Menhirs, by Simone Kearney. Image courtesy of Stonecutter Journal. Forthcoming in Stonecutter Issue Four.
hardly begun and already there, oval in evening, body’s little bad translator, itinerant,
like myself, unstable evidence, stunted artichoke, it is already April, clinging like a feeling
at the end of sleep, scooped out of what grips, walking backwards, something fraying
is trying to catch me, meat air, but I’m not good at living in it, light above my head
is cracked, it is burning up, block of midnight in June, memory not gripping a connection,
entering the world that hangs porously on morning, thread of life passes through me
vertically and I feel it in me, pulling in opposite directions, growing repeatedly, pause
of missed apricot, cold apple, agapanthus, what I am doing, I only know how to construct
small images I climb out of, it could almost be string, it is almost night, there is no man
in it or woman I run into, face moving up and down, wine-colored buffalo wings,
windowless bibs of silence, dig out pigments in an ashtray, mouth is somewhere else, ant
farm, bee nest, little eloping hairs, windows are minor escapes, I keep getting moved
around by strangers’ eyes, they are too near-sighted, they have no satisfying angles, no 
margin, I hear their humid speech, their live chameleon words, borrowed, and there
are fingers in them, similarly, gaps in place of the crotch, fog powder, where differences
are hard to touch, I withdraw because it is morning, because it is July, venturing too close
to artificial shadows, I am watered down, what if I were shoved into all the weight
of emotion, porphyry, knots tightly knotted, hills cut in half, I’m bored already, pretend
to think about something else, pretend there is room for surprise, I start to remember
everything, wanting to explain the preliminary, dainty, reversible logic of a person, fences
hardly begun, see yourself mounting stairs, color of sink, silences you lie in, what to do
with words that stall, yielding to little, chunky, unstitched landscapes, easily replaced, what
does it mean to finish? trying to make sense of things synonymous with rummaging through
the length of a small dried dot, as if wounds had etymologies, this is where you must live,
hard to complete, already there, derailed voice as clumsy athlete, polliwog under faucet,
winter getting warm, it’s easy to inherit a limp, look at Oedipus, deep absorbent open areas
I walk over like puddles and I never have time, I’m always mopping up, I can’t see what’s
moving, this all must appear like fireworks dissolving into façades, sandpipers in dunes,
not knowing how to finish, particular word is a wasp suppressed in a cubicle, breezes
are everywhere, winter is a bundle of necks, I said to you, “sew me an ear’s white drum,”
you plow words like water and arrive at the noiseless island of your throat, detached
neighborhoods, I want to be free to ruin circles, this history of fluid windows in night
open like clay, is it August yet, whatever is hidden is in those miniature bones of the neck,
it is May, it is today, I thought it was a mauve vest, trees against trees, productions
of surfaces that pour out of streets, when one’s body doesn’t fit one’s head, tiny fine hairs
cover my entire expression, many themes can be found in this face, what words, folded
inside, are in your facial gestures?, the face makes a sound of shrinking, there’s a beach,
it is whittled, because it is September again, everything tastes like soup, blue scraped off
the wheel, blue is scraped, mistakes are points of departure, mistakes are catalysts for
for variation, for multiplicity, if you look in a mirror, you can see a whole list of mistakes,
such formations of accident are never neutral, they exist alongside aggressive piles
of adjectives and nouns they never touch, absence of weight is a weight in and of itself,
because it is March, there is so much tingling going on everywhere, it is damage, it is good
damage, the surface of this pink I see before me is damage, bits of living, what wrinkles
out of rain, you wish you could be specific, like a policy of détente or a cracked jug, trees
in October or was it November, your name is a vegetable slowly growing in my head, road
of my brain is made of bees inside too much vegetable, it can be uncomfortable to hear
for this reason, but one can’t close one’s ears, hands are as useful as lids made of feathers
in this regard, blowing, blowing, vegetable bee, brain in prayer can be old wallpaper peeling
away to reveal even older layers, those layers can be folded into geometric shapes that have
no value except to reveal depth, even paper can betray depth, sky like the contents of a
with no words that’s been looked at too many times, sky has been passed through a
sky is the remainder after it has been used, it is white after so much use, I will be aloof,
shapeless, demanding, a plateau of shrill feeling, I couldn’t help but sleep, this is how you
do it, in February, we are getting closer, at our usual places, the obvious analogy is with
a person, who, washing the windows, vanishes in glass, relationships move like suspicious
playthings, like a memory with its meaning diluted into language, like the limit of
a digression, baggage we carried, old perpetual history, and memory on a wall is something
