Bibliomancy

by Sara Whittemore

I.

 

The coroner cuts open reptilian skin.

 

Art then, is repeated by the mind.

 

The bewitched wand of stardust sparkle.

 

I know I’m easy to forget.

 

Death is on the ground. Death is outside the world yet on the ground.

 

The world had one woman hovering in framed space.

 

Framed a woman for hovering in space.

 

These reactions are defensive.

 

And this place is dangerous for the meek.

 

A digital afterlife in another dimension.

 

Where the dead used to be such an abstract thought.

 

II.

 

Signals with flashing electric lights atop their antennae.

 

Glowing mercury cathode.

 

Signals pervading our environment

 

She wants more to her life but doesn't know how to dip her eyes in.

 

There’s always the TV on.

 

What is identity when the populace is dying?

 

Photography is a manipulation of visual reality.

 

Poetry is a universal language. Starting to feel like the face of god.

 

The word sizzling may have been cliche.

 

The creation of words, lives, reality.

 

Detangle each word until only syllable of sound remains.

 

Allowing the ambiguity of language to become an aesthetic.

 

Mythic dreamscape of shooting stars.

 

Here we see words gathering energy across the line. Zip!

 

III.

 

Each line begins with an affirmation of self.

 

Little pockets of bees form along a jasmine covered fence.

 

A mask of a skinless face hung on the wall blows in the artificial wind.

 

Like language laying itself out as if posing for a photograph.

 

Mark time by the naming of floods.

 

The brain, a nugget of self-consciousness.

 

Preposition is a metaphor.

 

And I can muster the will to show up.

 

To be carried away by the addiction to a stationary subscription.

 

Having a difficult time confessing my sins.

 

A language behind walls to be uncovered.

 

IV.

 

Aversion to prairies. Aversion to newborns. A version of infinity.

 

A variation of priestesses, Greek oracles, witchdoctors, muses.

 

The convulsing of eternity blazing in blue flame.

 

Each afternoon, an abacus.

 

A body of water with a giant spider.

 

A pathway into the a field of wolves.

 

Sky and water swirl.

 

Psychedelic experience written in flaked bark.

 

It was the accumulation of historical sisters.

 

The center strip, more opaque than the rest.

 

Center stripped of all translucence.

 

A figure of glitter in sea salt and pipe.

 

Seal skin spirals, funk of old cheese. Is this the entrance?

 

Visualization is just imagination.

 

Learn the names of constellations, clouds, wildflowers, weeds.

 

V.

 

Even the fucking urinal has been immortalized.

 

A rebellious, anti-authoritarian side.

 

All magic is an engagement of the senses.

 

A whole body gruesome in its faulty ways.

 

A biome emerging as our own.

 

No humble palm tree, a sensation I can’t shake.

 

The mortal will rot in a feeling of flatness.

 

There’s a surface in a handshake.

 

So we seek shelter within rivers of sovereignty.

 

And after destruction, it’s dust that’s left.

 

Radish on a red plate, twist of leek peeled over delicately.

 

Powder, ashes, cinders like later on.

 

What does dust have to do with these things?

 

Isn’t being decked in full-body leather hot in the desert?

 

Is any of this actually helping me?

 

Scraps of metallic paper reminiscent of a mermaid’s fantastic tail.

 

Left behind a fine glaze over the page.

 

Perspiration behind the edges of eyelids.

 

Light across a glossy landscape like sparkle coated plastic.

 

Something is a shape, a gesture, a voice. 

 

The moment when something starts to become what is.

 

Such an open form allows shape to give silence its space.

 

Archive as infinite seer. Archive as space-time continuum.

 

Enveloped by surface-shadow of an old self.

 

This bracelet is said to ward off evil.

 

A soft sound creates a barrier between the thumb and forefinger.

 

You can tell by the smell of peppermint.

 

The morning after it rained all night. 

 

VI.

 

A Euclidean garden.

 

The invention of life through language.

 

While using and losing topographic constraints.

 

Is it helpful, is it useful, is it relevant to you?

 

In the morning she woke as a nightingale.

 

There’s no such thing as an autumn lasting too long.

 

While the smell of sex and sociability penetrates the smog.

 

Stories of an intergalactic, enchanted experimenter.

 

A metamorphosis, the spell of synaesthesia.

 

They entered a paradise of ectoplasm.

 

A never-ending wishlist replaces any desire for connection.

 

The purpose is a purse.

 

And the ornamental can be bought and sold.

 

The only religion is to dissolve.

 

This predictable scenery eventually becomes a virtual reality.

 

Walking in a golden courtyard.

 

I could use some help.

 

VII.

 

You can’t write when there’s something to say.

 

The nuclear bomb that created bob.

 

Cat in a center frame.

The shape of the tongue as it speaks the word “absence.”

 

They ate the cyan projections produced by the sky.

 

Such a ludicrous sentence.

 

I am grateful for the toast with fig jam.

 

What does it mean to be modern?

 

A meteorological mythology.

 

Describe the skyline at night from the front porch.

 

The dialogue between dreamer and dreams.

 

Hair greasy, mind arranged.

 

Paragon of hidden practices.

 

The threshold between binary oppositions.

 

Dissipation of syllable into smoke.

 

Transition of smoke into sky.

 

Returning to the primal estate.

 

To summon the salt and pepper.

 

Recycling the rhythm of the body’s weight.

Sara Whittemore is a poet living in Houston, Texas. She is currently pursuing her MFA from Naropa's Jack Kerouac School and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Houston-Downtown where she was the recipient of The Fabian Worsham Prize in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in High Shelf Press. In addition to being a poet she considers herself an artist and enjoys photography, collage and mixed media work.

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July 2019

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