Sunday, January 2, 2011


Her left foot turns out slightly
the forward jut of her jaw speaks
in glowing amber

she says this word at ten
and turns onto that street at twelve

there are always 
secret combinations
of numbers
and colors 

He recognizes this and holds
the prongs of each detail
inches away from the alternating
current of public opinion

it’s part of the plot
to get him
so he invents story after story

and always there are secret combinations
a certain number of syllables
with the necessity of emphasizing 
the right one

so he must be vague
precision might unravel the helix
where adenine follows cytosine 
in the seventh strand

he mustn’t unlock doors
through which he can
never pass

but in the end
all sequences seem out of order
so he aligns with
the emission 
of dying photons

kneels by the bedside
he abandoned


by the regular arrangement 
of atoms.

(inspired by Kirks's post)


  1. We live and die by our choices...

  2. All that is left in life goes on.The complexities we make just to stay afloat sometimes sink us.

  3. Wow, Kass, powerful ... fighting a losing battle, or is he? So much to unearth here! I'll take another pass through and see what else... so great to hear your voice.

  4. Ah... Kass. It is so good to be back and reading exquisite work. Work that makes me think while I am feeling. Thank you.

  5. The last four parts were perfect in my eyes.
    What a great post.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. Abandoning bedsides is horrific, terrifying business.

  7. a lot of bad business, that.

  8. Ouch! How much is choice? Love the precise language, the scientific nature (yes I'm aware of the contradiction there) of it all. And the untoldness, the ellipse. Always you leave so much space for the reader to fall into.

  9. A big, big thank you for your words on my latest post, and for the L.Erdrich's poem, she is also one of my favourite novelists, since the time of "Love Medicine" and "Tracks".

    Words like yours are moments of great help.

    All my best,

  10. And what an alluring and eerie poem here, especially its conclusion.

  11. Powerful, deep and emotive poem. Found your blog via Claire Benyon, glad I did.

  12. You have really captured the neurosis that can result due to the tension between the way one is and the way one must appear to be, I'd say.

  13. I'll comment more on this tomorrow. Just want you to know I read it and enjoyed it.

  14. Difficult to know which world we were in at times. Kept wondering what wizardry we were heading into, but thoroughly enjoyable. How spooky, though, was the ride!

  15. "kneels by the bedside
    he abandoned


    Oh, goodness, that is powerful. That is his Karma.

  16. a class apart!!! nice

  17. Wow. I loved this post. Seriously. Great work.

  18. "The alternating current of public opinion"

    "deranged by the regular arrangement of atoms."

    I, too, am impressed by the poetic use of scientific and technical jargon. I imagine it all does come down to basic biology.

    I just now noticed my name at the end of the poem. Glad my writing inspired something other than LOG OFF. Now understand all the traffic to my blog. Thanks, Kass.

  19. I was here ... and then I got caught up in checking out the link you mentioned and didn't make it back.

    I'll confess I had to look up a few of your words ... no rocket scientist here!

    but the kneeling by the bedside ... that I do

  20. Beautiful images in that poem.

    thanks for visiting my blog.

  21. I feel sad for some reason. It is so funny how we all have different reactions to writings isn't it. Have a great day, Mollye

  22. I like the portrayal of the relationship and the subtlety of control and loss from both sides.

  23. Mary Anne, Steve, Vicky, Jeanneatte, Joanna, Jonas, Julie, Rachel, Davide, Gordon, Eryl, Kirk, Dave, Jo, Loni, Jen, Susan, Tabitha, Mollye and Paul -
    Thank you so much for your comments. I'm happy so many of you got what I was aiming at, even though I'm not entirely sure of the logic of it myself. Is it really in our genes? As Rachel mentioned - how much of it is a choice? I love that Eryl picked out neurosis and tension. I'm surprised no one mentioned the image of Reille I very badly photoshopped into the background of the picture.

    Thanks again for dropping by.

  24. The link to Kirk's post give me more fine, to have a mind that can employ science and the weaving of words, images into such a poem, a story. "He must be vague, deceptive..." We can tell ourselves whatever we want, but that doesn't make it true.

  25. kass, i love that you wrote about them. so often i realize i am writing stories in my head about people in the newspaper. i never really bought into the "Camelot" deal with JFK & jackie (maybe i was too young)...
    but john & elizabeth certainly had mythic overtones from the very beginning, much of it promulgated by them, of course. the stuff of real tragedy, hubris.

  26. There are so many wonderful pieces to this..I must admit that at first I read it,left,came back,still stunned by your choice of words and the way they make me feel,left,came back..still think its brilliant..
    "kneels by the bedside
    he abandoned"


  27. I was seeing a female rainman here, but also the male as a agent, buffering her. Many images flickering. He, trying so very hard. My hands were clenched.

  28. never to late to stop and say wow, am i?

    i love this "she says this word at ten/and turns onto that street at twelve."

    proof you are 100% poet, kass.

  29. i struggle with poetry. i don't know what my problem is, but it is hard for me to "get" it. :[ i know, i am a lower form of humanity!

  30. Every time I read this, I like it even more than the last time. But then, I love the use of otherwise "technical" language to describe the complexity of being human.

  31. "all sequences seem out of order
    so he aligns with
    the emission"

    Rich contrasts between the biochem reactions and the personal relationship between the lovers. Excellent and complex wordplay.

  32. impressive.
    and the image so apt.
    peace and love to you

  33. The blog is very helpful, maintain putting up beneficial info


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