TARPAULIN SKY V4n2
Nothing Prior to Anything
I had an idea—not an idea, less concept than notion (as in those objects around sewing, needles and thimbles) that a certain democracy of the interior is possible: human entrails indistinguishable were they offered to view, and elegant: glistening purples, greens, and reds—a complexity of reds must abound in there. Complicity of reds. I discovered the interior when my father took me to butcher our cow which had a name and history—she was my chore before school, her milking and feeding—but now was beyond freshening so was needed as meat. Men in aprons with knives in hand and each had dangling from his waist a sharpener which he would deftly catch and cross against his blade ritually swift and efficient. One placed the barrel of a small caliber rifle behind the horns of our cow and the muffled report was slight and the cow slumped briefly was hoisted rear feet first and began an arc suspended the most glamorous stage of which (evisceration) caused a great balloon of purplish gleaming to spill onto the clean floor to be quickly gathered by an aproned man. And there is mother of pearl, and the shine, the lustrous shine of lips, the edge where her warm mouth joins her lip, a boundary beckons and the gulf beyond: obscure interior. The allure of lipstick. The gleam of cosmetic akin to cosmos.
Any morning anyone—the sky and the sound
An easy joke, but a tender thing he thinks
But what does it sound like, walking away?
Poor in World
It is not enough not to be, it is the wish
among the forms of suffering this takes
The attempt to forget activates
The past, since it does not exist, is
The ambition to have never been—o round
strongest with the old and the very young.
[1736 R. Brookes, translator, Du Halde’s Gen. Hist. China III, 30
Ways to be done with and well out of:
Immer est es Welt Rilke wrote, and we can translate
Bin Ramke has published eight previous books of poems, including Massacre of the Innocents (Iowa 1995), Wake (Iowa 1999), and one of the first Kuhl House Poets books, Airs, Waters, Places (Iowa 2001). His ninth book, Tendril, will be published in the fall of 2007. The editor of the Denver Quarterly, he teaches creative writing at the University of Denver and at the Art Institute of Chicago.