Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mark Leci - Four Poems


somewhere in this layered
cubist collage of touch
it is possible
if one peers from the right angle
to separate
three bodies
pry apart the tessellating edges -
divide this flesh into separate forms
but for a moment
linked together
a lifeline drawn in blood
for a brief pulse
a quartz vibration
there is something akin to perfection
in this movement
then you collapse back
into your mind
the thoughts return
of how his body is such
styled and flowing
copperplate in the square-nibbed pen
and red ink so distinctive
those complex German adjectives
seem to ripple across him
he is a living calligraphy
and she so
clear and radiant
she bends light towards her
like glass
it follows the waveforms
of the boundaries between
her and not-her
of what is sadness to touch
and what is nothing
your body is so
covered with corrections
rewrites and editing marks
the edges all noise
ink bleeds into the white fibres
the shouting of the fights
that made a simple skin
into this memoir, battleground
each skip dull version of
scratches between the grooves of the record
he holds it up to the light to test if it is warped
tosses it away
this is something too far from perfect

Steam Baths

An old man
Levers himself into
The hot bath
With the slowness
Of flowers blooming,
Steam dreamily blurring the room childlike and careless,
Coffee perfectly dripping into an empty pot.

And the lowering of his body
Contains the unspilled passion
Of bursting muscle,
Scalding liquid drifting over the wooden counter,
Flowers exploding along winter’s edge,
The old man screaming
For the muscles to do his bidding,
And a teenage boy
Still as ancient ligament,
His chest suddenly,
Tellingly, flushed.

Road Scholar

with stratified hands
circlets of dirt
echo the blurred
whorls of his fingertips
he smudges the yellowing lining
breathes as it oxidizes
runs a crooked finger
over justified columns
thin color diagrams
and broad pages
he is blank and wide as
prairie margins
this lonely
road scholar
retells the parable of the scorpion
shoes fading camouflage
with the bitumen
tree roots
cracks in concrete face
unsure which page to read
he stares into blank
like Picasso's blue family
the moving finger
smooths the creased pages
with a hard black fingernail
traces the scrawled notes
with empty pen
frail amalgam of feeling
his books are out of date
and the world turns
faster than he can run


The last time
I sat and did nothing
Or read a book
Without time whining
Through the hourglass
Like a vacuum

Snow was
Deep over

Franco was
Toddling in
His garden

Old potatoes
Were still new

The dragonflies
Were kick-starting
Their wings on
The back porch
Running ink
Into tiny grooves
Like a record

8-track was
The wave of
The future
Clicks and

Certain girls
Would be
Expected to have
Both long gloves
And cigarette holders

You were
A tiny neon
And nobody
Touched you

Mark Leci’s writing is strongly influenced by such diverse fields as chemistry, music, physics and computer programming. He lives alone in Calgary.

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