Graeme Bezanson




from American Eclogues

An astronaut's vehicle is at once concrete and imaginary,
its value propelled by a system of symbolic gestures

like dance.  The potential for communion is then like a young
Patrick Swayze, but is difficult to realize without sacrificing

the more elaborate footwork. So I was thinking about
an orchestra: Whether the music is blaring whom I imitated

and who could perform better is often of no real consequence.
I didn't care where I was, it didn't matter how empty

my ideas or how frightening their echoes.  I stuck out
my arm but didn't know what it would stick out into.



In cartoons a pencil being dragged down a washboard
can be used to simulate the sound of a sputtering hoofbeat.

In a physical sense, then, movement is separable
from actual objects.  Matter is mobility, but is

never enacted directly and so is like a dropping bomb
or a valve in your heart.  A nation gathers together

around the deaths of their greatest racehorses.
All of our greatest racehorses are still animated.



It's been a long time since they've felt good in Tuscaloosa.
In Bathurst they're black and weeping pomegranate tears.

In Ithaca they're gathering in their stone-faced kitchens.
A man sets out on a journey to a place he has never been.

Another man comes home.  A man comes to a place that has no name,
that has no landmarks to orient him.  Another man sets out

on a journey in search of the people who have left him.
A man writes text messages from nowhere.

The messages never arrive.
The messages are never sent.



My brothers are as sad as possible.  My sister is full
of a quality of light most closely associated with

American diners.  Four-fingered helicopters
drone on above us—conclusive of nothing, themselves.

All of our brightest hopes collide with helicopters
but do not pass through their black bodies.

I walk like a ballplayer.  Like an astronaut,
my most heroic period will be my decline.