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1.

i hear these words
and something happens
in the yard;

it doesn't fit
a poem
or planet.

i see it squeeze
into the slits
beneath your shirt.

i feel it fly the smooth
of you
from off your back. it turns

and hides behind the acres,
stock frontiers
of jagged rooftops,

kept far and safe
and free
of me.

2.

the squirrel
has left the limb
as light would leave
a photograph.

i’m staring into its absence
and some new kind of animal is made;
one where
only
its reversal is alive.

it doesn't move or breathe.

the park is wintered over, and i don’t go.
the poppies
are all gone.
and when they do come back, they never change
from birth to birth,
a clan of inbred
sisterhoods
with felt umbrella
clots
of karma
that don’t remember
who i was.

3.

one last thought of your last thought
and all the rest become their graves.

nothing i remember, now
will reach the earth.  
i have no bottom ground,
beneath.

the narrow knots of wood
that span and hoard and cup my self
are laughing into holes;

the weathered gate
outside of me
becomes its death.

if i should ever find my way
deep below the cliffs of space,
to finally feather
down
like dark, Atlantic teeth,
will i somehow get along with them:
the brides of ghosts
who married me?
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:iconhalcyonshores:
halcyonshores Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
One of your best-est... :heart:
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013   Writer
Thanks so much :heart:
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:iconhalcyonshores:
halcyonshores Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you..
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:iconarchelyxs:
archelyxs Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
This, Shane.
:hug:
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013   Writer
:heart:
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:iconvillenueve:
Villenueve Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Superb!
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013   Writer
Thanks! :D
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:iconvillenueve:
Villenueve Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A pleasure! :)
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:iconriparii:
riparii Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
I'm with Rosie about stanza two.
The whole thing has a powerful bleak presence.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks. :)
Reply
:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
a clan of inbred
sisterhoods
with felt umbrella
clots
of karma
that don’t remember
who i was.

Now thats just brilliant.

One of your best here.
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconintricately-ordinary:
intricately-ordinary Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, this is strong. I love how it seems like a listing of facts over a personalized account. Your descriptions are fantastic, especially those last two lines. You are such a beautiful writer.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
I appreciate that. Thanks.
Reply
:iconadonael:
Adonael Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This to me suggests a kind of estrangement of your own memories - how the past is past, but how we might be at odds with it because it's not with us anymore, emphasised by the park scene for me in particular.

Thought provoking and sad. Well written.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Your interpretation has merit. Thanks for reading.
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:iconadonael:
Adonael Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you and you're welcome.
Reply
:iconfuzzyhoser:
FuzzyHoser Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: My goodness, this is amazing.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks. :heart:
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:iconfuzzyhoser:
FuzzyHoser Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Of course! :heart:
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:iconhippiehebe:
HippieHebe Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I love the last stanza :heart: the way you weave words together... gwah so awesome.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks kind of you to say . Thanks. :)
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:iconlarroney:
larroney Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Writer
Beautiful!
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:iconsherbetblooms:
sherbetblooms Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Perfect :heart:
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:iconexistencewesummonyou:
ExistenceWeSummonYou Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
aw jeez. This poem - I am very impressed by it. You begin with one of those million accidental juxtapositions of events that life presents us with - 'these words' which I take to be some tragic news, and an event in the yard which I take to be the squirrel coming off the tree. And then you entangle them, their significance, you bore them into each other. The squirrel has left the limb as light would leave a photograph.

Where there was none, you've created meaning, and made it public - discovered a way to communicate it to me and anyone else who reads English. What greater evidence of life can there be than that.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
I appreciate your attention to the underpinnings of this. Everything means something because I say it does. So whenever I decide nothing means anything, meaning obliges me. Thanks.
Reply
:iconexistencewesummonyou:
Is language so passive, is meaning so subservient? Certainly, if words obey anyone, it's talented writers like you, but in my arrogant opinion, the beauty of literature arise from the tension between the will of language and the will of an author. A poet is someone who knows how to pick a fight with meaning, but in my experience as a reader, those fights always end in a draw.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013   Writer
I see words as road signs to meaning. Reading the sign doesn't take you down the road; you still have to navigate context, experience, belief systems, memes, odd colloquialisms, historical or literary perspectives of the reader before you can begin to direct them to the place you made. I've given up trying map this road for the reader. I just play in my own isolated little sandbox and make my own rules and it comes out like a weird, drunken kabuki dance that maybe, just maybe, somebody else can find their way into the audience and bond the feeling they get while sitting there to some actual memory-experience that does mean something to them. It all seems like a subjective game of neuropsychological volley ball, this idea of precision of meaning in words between two people. I like poetry because it does not pretend this precision is possible, as if language were like some form of mathematics with a finite set of solutions. Poetry is open ended, open faced, exposed to the infinity of imagination, delimited only by phonemes, and nouns and tenses and conjugations, and a bunch of bullshit rules that allow us to shrink down our intellect to a common set of symbols. Poetry is the antithesis of rules. To me, poetry will always be the cutting cloud of communication - always in motion and defying definition.
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:iconexistencewesummonyou:
You've reminded me of this [link] essay by Michael Reddy. He points out and criticizes a metaphor that's deeply embedded in our language: We treat meaning like something that we "put into words" and then "give" to each other, disguising the endless struggle we have in actually understanding one another.

Anyway, I agree that poetry's great appeal has to do with the fact that it's particularly open and ambiguous, where each reader that learns to possess a given poem possesses something unique to them. And I think its poetry's musical aspects which then grounds it enough that people are willing to put in that effort - music, like mathematics, being universal.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013   Writer
that's a fascinating essay. and i mostly agree; we use the materials we have in our own isolated environment to build a structure from the words we hear others use. there is, of course, some small sense of magic left in my belief system, a magic that allows for a more Platonic reality where there are universal concepts and feelings that transcend material language. i think that is really my highest goal: to reach for those inexplicable things that have form beyond the material plane.

i like what you say about the poet grounding the reader into a certain state whereby they are willing to put forth effort to interpret one's inner symbols. the poet starts with musicality first, with the aesthetics. i was just having a discussion with someone about the idea of aesthetics versus meaning in literature. i was supposing that the only type of literature where we might encounter an aesthetics-only piece of literary art would be poetry. but i don't believe in poetry without meaning, even (or especially) if that meaning is elusive. perhaps aesthetics is the flypaper that catches us and puts us in the trance, and that trance allows us the space to meditate on things outside our normal realm, engendering us with the sudden ability to ascribe transcendent or powerful meaning to words, to the everyday world, to the nearly imperceptible voice in our own subconsciousness or soul; like a spiritual experience. perhaps poetry is a type of spiritual practice, where meaning connects our ethereal nature to the tools of language, and we become like magical beings, able to express the ineffable and holy, even if but for a moment.
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:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
If you're dead then who's alive? This took my breath away. Forgive my inability to be more articulate but stanza 2 is everything. :heart:
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thank you for coming by and reading. Your comments mean a lot. :heart:
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:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure Shane. :heart:
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:iconbeeinthebottle:
beeinthebottle Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013   Writer
Stunning.
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:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks.
Reply
:icontoxic-nebulae:
toxic-nebulae Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student Writer
gorgeous, especially

it doesn't fit
a poem
or planet.

and

a clan of inbred
sisterhoods

and

to finally feather
down
like dark, Atlantic teeth,

and I have to stop now, or I'll just end up quoting the whole thing.
:heart:
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Writer
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.
Reply
:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
haha, good picks :D
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