Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sarah Cave, excerpts from An Arbitrary Line

Google Maps, Sorry, we could not calculate directions 
from Khodovarikha, Russia to Moscow, Russia

excerpts from An Arbitrary Line   

Matchstick World’s

hum, hm?

          the generator’s
hum soothes cowled ears.

Slava fiddles with matchsticks
recreating Hyperborea/Cornucopia

the stilted viewing platforms
the sock-muffled gramophone

filling the hut
with oscillations
of Pechoran sea and divine prophesy
the world – a sauna
                             birch wood strikes
against flesh
                            bathing in warmth
dry currents     desert parents crunch

flightless birds in their steaming swamps

eternal light // pin-prick night

cages but no chickens just cages
a warning in flight
Slava sleeps exposed on the dunes

it’s raining toads
and yoghurt pots                        (.)


Spiral bookcase              forming staircase
                   the tower’s ascent
                     mist damp cool
                  water on Slava’s skin
a finger caresses the dust
pages decay
                    Slava strikes a match
                              holds it to the shroud.

‘This lake could be
anywhere’           repeats Slava

changing tenses                          
these waters were once populated
                    isolated man

a heron                thumping

a driftwood ballad

speaking in long-lines

a rockpool elegy                      a one stone reprieve

leaving behind the tousled Nina

and the flustered Sunday afternoons
before attendance was compulsory

the conclusion
to faith holding hands with doubt

Slava watches the evening    and waits

for the yearly melt                   

as inevitable

as the changing of the skyline
                                                        in lakes, of lakes,
                                            vast open absence
by the lake/ in the lake/ of the lake                                        

glacial foundations mocked

Konstantin fights his corner
up to his shirt sleeves
in the rising                             / lake
Nina plays the riverbank chords

a xylophone minuet of lakes
lakes lakes near lakes eventual lakes
many lakes melting

—Sarah Cave