Rolling Eights,
                    “with the whole of the galaxy
                    blowing up just to say something.”

cats rolling in mock fights, chickens clucking out back, spring knocking on the window, and fucking papers to grade when all I want to do is build my radio, pour into schematics and intermediate books—where all the boys went on, became enthusiasts—something in my hand besides a pen and something in my head like warm up drift and the inductance in the circuit should be adjusted to give resonance at the operating frequency. The page pulls with a world, wide band/low impedance shot through flora and fauna, power spark transmitters, tuned grid circuit, thyroidal coil, the page beneath these, as though a compulsion is waiting, as though there is wave to end wave and resolve.1
      Most Fantastic and Impossible Design to cover the backs of hundreds of books, even whales, the indeterminate self in n-dimensions which might live in a cave or torso, stray parts shooting off into a night beyond design, to return as a stranger (the imaginary radios of Zeno, for instance) we’d known all along, the person we wanted to become. A superheterodyne retransubstantiator of which none survive nor can be realized but in a single lifetime [pages of parts, silly and spooky at once, monotheosophic diodes, gynothermistors, Ellis and Olson as a 16-element collinear array multiple tuned wave ariel with Baltic fonts for names or something shot out of a storefront that got stuck in our eye like the two of spades.2 Bridwell and Mayer a collateral field drained circuit-bed, horizontally polarized ground. Dorn and Richards, variable resistors in parallax array.3 Schwerner and Burns, a precision “fist”—not fast, but clean, steady, making well formed rhythmical characters and spacing beautiful to listen to. Zukofsky, the calculus of principles itself. Williams, the impedance of what a state remains as it changes, quicksilver dance of solder in bulb’s light to the edges of earth, almost sloping off, sliding over. Creeley, the torque in the wire, its elemental ion field folded and twined around a phantom foreskin in the shape of a samari sword or a cuticle. Niedecker, of course, a variable Black Hawk condenser, like a woman working in a basement we only smell the fruit that rises as roses crushed and made new before our face and hands and heart. We only see her back. Major car accidents of a life, forgotten landscapes, canyons glowering rose, immanent presence, some ghost wandering the flush attenuations, florescence of bulbs, early spring all winter, and the superior circuit of organs, as dervish of the senses, each tuned to the sustaining what of existence.
      And build a case out of local woods, walnut a friend had set aside at the lumberyard, a stand-up model of my young youth with hands and feet and whatever you thought a pussy was at age 5. And the pleasure of plugging it in, a long extension cord so we can sit in a clearing at the base of the Rockies beneath the dispersals of stars, plumages of interstellar storms, and stay up all night to listen.

1 What is it about the text of The Radio Amateur’s Handbook, 1959, 36th ed. which reminds me to die this morning? No footnotes for one, counter-inductive in variance as though the resistance of the detector grid is less than when the circuit is reversed, no contradictions or smug asides, even the bad writing (As a general thing, the resistance depends upon) has its soles on ruddy pavement, although “The Amateur’s Code” sounds like Franklin on Haldol®, a muddy boot in the middle of his brain. Plain of minimal registration to cognitive depth, like a three-legged cat, an object of continual joy.
2 “no primacy / to being original in any sense of difference but the listening you realize / only when you’re not trying either to solo or accompany yourself, / interference” and so on “atomized by naming into being the heard / intuition.” Right.
3 the power output of the r.f. amplifier must vary as the square of the instantaneous plate voltage (the r.f. output voltage must be proportional to the plate voltage) for the modulation to be linear.


three poems from Tongue


                                                                     whatever happened?
                                                         how speak of it, that which is yet,
                                          perhaps, in its earliest infancy, shelf of shore
                                   breeding a continent, interior even farther than we’d
                             conceived, ever, or had we? It sometimes seems as though
                   we’d always known it, that an organism or an array of such inner-
         responsive reactions to the common condition would be thus harmonic
  or of a progression in which we might recognize an intelligence, like a man
in the words, at least briefly, sound in the understanding such as rocks are
hard, and stone, in its conception, a mountain beneath the lake, of what
is it to tell?



A thumb or elbow thrusting up, jerking like a hanged man at the end
of his drop, onset of turn, spastic mime signing, colon torque or skin
stripped and rolled in salt. This is Odysseus, the sail risen to what
breezes, star crossed tree, letters falling from the lug ( M is Formica in
the Sea of Key, etc., silence’s occlusion when they mate light flute
bowl chime or crystal ivy balanced thereupon, ring, fruit, floret of flame,
vowels in the valley of sound, memories of what never occurred, into in-
version of echoes for the central amphoric missing nature of man, ear
in mind of hand . . .

                        yet if the tale be mad

                                                          does that concern the tongue     ?

Semi-fluid rock, rooted in liquid stratification, upland river area in chest
or a box with nerve endings over the metaphoric heart from which the
word, a tortured adolescent, comes forth screaming as though delivered
of the tissues themselves, boulder on tin roof (“Coming through!”) or last
crushing breath, regret for a life all but forgotten, even as it was lived.



                         frantic inter-
              penetration, hysteria of fleshly joy and
                      pain broken tentacles madness of spectral proportions, down
in the mix, in the bed beneath words a roar
                 or growl, almost barely inaudible, another disappearance
                              of nothingness beneath the central
          amphoric nature of the world, nearly a guttural ahhhhhhh

and the genitals turn to gelatin

                                      as was promised we melt into the cave of the body
     also . . .

                               that by which we put
                         ourselves forth
                               to be known, thumb
                                        of understanding in
                                  mind as though its
                         language were indigenous,
                                        the heart’s single . . .

                      most of a valley, one side of mountain.

The tongue has its brother in hand from which gestures of our extent flow as living pictures of speech and rise so like water to blossom and waver in a world of new meanings until they too lay down to rot with their ancestors: the earliest words, noise with purpose, grammar of motion and stillness amid the first sounds or before the vibrance in silence itself. Language will one day lay down with its ancestors. Not any time soon. Depends upon whose account is measure of. Or what is thought without a tongue?

A writer who teaches at the Univ. of Louisiana, Lafayette, Skip Fox has written a number of chapbooks including Adventures of Max and Maxine (2003) and Wallet (1997) as well as What Of (Potes & Poets, 2002), the first volume of an untitled work of epical length, if nothing else. Recent work in or forthcoming from ambit, moria, Exquisite Corpse, Pavement Saw, eratio, Word for/Word, Black Box, and Gestalten.