we always hoped, as if we could trap ourselves, definite as background music, in April, I like
materials that grip, buzzing pepper-tree, the world is true and real, why won’t you sleep,
your arms are strings of snow, your arms are unequal shawls, stairs in water, door’s milk,
something is touched we don’t know, everything is entire and slips, morning grit, cloud
straying from some stopped sunned turf, that was before you washed and rose, feeling
objects vaguely coming into focus, objects you only know to place side by side, sun
on knees, balloon eyes, your name came to me like a mirror facing the other way,
your name dangling out of itself like the end of Wednesday, when considering relationships
between two inanimate objects, the human element keeps bursting in on the scene, its
intrusion of cake-orange, greenish, tension between ropes that are almost flesh, how the
of things keeps getting interrupted, summer grows fuller, the woman waits to be a victim
of her own road, I can remember much forgetfulness, it is a useful illusion, box of shared
memory that, once touched, makes you the same as everybody else, gummy December
colors, free in the silence of its rearrangements, sometimes cages are comfortable,
absence is a cage, sometimes the size of an object beats like a voice, sometimes there
is the delayed reaction of a burn, evening out a thinness of feeling, so that my feet are light
and I am racing in a field of edges, field of names without closure, I treat words like a box
with folding parts, too clear the way glass is blown, as if something could suffice it, as if
I could wipe away my own hand, and everything is almost graspable, night, what was a field
of grass is gone, and in the window, nothing filters in, nothing appears other than the room,
walls, wind getting up, as if it could attach itself to a voice, without a body, and night trying
to gather a solid, little aloof verb almost complete, to form a phrase cylindrical and scooped
you use your exquisitely controlled mouth, like a scar or fruit, there is no such thing
as discovery, or at least, discovery is imperceptible, in June, skin of anything, not even air,
distance thrown on you like a warm cloth, you see yourself, worrying about lockjaw,
mosquito buzzing on a split fig, not even shadows at angles with people itching in cul-de-
sacs, this wall of language that blocks speech, hand to hand in silence, this wall of language
that blocks speech, seeing a reality other than flatus vocis, fact remains, I’m forced into
spectacles of words, collaged, even in my foreign tongue, I paste speech on my walls,
quotation marks are flabby hooks, isolated rain, it is the end of September, if I could touch
deafness behind every idea, object, person, afternoon, tic, plastic glass, bottomless stone,
egg, when day moves, rubber on rubber, the sound of portraits, noise before one can talk,
sleep was lost in a room, little airplane spotted over radio, making no progress, certain
fingers in the margin, procedures, where you cannot linger, only leaves, but not
telephones filled with transactions, approaching a mirror out-of-doors, I could sail to a life
of imitations that never occurred, a kind of burbling, fuchsia, big calves, scrapbooks have
memory, smell from wanting to eat, there are strings against the receiving day, slim
houses, focus on them, useless portholes scattered over bits of apricot water, what amounts
to nothing but words and then you want to telephone, pour life out into a name like
eucalyptus, you are in a room too large to hide everyone’s vocabulary slightly turning
damaged reports, tight whispers, something is shredding when I talk, standstills of mouths,
another wrong impression, white bleeding squeezed into tusk-clean apertures, such
compulsions as the need to violently fade, I want to go in the opposite direction of waking,
scraped petal-light, it is January, somewhere in the background of sentiment narrowed to
irrelevance, she said, in other people’s gardens, worn, a little overcast, progeny of lisps,
prosody to make rubber odes, something is being blown out, something is being
traps you can hear, something thrust into its own stillness, something about remaining
something about not standing on the yellow line, something self-capitalizing, something
residual on top, something sagging in waterholes, something shuddering on a broken
fluorescent corner, something pillaging veins on an open field, something dumb and
something resurfacing, something bumping on plastic, something coloring a tunnel,
noun-less, stalking a series of unspecified dead ends, squeezed into a nub of atmosphere,
touch someone else’s inhalation, I’m sitting in a strange feeling, tiny and desperate, hunger
is sticky, I touch you like an object that disappears into the sound of tearing, I touch
you like a hill in midnight I’d escaped, hours packed round your hair, a hand, give it
to night just once in May, tomorrow, nettle path, thin stone, bees empty of time touching
consonants, grooves that unfold, syllable by syllable taken off into grass shadows, crystal
on foghorn, the life I read, make your place in the faces of others, cold but erotic, speaking
into your hand that is not a telescope and we know where we’re going, or where we
