Monadic Vistas

Martin Corless-Smith

The cassowary inconsolable,
the plangent duck ablaze
up stately troops of Myanmar!
sporting a Rangoon graceTea less sweet tho’ strong
a nursery screen a rope
tea in a china bowl
a lizard in the mintChoked utterly by history
prostrate by distempered walls
the wind and sun approximately
over the ha-ha’d lawnEveryone prefers their own monkey
Eventually you disappear
Naked in the old man’s studio
Sitting awkward on a wooden chairThe queerest fish walking the land
The fishermen searching the sea
Fair to me are distant songs of joy
I thought I knew so much of loveOld men should be left to the tigers
one last fury, one last futile moan
and at the side of a heavenly fish
I throw my heart into the skyThe beast-whore behemoth & leviathan
hills to the ocean floor
above the mountain teeth
the sky teeth meet.Wade freely—quailing at the dice
faithfully thrown
your mother dies
your father imitates bland charities (convenient to our disguise)Azure on a bended “O”
The sadness settled in the lid
And like the sun turning the globe
The self poured out its bland selfhood.. . . and then the cavalry descended into view
I do not know the scope of what I see
A landscape scene engraved in miniature
An evening cloud seen through an open doorDrop now down to the golden shrine
The kitchen fire where family ghosts shelter
Drop like the liquid shades
Onto the altering surface of the day.Mother swaps anxiety with daughter
Father worn dumb by his many failures
Son waits at departure’s door
(all heaven is made of such characters).Artemis—mother of all hares
Calchas sees the womb ripped out
—she cannot now forgive her fate
Apollo’s eagles ravenously bentWhether I of this high wall
or of pure will ascend
and so my self—thus circumscribed
might live my mind exactly there definedThe wheel of Ixion stood still
& Tantalus ignored the waves
Tityus sat unmolested in his cloak
Sisyphus took leisure on his stone*And without sun? And what of that?
And god we know without
A drop of water—or say snow
When snow is needed—and it isAnd without rain, or care or
Fainting goats—a transport
Without shoes or cows or cobwebs
Without shit or corn or eyesWe know we fail—and without
Empty I the brine of apathy
God help the turkey and the duck
God help the mermaid and
The waiter and the sun.*206-boned cabinet
with leather purse
& pearl-ringed jewel
and note descriptive of a soulThe small grace that keeps me afloat
When in expansive avenues of joy
The arms of sycamores seem
Held up in eternal ecstasyBut ravaged by a word or look
The arms are brittle sticks
That cannot reach nor save
The grace that slips awayI’m crushed today by emptiness
talking to the few people I love
or think I do. I’m tired to be
so little after all, and endlessly.A beautiful and bearded woman
in a cape of rose and gold
her throne of ivory split open
her fissure filled with cornIt is a rare stew
I’m placed upon
A bubble bursting at the rim
A rabbit baking in the sunA sylph skips down the tessellated hall
A rock might crush a butterfly
But be assured they are not fragile but robust
Buffeted thus in an international storm.Mascaras out of the formal
The wind that is carried
Might animate a human soul
Birds, unnatural to the area
Green & excitable, their foreign accents execrable.The plums are dim at dusk
Like blind babies at the teat
The plums at night are blue
Under the shade of MontserratLike a lead bulb in the pond
The light of an empty cup
Cold in the summer night
And quiet off the beaten pathThe swallow meets its shadow/at the pool
The ochre wall cut by the/curving blue
The cedars stand in groups/around midday
To offer solace to/the dragonfliesEulàlia of the 13 geese
Rolled in a barrel of broken glass
Mexican Hamburguesas
Emperors y LabourersTerrible Catholic night
Steepled in Glory aghast
Hot altars & erogeny ere
The erect merchant kneels*my tower hungry
I’m so very
Lenient—to one side
Inside outSilents silentium blue public
that whistles tiny whistles
of the passing wistful here
is a shopfront filled with whims
Here is an empty photograph
To furrow homelessly. . . vegetable glass
ground out of green
well water poured
from crucible lipswipe with despair
the verdigris lens
Station des Weges
La lunette de Paris . . .In the midnight blue steel void
yourself away collapsible
the craft between the glass
and sunken sea-green air—London to London via tube
illusion of light empty space
grey coats yellow evening light
pavemental movementum aspic glow.*A legless Moon
Wading in the pool
When I was young
I knewDriven past Halifax at night
The ember lights of farm buildings
A lorry shadows by. When we arrive
The cold air opening another day.the orange peel blooms
on the carpet
reach out a hand
dear Mother goneHerophilia
The Sybil at Cumae
who lived a thousand years
and wished to diedust has closed her eyes
and dirt her ears
her smile is lost to us
covered by soilkneel at the beach
or at the grave
a bird will find you out
the ocean wavein last year’s nest
the toaster reaching in
no birds return
the bread will burnplucked from a river
wishing to be god
or the least of things
a sop of bread on topwhat I was
was the experience of
(represented as memorial to)
this one organic selfthe frequent stags
and beetles in
the grass-domed
emptiness called homeperfectly happy
where I am
landlord of a lizard
master of a fly.soft though as mellow
death is
still the silent monster
we all followIt is impossible—things nonexistent
that won’t go away
a single bat I saw 3 yrs ago
flickering across the estuary

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Martin Corless-Smith is an English poet who lives and works in Boise, Idaho.

Colorado Review

Summer 2018

Fort Collins, Colorado

The Center for Literary Publishing
Colorado State University

Editor: Stephanie G’Schwind
Poetry Editors: Matthew Cooperman, Donald Revell, Sasha Steensen

==Colorado Review’s only commitment is to the publication of serious poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. We do not publish genre fiction nor do we subscribe to a particular literary philosophy or school of poetry or fiction. We are determinedly eclec

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