Sunday, August 16, 2009

recurring poem #7

Rae Armantrout : 'The Subject'

It's as if we've just been turned human
in order to learn
that the beetle we've caught
and are now devouring
is our elder brother
and that we
are a young prince.


I was just going to click

on "Phoebe is changed
into a mermaid
tomorrow!" when suddenly
it all changed
into the image
of a Citizen watch.


If each moment is in love
with its image
in the mirror of
adjacent moments

(as if matter stuttered)

then, of course, we're restless!

"What is a surface?"
we ask,

trying to change the subject.

From Rae Armantrout, 7 Poems (2004), freely available as a pdf via Beard of Bees.


  1. (As if matter stuttered.)

    Stu-- perhaps it's the stuttering of matter in the mental depot, but this line has been tattering a stitch into my nights ever since my first encounter with it last week (when, speaking of mental, I found myself mysteriously locked out of your mental ward, er comments box).

    I read a kind of statement of method into it, though that sort of thing should always be filed under: reading-in.

    Still thanks for the mind tattoo, painless yet indelible.

  2. Haha Tom, likening a comments box to a mental ward... Around here it's a case of the more loonies the better.

    I've been immersing in Armantrout's work recently, and it's been haunting me, for sure. I see a lot of what I'm trying to do, I think, in her method and its effects.