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To Anchor the Swarm, Its

Ann Lauterbach



tacit aggregate      to find

                                      owl choir

and the dead     what December knows

arrested under         a       carapace of light

                                       scent of fir

              not anything    yet born

                the son  a daughter   or

unspoken       owl choir            near

call        and      in the ebb of night

               linear purple at the horizon   wing sloped

                      possible tune among minor chords

                       what diction had once

                                               what Emerson


and the abbreviations of

              the unjustly slain

                       dropped down among stones

             most common waves

                       syntax unwoven

washed up as scenes    whose eyes

       multiply you          and the aluminum bed turned

                 girl running down a hall

and the bullets       the pearls

         freeze in the mighty as if

                         black floor    sprung   door to door

gist     delayed among welcomes

         patterns  open

                  Bach     cello arcs    and

Gould’s             phantom breath

                                                              drawings on the wall


                       so  the hand is motion


        elusive givens


                                    caught on a nail

          mandate shredded against history

                                                that mirage

 geographies as maps  open into

                                                  the abundant false near

                                      intimate scale

                         in the dead of night

the lost key to Dublin’s sorrow


      and the evicted

                                    saved         diaspora      word

                                            hope  hopes

                    trials that await good

                         to inform  these letters

up over      for the other     plural  web

                     to dwell        a phrase

          shell and sail

small wind

absolute clarity         to set out

                           modes of          retrieval

as        the Hudson’s impassive stare

                                     ludic cry          scarce   wagered   unfixed

                        such old particulars


                                  from the quotidian



             its categorical yes

                         spelled out      as gift

what turbulent vistas       the raptor swerves

              crow and buzzard

                     and the sign of the heron

                               O pond life     O lilies


             roads, roads, roads

                       hoarding their kill


                               damaged speech

             sworn in among initiates


             what guests

                          in the circuitous iterations of law

                                                folded as in a box

             the impatient ban

                            reductive pixels


                                        captured in time’s open mouth

                                                             and that which is feared

                                                                                  is kissed.





Thing life      construed      as frequency

these small patterns   to see

      shift as the perceived 


              my own shown among them

their inanimate                embodied welcome

                    and so would put down      put down

their relation or       assent    

         ocean unfolded as veils of salt 

         salt poured into a cloudy glass

         the very taste of blue

                                     and in the dream slot  

an immense cloth  


         place to place what is so     is     what is

     and depends

                to bring these intuitions

           in the demeanor of a search

to look for         to scan

pie cabinet  

spool of black thread

yellowing page

flooded street

photo of a girl

drawings of an insomniac

cry of the jay

icy step                   riot in the square


the near

as the waters recede

              to save 

          atomic gloss      rapacious thrust


the one by one          among us

little cousins, little citizens of death

unnamed along these distributions  

                 ignition of skies

                            sliced into      apophatic plateaus

common as dust          and those

                      who chose       did not choose

                  leave us

bereft among planets, casting our

                                                                                   simple awes

                     error, stitch, error, stitch, stitch

into whatever is                     next.