Noticing My Hand
–Stacey Gentry – 11/14/16
A woman examines her mind
too close and falls along the seashore rocks. *
She wonders where the gentle swallows will
nest now without their red tile caves,
which for the past few days were pried
by crowbars screeching nails
creaking coffin lids
above her ceiling, sounds she could feel in
her cringing teeth while the roofers
went on singing with their own.
She smells fire **
and senses a hand she decided to accept
the assuming way a crows’
humble ration is buried
in weeds by the dull blade of a beak.
We think we use the tools we have been given.
Another woman nearby
her shell is thick, she sits and draws.
She draws a lady on the ground begging
a black bird
for its only treasure.
She is still
while she watches she can feel
her hair grow and, watch
she unravels the corkscrewed self,
Stretches it out with her mind like two hands
bracketing negative film to the light.
She is thinking of a woman who just,
died*** who first descended, into a
mind-less-ness, body-less -ness—-
her art could never name
until there was nothing left
but her soul. It seemed cruel
for one’s spirit to be abandoned by
its body and its mind and nothing
but vague clues in her leftover art.
As a woman
and an artist
this one knew the signs along the way
that sometimes get pushed away,
mistaken deception, illusions.
Now, an ultimatum for retrieval—-no,
desperately, creation—-while she still
thought she did not know, but you see
every night she did actually know.
We use the tools we have been given until
we realize, we create our own tools. She knew,
subconscious as a feather sprouting in a wing
so she drew, drew it out of her
until her shell would sing.
Ashes** fell on clean laundry back at home
where she dutifully prayed with her lover
No one would ever believe her,
how it coalesced, how she did resurrect her
willpower. Because, two out of three birds die when
they try to fly for the first time.
They must forget to bring their spirits
with them, this, the women, they saw.
Except two stopped at the tools and
one did see the ship she could build,
the ship that in the future would save her.
We use the tools we have been given to create
our own tools, to create something more.
A hand dives into the scenery from the future
like a dove and asks her to trust it, to take it,
this is her own hand.
*At Point Lobos a woman fell between the rocks who I helped up, I had been sitting from aways away watching her recognizing the internal contemplation that can be so distracting
** the Soberness Fire
*** Nancy Hauk, watercolorist, Pacific Grove
before the world there was a war there— I redress such image making –the spirit that contains me—–my lights foretold the rare
heart and mind combined—-the singing of my fiercest —a catalogue of shipwrecked business—–extortions of the mind
the spirit that contains me—-I redress such image making–some lies are glowing diptychs—found in railing ailments
relentless forming questions—the spirit that contains me
—importances unite now—heart and mind combined
the spirit that contains me—smothered splintered sin combustion—-I redress such image making—-exemplify the soul
the waves that spread and grin there—revealing in hardship pattern—the spirit that contains me—resuscitated eyes
before the war there was a world there—-some lies are glowing diptychs—the singing of my fiercest—tone careening with a magic
I redress such image making—the waves that spread and grin there—-relentless forming questions—externalizing prize
Thunder distressed apartment’s stilts, cracking
leather belts so dishes shivered on the shelves
And such aneurysms lit up the night sky with a deep
snap through a riddles’ mind. Asleep beneath electricity.
Piled high in visceral waste, a becoming, birthing themselves out of
their own decay. Limbs like intestines that I lured alive
—dream charming—sticking sounds—
careful not to slip in the fecund swell
mucking the glistening ground.
From this vivid compost I spent ink teaching how to spell the word, ‘time’.
Tympanic cries of magnified tin flew from mind into sky, to
where I left off counting: people, money, time—
The day began again, there was time and money and people—-
growing from the ground.
The tallies are in:
The shape of all their voices made a sign.
For 5a.m. William
You appear with your lonely demons on the edge of dawn
Sadness in the wake of boots, air
Spread by all your broken hearts
I’m spooked by you standing there
Awkward, enthusiastic, inappropriate:
You come and go a ghost.
Your bottom lip steps down from where
Your teeth had been, you say you can’t chew
But speak untamed, outrageous from every direction
Phrases hitting me like marbles, rolling around until they’re lost, like you—while I’m mesmerized
By the eyes of cats inside them:
You come and go a ghost.
Charlie brown dot eyes wide with legends,
Failures of youth. Shoulders wor by war, illness drugs: Boots grind into the tiles
Pivoting back to drinking and the tarp against the bay,
You press yourself further away:
You come and go a ghost.