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Eleni Sikelianos
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from The Bright, The Heavy
                      "The skin disappears by a stange enchantment"
                                                       -- Le Compte De Lautremont


THE SIRENS ARE CHASING US over the rooftops with the blasts of last snow; Over the
station-tracks like voices screeching along electrical rows.
They are following along just under the wheels; toward the sun.
The bright, the heavy one.


I just found a paper epithet towards the substantive world. Here it is:–– Hello? I was
answered in a question: The
World––?/ And how to fix it?/ I don’t
have any plans for it and don’t see
how to add them to this poem. If you ate your way through a peach
would it––?/ I had a dream falling
from the bottom of the pit––/ My relationship
to humans is––?/ Currently my current relationship
is with a human it seems
just fine––/ My favorite thing when I was a child was
animals, and—/ all of them


the nature re-runs i.e.
                               war; the works of
                               love; the eternal
                                                                       Each in the end when each

is overthrown I work

the hollow cell who

undo the bands; dissolve it down now; Now, a second whistler enters the train, in
excess; to rend the crossbars at the gates of hate; the flaming

rampart at the burning root; all we wanted was to wander the A., held back
by the B.; Now; find strange terms to fit the strangeness of the thing: Earth
with eyes & throat full backward thrown

(by words) (we searched to)

unfolded the source; Earth:

THE DOOR TO ACTION ordained me to talk / in the growing vapors
about “a body” / about an emblem
to represent / “the body” / the moving parts / of men & women /
the body / a dangerous thing / between the wrong hands
(of cancer) / In the village, everything was measured
from this center: “two fingers wide”/
that one washes ones hands/ before dinner/ so the bread/
goes in clean/

THEY TORE OFF my adolescent shoulder
ripped out the muscles one-by-one

from so far away I make
my memory come back

kick-the-can, capture-the-flag, Marco/

in the muddy labyrinths, the drifting
body –– drift

down to earth now
with the impulse of a hand to raise

or fall; make follow the body

pressing the ground with such weight: a foot
engaged with weight

the soaped water has seen  /  risen
& fallen  /  entire  /  generations /  spilled on earth
despite the efforts  /  of the surface  /  of a body

let drop  /  the lantern  /  torch  /  of hate  /  the rag
try these legs doing this: walk

CITIZEN, THERE ARE TERRESTRIAL complications resulting from the fury with which one puts one’s
metacarpals into action, the articulate misfirings; possibilities

of hypothetical error where I place my legs
in the horizontal direction to re-

light a match as if it had several
points of ignition, thus

Do I know the rose of clouds?
The faucet’s works and waters declaring themselves

What blood comes to promenade its redness, the blood
of a person shouldn’t leave so

easily slipped between the sleeve, sleeped
beneath the shoulders of the bull, The blade

adheres to the body–-no one can extract it—Should we

open the throat or place on the heart a delirious note––

I interrogate it less for the majesty of its form than for its table of reality The Heart
is sobriety-driving  The Heart

INCLINE the binary brain toward it (earth) and hear
the astonishing song of rocks & dirt –– Who walks here over
crusts formed before fishes or wings –– all the
first things built and ten million more made on the surface
between then and /  –– : what next? with: what’s
last? a blank made of
anti-matter I can’t
eat — identical sheep

            Tell them
there is only
a fever that dresses me
in each pure animal

            Tell them
my parents were the math of the
world in a dream taking place autochthonically


We fish for small halibut at the bottom of a man-made lake. A tender, living fish uncurls
its meat. But in dropping the line we trigger the lake-motors and treadle-blades shred
it–– a fault in the memory or in the machinery. Bits of flesh suspended in the bottom-
water where light has a pale voice, milk-jammed, –– easy-torn fish

Please Welcome, Rise, tight packed atoms of flesh

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