should go and then we are everywhere, gluey, blue-black, writing at the computer,
to become the grammarian of sweet Amyctis’ body, I am not empty, features on sun,
I am small change, triplets of weeds, flip-flopping traffic of lips, this bruise on paper,
I am cool brown fissures, it is March again, rain you almost detected, puzzling mis-en-
synthetic unscripted moments, limbs are imprecise constructions, I’m okay with that, smash
into a knot, reviling the viscosity of being near you, bloated, peachy waterfowl, browse your
violet arrow, edible nasturtium, fix my mistakes with wine, laugh behind your chin, vous
un chien mordu, we’re almost shot through, proportionate to crumbling hair on a soaked
little pony, there is an art in being humanely dismantled, it demands a sly action, like
apart a dog hair or stem cell, words in a squint, landscapes of wet cement where a mold has
prematurely been taken away, diameters in place of walls, someone’s so-so cousin of a face,
full of fresh ends in a canal, October that no one remembers, suspension of early evening
in the head, rabbit hole, pet vulva, faces soft as emulsified Béarnaisesauce, et ton doigt sur
la brute, Capitaine! terror in flesh, poke me, what parts stretched into color, naturally into
the nascent smell of sap, obvious avenues, grass-stuffed, pigeon holes, eroded whenever
you said my name, whatever you said absorbed there slowly, slowly she moved towards
and, with head bowed, watched the huge doll of his body, and your name draws me like fire,
and what, on the other side, is not, in this moment, finished, “I will not eat,” and go on
humming quietly and halfway back, necks pulled in, utterly mismanaged, swoosh, so what?,
go on, go on, gate building music, mobility is in a sense forced on us, plying our horizons,
girl-scout handbooks, in any case it was no longer my house, that too was a melancholy
matter, such as night and day, syrup on bread, “it’s a vegetable, it doesn’t look like one, but
it is,” day will be CONVULSIVE, I was coming back from it, sprawled, I was finishing it,
squeezing handkerchiefs, the outer part of your eye conceals the inner part, and every
crumples, what your face says is aggressive, and then it ebbs into a stillness, stillness
of arranged furniture, showy, and then snap!, everything is offered up, floating reflection
flashes on and off like an expression of promise that gets obscured behind a sneeze, hard
to translate, grove of wrists, residual field, what animal is this, shapes that ferment into
opposite chalk on eyes, pours like milk, it is soon dry, it does not blink with sense, because I
am around my mouth, tiptoe of water and I lie, lie in water, and beside me, I put my clothes,
where’s the start?, memory taped to the back of sky, your voice the size of dreams, and
August sharpening itself on lawns, views of my walls, lobby fogs up with verbs, baby
volcanoes, my wrists in the bald blue hotel, windpipe blowing like a herb, we must use
the body in the proper way, air curls into a tiny fold, I keep falling in this way, salt-water
ebbs, silence is a concrete response, it’s me talking now, it’s February, inert and entire pale
hair, violent soft clue, scratching, waiting for something to happen, neckline of woman who
has failed and who has tried sleep’s first hugeness of tint, just inches above sea-level cloud
keeps layering, first a steamy dirty kind, then a soggy trim kind, windows are like
“plumb spang in the cow-creamer,” writing has been a little cage, natural paper eyes, bleach
the places in which one used to see words, distant from my mother tongue, I mangle what
I’m left with, not settling for life as if it had the quality of a feather's shortness, bikini wind,
piquant glazed grass, describable as nails or water, resolution in backgrounds, I know love,
trying to see others’ eyes, what can sustain itself, not wanting, evolving heart in diagrams,
and picturing my semilunar valves, inherited tube that produces a single repeatable action–
what will you do?, the erroneous parading navel, the precision of inconsistency, unfading
anonymous squalor an eye fills when open, still clouded by the inside parts of darkness,
total body of vision tending towards peripheries of feeling, cool aubergine, something
waiting to be formulated where light piles, interior snow floors, no one’s face is here yet
on seams of speech, vision is a bandage, prattle is a drape, islands of blank arguments,
I see only edges, postures lacking clarity, hooded residues, blot the wet pane, rose, sharp
heather, as in writing, needing to imagine something, everything at a remove, everything
slightly worn, somewhere something being actualized, smell of torn-open sea, I know what
you mean says the man holding that hair momentarily, I know exactly what you mean,
to look outside and touch another finger, not a cold one but a hot one in the dunes, these
things don’t come together, a bitter shot goes limp in the waist, this is what it means to be
animal and wrist, chartreuse, nest in trees, place for walking, this is what you could do,
or how it begins, slow water, recollection, day in June, this part on display, burst of
about to fit into hours, irregular opal, miming a second language, on the side of the road,
lines wandering somewhere else, and all these fences blotted out, but reappearing, and