime I am down here

with all the fastidious ones   Signaling


the brimming   The pen I’ve been

taking to sleep with me   The dreams


of yours I’ve been anthologizing

I carry fiction in my pockets


My hands happening in sections

Not quite ready to keep my eyes open


Making calendars from the ocean’s

face    I can see somewhere a house








The First Poem



The electromagnetics scale toward consumption,

the ingestion of the passing sky parade,

sing the O like O,

sing the inner organ,  

ask that everything you do be done gently,

the gentle door opening,

the gentle turning knob,

think of all the things irrevocable about solitude,

the monologues,

the monologues,

the especially infested monologues,

the rift between its permutation,

its sustainability,

on any day there are thoughts and they accumulate and stagger and they all seem inevitable,

resulting on what has come before,

the character snow-shoe,

the stone wrapped with string sent down to the bottom of the river,

all that wretchedness,

imagined inflations,

we say bottoms up,

cheer our desperations,

the private parts,

the empty parts in between this photo and that,

that long stretch of death disguised as concrete,

as the sidewalk empties of others,

empties of night vision,

of what exists behind the façade,

it’s not a conciliation,

the walking of unending distress,  

judgment only of gestures,  

your contribution to the book,

your words inside the book,

how sweet and unerring,

how forgivable to talk and talk over others,

the social circle only needs one pitiable leader,

needs a mean streak of injustice,

a proclamation of further injustices,  

that carousel so smug and self-contained,

I want to be more than a moon refractor,

to let the light out,

to say I said I was going to listen until there was nothing left to listen to anymore,  

in truth I sense its longevity,

the book,

the words in the book that we write,

it hangs there,  

at the very tip of the opaque dharma that invisibly pads my person and your person,  

directly above the crown of the head up through the neck,

the length of its observation,

the greater orchestral tension,

how we scurry from its spotlight,

how we internally insult the reservoir and all animals populating the nature preserve,

their baritone calls to one another through the stink weed,

how we loath those with survival skills,

the ho-hum of open/close,

the institution of key to lock,

of finger to ring,

of “it’s just been such a treasure,”

the confused nature of sincerity,

instructing hypothetical after hypothetical,

for hours,

potentially hours of these words,

of these words to put inside the book,

like the snake of instruction,

or the walking ambulance with an unending siren