Is it wind or weathervane I want from words, from words arranged in what I might call a poem? Is it that ornate, classic, squeaky copper arrow atop the roof I want? Or the invisible sensation, the current—to know its direction and speed from how it reaches, how it caresses my flesh. And then is it even wind I want? A desire for language so pure and clear, so bellstruck that the note carries me away from its source. Not to look at the bell. What has the bell to do with its song? May I labor to write the poem well-made enough not to be the poem. To not be that inky iron throatbell. Don’t I want from prayer what is beyond prayer? From language what is beneath language? From words what is between words? Time I’ve labored hard at my fences and barns and houses on the page. At clauses and stanzas and images that invite the reader in, guide them through the house. Long I’ve wanted the space whole, the beams iambic and plumb, the windows placed for maximum view. As if to say, reader please come. I’ve plumped the cushions for you! But why of language want a shelter? To be instead the field beyond the slatted fence. I want to write the poem that says what that poem can’t say. If I have arranged language into something of a song, into something of a house, may the reader bring a throat of fire. Come inside me reader. Says poem. Breathe into this song. Unhouse us both. Make us gone. Until there are no walls. And no poem. Until we are only field. The poem of the night black glass lake indecipherable from sky. To slip into the water of the lake of the poem and out of my flesh. To die through. And not to make of the poem a glinting mess of trinkets. A hodgepodge of now and found pop-cultural objects, clever linguistic bric-a-brac collaged into a self-portrait. Not to be the internet junkyard poem. The popular music trapped in a dead radio. The thrift store knick-knack. Not the poem of identity, of broken things and chic, hip worldstuffing. Not to sing only for those here now, not for the ones with names. But through them to the dead and unborn. And if a poem of self: only to go beyond self. A flesh reader can wear until reader has no flesh. And not of any poem to want to collect readers but to give them a way through language—through. And not to want of any book to have a spine and face graced with my name but to be a reminder to have no self. May instead any book of mine be a boat that turns to song and a song that turns to water as it spills its way into the sea. And not to want of this art or any other: fame. Burn me to bits should I ever wear my flesh as such. As in the sewn-winged singers-of-the-day who cackle their names and dance and leap and say look I am Bird. Look! Awp! Awp! Awp! I am bird! Not to be vain, but to be vein only for the older and far-going blood. To transmit. To carry. To conduct. To let it all through. To carry body and song only momentarily—to make the perfect vessel to hold nothing beautifully. To be one quiver of the vane that others might notice the wind. That others might notice what is not there, only. May I sing with throat enough to have no throat.  To fly as not bird, but wind to carry the reader. The poem as only the reminder of flight. May I hammer and nail my heavy words into a song light enough to lift and burn. May I make of my words a smoke to carry the reader into night and dream and through. To the life beyond the self. To sing only to make a way for us all through song. To craft a poem that is song enough to make a passing form of the perfection of silence, to weave of language a fabric silk enough to give shape to nothing, then to fall. May I be brave enough to make enough words to be a house to be unhoused. To be flesh enough for all of my language, for my poems to be evidence of fire. To be ash. And to disappear.


2 thoughts on “A Prayer to Disappear

  1. Like this. It reminds me of the poem about the bed boat in the Cortland Review. That poem is more like a feeling. Love you mucho, soul brother! Mary-Clare


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