Letter 7

But the buried walls and our mouths of fragments,
no us but the snow staring at us . . .
And you Mr. Ground-of_what, Mr. Text, Mr. Is-Was,
can you calculate the ratio between wire and window,
between tone and row, copula and carnival
and can you reassemble light from the future-past
in its parabolic nest
or recite an entire winter’s words,
its liberties and psuedo-elegies,
the shell of a street-car in mid-turn
or scattered fires in the great hall
I would say not-I here I’d say The Book of Knots
I’d say undertows and currents and waterspouts,
streaks of phosphorus and rivervine winds
Dear Z, I’d say it’s time, it’s nearly time, it’s almost, it’s
      just about, it’s long
past time now time now for the vex—for the vox—for the
      voices of shadows,
time for the prism letters, trinkets and shrouds,
for a whirl in gauzy scarves around the wrecked piazza
Messieurs-Dames, Meine Herren und Damen, our word-ballon,
      you will note, is slowly
rising over the parched city,
its catacombs, hospitals and experimental gardens,
its toll-gates, ghettos and ring-roads,
narcoleptics and therapists and stray cats
Ladies and Gentleen, our menu for this flight,
due to temporary shortages,
will be an alpha-omega soup, Bactrian hump, and nun’s farts
As we enter the seventh sphere, you will discover a thin
layer of ice just beginning
to form on your limbs
Do not be alarmed, this is normal
You will experience difficulty breathing, this is normal
The breathing you experience is difficulty, this is normal
Dear Z, Should I say space
constructed of echoes, rifts, mirrors, a strange
year for touring the interior
Should I say double dance, Horn, axis and wheel
Dear A, Scuttled ships are clogging the harbors
and their cargoes lie rotting on the piers
Prepare executions and transfusions
Put on your latest gear
Other works by Michael Palmer ...