The season is called evening.
Out of belief comes men
and then the sea and then the air
and then the upper part ignites
and a child comes screaming rosy fluids
and then the mother sleeps and what is change
World prim or corpulent such that
I don’t want to know
that the spirit world is behind everything and full of shapes
For the idea of earth rumpling the air
the sun fountaining its hot light
the lake tarnished slightly by vapours
the grass all pearled up with wetness from the earth
the eye rotating with bodies
bodies pouring life to the depth of what we can feel
and then its retreat for the silent face
space silent around it
This is called anything.
And Lucretius is a girl.
what locution helps this soft stove’s dreamt scrap
in fracas? Love, be my believable
tutor. Figurine, govern this redundant
flush. Fate, resemble superlative and
solemn congress. Holy animal, be
Luck. Be force of anything earthlike and
lovely and limited. Footstar, ear, give
It is a fact that it is in the nature of gods
to enjoy their immateriality in a place of
profound peace. They know nothing of our business
and are quite detached. No pain or trouble
tests them—they don’t need our experience.
Sometimes I permit myself to travel
in their vitality. Their posture and noise
pertain to History. When they loose their will
I feel love
mixed with repulsion.
Anyway, however diffident, my goal
emitted in a stream
and widely diffused
as if by a wind
—but my body keeps on confessing to me
of existence and invisibility—
such extravagance incites my measure
or I should say inflates
as with an acrid perfume
gold fog, fattening branches, wilderness of
inscribed space, the cities bloorrilng with kids
Two paths lead to the body
—the peacock mewls into rain—
a liquid rope attaches them
rocks and animals weep and treeroots
reel into society.It’s sound that ripens
the fruit. These are the two paths: liquid
and sound. They have no number.
My industry dissolves when I think of this.
Therefore vivid as an animal I peruse
the long world that flares with souls
no other victory is possible
just this potent ration
I’ll take to the terminus by foot
and leave folded under the sky when I go.
The elements too are somewhat rationed
but they host our least excitement
as well as weather, misery and solemnity.
There is nothing else—only their wrong use
each tender filament cries out
I want to copy this with my hands.
My own ignorance has to do with
this luminous pocket I’ve arrived in
as through a secret knothole
with the same flowers Homer chose
and his verse is my body
turning like a vase of anemones
Equipped with such formidable mortality
whatever style I choose operates in me like a sky
it passes and changes and persists and I possess nothing
but the sum of naming, curious and
The nascent category flits complicate.
Fear shades it.
I mean the exulted creation called fear
which is also curious
and raw and turbulent and opens
The names release birds and animals
into wild chance. Fruit trees
don’t stop changing either—each thing
ripens its own space
and the determined light flows
around our bodies
so we become cormorants and gulls
with new senses.
Furthermore each call flowers.
Seasons erupt from the syllables
the luminous effort seems to annul
Chance, which next appears in the distance
tender, hesitant, turning to its name like an animal
before it moves towards the forest
and its strange work.
In this poem Lucretius appears as a girl
on a rock
sunning and twisting.
It transpires that murmurs and clickings
Are nature to each body
Sound never resolves itself
And what we see erupts into other senses
Or perhaps it sways like a footbridge
Even our hands dream of stuff
They dream of pigments and fruit trees and puzzles
They dream of the honey that escapes from our work
Then everything begins to dilate
The ingenious sea invents
All my incertitude
When I wake to the horizon-scrim at night
I forage obedient.
The rolling substance
is not empty. Across rocks
abundance, the trunks
and branches of trees, vocal
to the bone
this sibilant anything
sized to the lightest and most plunging part
the passage of my body
and amongst bodies, weight
pressed upwards from dirt
dedicates itself to habit
which is a god mixed with what we can want.
What about the data of trees before
Virgil? The day comes out of the earth like
an animal and it goes. A suite of
shadow follows. Some of you don’t have to
like it. Absence is a sauce licked up
or little peplum of fat and lint flung
off. For today only
I’ll accomplish novelty’s capaciousness
Lisa Robertson was born in Toronto. Her books of poetry include The Weather and Debbie: An Epic. Her chapbook Rousseau’s Boat was recently published by Nomados Press in Vancouver. She teaches at the American University of Paris.