the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Fall 2007



Sheila Black

Ron Silliman Was My Father

A cross and a pen sent me farther
Ron Silliman sees my father
Until this ends a street goes upward
Lamp shadows filter-ring the other
I am trained to be a mother
Children run to seek their fathers
A present came. It was another
Boxes stretch in shapes Y bother
Rent is free to me and others
Figures skate in three tiers for mothers.

Backwards forwards oceans close lonely in their rising billows.
They break in parting and ruin the fold like streaks of leaking fluid sewn
in breaths blown out in censored come     come and meet your mother soon
and see her tend the seas sweet foam
and spill her blood in burning bream
a thing not seen yet     and surely seen
of fellows speaking lingual streams
and saying words of things unseen
this language newly formed has been
so light and airy.

Now flowing through a stream unchecked
and under rocky palatines
these phallic forces made divine lift their bearers
drooping vine to kelpy forested incline,
their Saviours built for them instead
a kindling burnt from tiny headssss
of weeping, gnashing eye and teeth tumbled in a soft last heap,
the feeling of a dark held place the race of time’s hard filled embrace
of small lit fields of ringing sound and brilliant figures riding round
to everlasting foundering. A cross and pen sent me here.
Ron Silliman crosses over there.


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