Three Prose Poems and One Poem

by C. Derick Varn

Meticulous Invention

Who knew buttresses could fly, but could not land. No medieval red-eyes, but they still held up the sky. How long has the door been closed? How long has the morning flew? Time like a busted speaker, thumbing. If I feel in love with voices in the air, I would could know how to make the landing. If I knew the joints and hinges of the sky, I could sneak past its sonar and into to the space which space inhabits and in which it grows. The buttresses didn’t know that either, too busy praying about falling down, too busy being a cleric’s optical trick. If there are orchards in heaven, instead of thick nothing with all its nothing, we could eat from them if we could have the meticulous invention to cut away space and deal with time directly.

Metaphysical Poetry

There are math equations about the end of time, but not at the end.  The days drip into a coffee mug which some called the universe, and which momentarily will be shattered across the tiled floor of a dimension that the mathematicians within the lukewarm cup of history did not get down into the proper variable.   The being, let us call her “she,” awoke to gull cries at her beach house of infinite space.  Time laps at the coast, metaphorically, because she could not tell you the ending of what approximates land.  The entire world draining into a rag as as molecule soon dripping into a dry sink.

Cosmic Inflation

Nebulous gas bursts like a melon dropped from a tower in a time before minutes, hours, masonry, fruit, or bursting.  Speed accounts for everything in the first instance. There are no words for this.  You meet your first lover at a record store pursing post-rock in a record store on Highland Avenue, and you wonder why rock is not post-Jazz, and what’s with all the posts in for aging anyway?  She smiles at you, knowing acceleration and gives you number. For four weeks, your sneakers have her dog’s hair mixed in the laces.   Beginnings have a narrative, but before beginnings:  elements in a void without space, without time.  Elements without space? Being without time?  Without age? With History?  She leaves you four years later, complains about how you smell of pizza, how you lost your wallet in the Savannah river, and how you seem listless.  You write your way out of it.  You drip in and out of the nauseating sulfurous emissions of pre-infinity.  It speeds up fast. It crashes into the ring around the bathtub and timelessness. 

Impressions of a Eulogy for David Foster Wallace

“The World of the happy is different from that of the unhappy.” –Ludwig Wittgenstein
Declarative syntax (The quest for the self that is real)
The empty spaces of tennis camps (and American speech)
A pale king speaks (broken mindful ennui, numbers)
Curious hair framing (for the purpose of generalizing)
The profound madness (the unfinished gesture, mumbling)
Of moonlight in June (against the terrible television screen)
With stars’ calculus (the gradual intrusion of the self-consciousness)
You must take your the garbage (with the break symmetry of footnotes)
The lethal entertainment (a dictionary of drowning motions)
And the grammar of film (what is the wrong word)
Like burnt pages (slowing fade into scene)
The infinite number of years (seventy pounds lost)
An ending that cracks under the weight (of banal, simple loss)


C. DERICK VARN HAS SERVED AS MANAGING EDITOR FOR THE NOW DEFUNCT MILKWOOD REVIEW.  HE WON THE FRANKEYE DAVIS MAYES/ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS PRIZE IN 2003 AND HAVE RECENTLY PUBLISHED POEMS IN BACKWARDS CITY REVIEW, CARTIER STREET REVIEW, DEUCE COUPE, YES, POETRY, JMWW MAGAZINE, WRITING DISORDER AND UNLIKELY STORIES 2.0.  HE IS THE CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EDITOR OF FORMER PEOPLE, AND 
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