the last is one of many the uncounted to remember how far back it goes to wooden fences and evening curbstones echoes of voice without words sounds in rings of bluish air the famous sky with its escutcheons and battle axes former names a world without any pronouns lengthened shadows hollow call far into the oncoming dark dense the fabric of stars in dreams and the resurrection among unpiloted galaxies between threads of rumor and repercussion the body of summer rising from the foam of eternity in a new sheen of memories and devastation do ten years make a single minute ? do skyscrapers and wind-curves from farewells unbidden do taxonomies of air in all its platforms make for a heaven without gods only pentimento of divinities foot-paths of ether intimations of sound noise of rock and water colliding in a month not yet projected and skipping shades trellises ivy smothering walls a hand reaching to support its other in a claustrophobic gesture of flight cancelled wings apparatus of vowels deconstructed behind the garage where night is born on a revolving whetstone injuries of consonants knees and shoulders the small painted wagon rounding the edge of a sidewalk recorded one hundred and twenty three times ago when sunlight was grafted on to windows and hollyhocks flared on the lip of absence it was always whenever the myth applied the bronze pleated armor of warriors depicted rising from tellurian deaths clots of envy and ire threats and gloves sketches of the future Mexico City on a tombstone erected like an adjective on the outskirts of Teotihuacan dust and solar disks emptying their maps in the midst of a hieroglyphic syntax running round in circles indecipherable ramparts of atmosphere and error resounding universes one at a time in the ear’s blank shale and quakes and volcanic eruptions the cinema of the last known leaf to speak
THE WOUNDED MEMORY
not anymore what you expected the dash to inferno blind and intoxicated by the god of willful self-expression the lacquered days bereft of mind the lashes and circumflex of addiction and obsession the futility what art was about and gone hitchhiking amphetamines and mind altering powders hastened to the pit of resurgent unconscious debate with the chained other the demonized soul tied to agony and reflection for a life that could never have direction only terminus being mortal being driven to divinity false lies of time and its opposite the jazz trip of the instantaneous neither front nor back illusory as plate glass that contains the sun blackening embolism among the planets hierophantic triumphs of numbers that lack a backside alpha and omega no greater than the downsized beta they abhor glyph and noise of faked pedigrees the enormous alcoholic hour when everything is consumed and light splinters into deranged universes scattered across a numinous thumbnail awake and not awake the indigestion of the soul the mind lost on its raft across the tempestuous water of memory wounds compounded by the roseate kiss of the alternate paradise of unfinished fists not knowing who you are ! where is the italicized phrase which is money ? it is legend that wears all those finger-rings excluding the finger you lost in the grass one evening forty lives ago in a childhood of broken Mexican mosaics and maps that delineated the hallucination of travel to what necropolis floating in its lunar ellipse moths and beetles of delirium scraping a grave beneath the floorboards of learning no wonder the cicatrix resembles a bride betrayed in the holistic hour of consummation Sanskrit digits and integers of arrogance burning like small intaglios of mysticism in the cursive script of the Subconscious smoking alternately cigarettes and Time ! in the end the Outback took you home dipped you in an Arcadian delusion of freedom baptized you in unrecognized loss the death after death that chases you back into the infinity of your previous existence for Joe 10 years and counting
Ivan Argüelles is a Mexican-American innovative poet whose work moves from early Beat and surrealist-influenced forms to later epic-length poems. He received the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award in 1989 as well as the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 2010. In 2013, Argüelles received the Before Columbus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. For Argüelles the turning point came with his discovery of the poetry of Philip Lamantia. Argüelles writes, “Lamantia’s mad, Beat-tinged American idiom surrealism had a very strong impact on me. Both intellectual and uninhibited, this was the dose for me.” While Argüelles’s early writings were rooted in neo-Beat bohemianism, surrealism, and Chicano culture, in the nineties he developed longer, epic-length forms rooted in Pound’s Cantos and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. He eventually returned, after the first decade of the new millennium, to shorter, often elegiac works exemplary of Romantic Modernism. Ars Poetica is a sequence of exquisitely-honed short poems that range widely, though many mourn the death of the poet’s celebrated brother, José.