Jackie Clark




The Neverending Shredding Project

Happens even on sunny days, peeling away
from what is evenly distributed & what is not.
Drawers hold folders that mostly hang in darkness. 
In exchange for depressed teeth make me a plea
long enough for this to develop. In any event,
there are more piles to pull from & without you
there it can happen in closets or quietly on the floor
& will happen after you don't care about blowing
smoke out the window.  Or it happens quickly
after you open your eyes & decide that you could
have been anywhere & the pillows lie excommunicated
& the phone without a message or with one,
which reads "forget about metaphor & feel the floor
between your toes."  It is also sometimes a pile
of papers with words & papers without & papers
with one long line drawn across or my bar stool
leaning into yours.   To say that it ends in pieces
is obvious, curled & fluffed through whatever invisible
chamber exists in there, eating whatever reaches
its mouth.  We can politely dispose of it,
like the document I made as you moved the hair
from my face.  The potential is endless & always
a burden: stepping over snow, getting out of cabs,
getting out of buses. Or it is my imagination
never more than single sentences, unruly and long.




Red Fortress

Red fortress, I'll expose to you
my undersides, my concentrating
mastery and derelict non-futures. 
Carrying electrical direction as
a frame enters the ordained position
where we are caught.  My legs
and the washing machine, a metal
coil and windows below as headlights
return.  Barracks expand slightly
with side streets but always nose
in the same direction.  Diction and sarcasm
are a constant predicament.  I was certain
you only existed when I was there,
disbelief in your alacrity, your ability
to be seen by others. Fair tenderness
opposes inability.  I have other ways
to conjure remarkable flooring and the idea
of hair and shaped chin.  A weight
looking down upon the hollow,
feigning repose. My back wall against
introduction allies what is intentional
and what results from chance:
the whitening of extension.  Serenity
articulated and refined through
fingers like industrial boxes in the distance,
releasing what they have successfully
altered.  Journeys and shoulders
and nudge-nudging, a repetitive chorus,
an octave according to blue, according
to the box it emanates from.  A constant
intake of ways to get out of here.  Ownership
is achieved in bunches and bellows
from the height of a shelf, arms stretched
upward at nothing.  Hands open wide again
and again in their well-exercised routine.