the planets already are aligned
they are frozen together
there must have been a disturbance,
something to make atoms experience fear,
a single fruit
pulled from the branch of the knowledge tree
it was simple it was not simple
you made this journey from the single cell
from the birth of mountains
blindfolded, without thinking, and tumbled into shoes
a dress painted with tiger lilies
the birthmark on your skin was a perfect circle
it burned your eyes every night
you saw the last bucardo crushed beneath a falling tree and jolted into waking
though you had not slept
you searched for new means of divination
silent monks of tibet used crows to tell the future
you could not wait for voices of birds
you made a sculpture
it was the image of the rest of your life as you would never envision
a human being
you kissed the mouth and tasted meaning
but there had been a disturbance
you could not see the future
you glimpsed the soul of your lover
you could not melt together
something had been misplaced
something had gone out
one foot in front of the other, you walked into the wound
it was simple
this is how a species reaches its close: easily
not by the hand
nor the circle
by closing its eyes
we are still sleepwalking
beneath a thunderstorm in watercolor
there may only be one place
where we may feel correct
at any moment
be it some front porch in blue galoshes
or the edge of the state
howling to the river
an attempt to eat the starlight
tonight we are in rooms
reaching for streetlamps
or basements or airplanes roaring
we always belong beneath rain
we put it there because it is needed
we must find ways of manifesting ourselves
this occurring on our behalf
this on our own terms
flowers of chance become malignant with new multicolored petals
that book will become twenty, in a spiral
those socks will become t-shirts jeans and jackets
that coffee cup will become ten coffee cups, lined up in a rainbow
those shoes will disappear
the plant will turn yellow if i water it too much or too little
i will start to look ½ gross if i don’t remember to shave
that single piece of mail from wvu will become a dead forest printed
with names of universities that want me but not me per se
i need to do something with the boxes of books i never read
they’re taking up space
they’re messing with my feng shui
all the guitar picks will disappear
i will forget to mark the calendar
how am i supposed to write when the universal entropy level
keeps going up and up and up?
Gridiron! Gridiron!, or, Illuminated Poem for a High School Football Match
There on the gridiron!
The light in human eyes!
Nucleus of life!
The field! O field! Redeeming place!
There on the gridiron I see a man!
There on the gridiron I see Ursa Major!
Roaring! The planets shake!
There on the gridiron twenty feet tall!
There on the gridiron he watches himself!
Disembodied! Immortal! Clairvoyant!
All solid and all true!
There on the gridiron his foes engulfed!
There on the gridiron he picks at his crotch!
In his eyes an engine roars!
New soul! burning bright!
Stars exploding! Somebody screams!
His gaze solid! His body solid!
The earth concrete!
All in check before him!
He dashes across the field!
Every breath a universe born!
Old men chewing hot dogs!
Young men staring at cellphone screens!
History burned in a notebook in a bonfire!
A flower enclosing itself!
Plant cells malfunctioning!
Les pensers sitting in loud silence!
Constellational! Eternal man unyielding! pumping across the field!
His body locomotive! Battlefield! Battlefield!
The brain the nucleus!
Religion a ribosome!
Everything fierce! Singular! Secret!
His life void of pleasure!
Every breath an explosion ignited!
The game lost! Nineteen! Twentysix!
Day lost! astronomical! lost! lost!
The universe! O universe!
E pluribus unim! Gridiron!
luis neer's recent work appears or is forthcoming in potluck, be about it, alien mouth and elsewhere. he is the author of this is a room where you wait for new language which is available now from ghost city press. his hobbies include drinking coffee and picking at the scab. find him on twitter @luisneer.