from Libel
by Lucy Ives

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Something seemed to carry on of its own accord and bells rang And color spread over the face of the bank clerk You also (YOU) have been far away And there was none with whom to register the complaint To figure which X in a sea of stitches was the starting point I couldn’t do anything I could not tell the man I love him and I could not love myself In this world, these were the only tasks No grandmother not mine had filled a dungeon with sparrows’ feathers And no glass mountain held the bowed image of a distance And style being what it is I never Caught a glimpse in the story of the face turning to speak Milk playing in the corners of its eyes And Plenty In every imagined city

You are talking about where you are going to work And on Tuesday you will go away, below us To visit the island, on a train You are talking about where you will go, but not what you plan to do and say there Sirens examine their teeth in pocket mirrors I go to get another drink if I still can I have nobody to recommend A kind of monster on the sidewalk, smoothing the blue sides of trash bags, smiling My nobody is, I guess, eyes enlarged by thicker glasses, nobody I guess This is the thick song of something that did not have to stop singing The images ran up and out and tumbled into the world It is high time now Even the white bank of undifferentiated cloud, what is the detail Clovers may link tip to golden tail on the inside of a cup My dream was one about jealousy meanwhile He was the animal in a spot Light on stage, moving at the blow of a whistle but running at speech He looked over the hill toward something undifferentiated What shall we run from now, and where It turns out that the story of a lost ship was not the story of that ship but Rather of its name And it turns out that men transformed to dolphins wove in and out its wake Hiccupping

I keep on writing this novel in the present tense The present tense in this way embellished, licked through by one Crowd, I keep on registering with this axe, a key That moves alongside what happens Sleepy and still-wet with markers Like itself and yet unknown to me Just as we accept what happens, so this Writing goes Every other possibility Out of the way By way of explanation Ten minutes rode by on the clock face A stranger yelled Leaves twitched and it was a wind The close of the hour coming on but not a thing Just what we could notice Having thought through the uses of centuries Of thought in that instant