Andrew Foster
New Poems From the USA
A person is the best object.
Skin is the best substance.
The best clock is instant.
Queens give birth to subjects.
Beautifully, a thing subjects itself
To no thing not its object.

Eventful are the eyes that scan
With shameless intrusion. Up and down,
In, through and through. This flower’s
Petals are labels. We will make books
From this tree. Using a loaded look I ask
My eyes, there in the mirror, why they stare.

In the bright lab I find
A pencil standing straight on its tip
In the middle of the white desk.
Not impossible. But improbable.
Highly unstable. I wonder
At it and gently pull up a seat.

This wineglass hasn’t broken yet. I tink
It with a fingernail, and then I thank
The motion of the sands that makes us glass.
I tap it with a knife. Inggg. Singing sand.
Imagine I will snap the stem and make
A bowl-like cup.     Well?    Will?     Sip.

Hot water not yet in bottles or on skin
Comes humming from the source. If lazily less, then,
Easily, more, handled by the joystick of the faucet.
Sometimes my pulls to the east, south, west, north
Waste time as the mouth powers its pour hotter, then
Not, lukewarm, chilly to cold, then out of water.

The fruit is a wound.
Its taste is sharp.
A wound that skin has bound.
Pain has a hum.
Pain is by taste strummed.
Pain: a harp.

Phone ringinginging. H’lo? An invitation
For me from Jake to Jen’s, he is inviting name
By name by number after number, each
One neatly noted on his phone-side pad.
Goodbye. I bend and note the date and time
On my pad. There. I think of Jake. Of Jen.

Scald the dirt from the ivory glove
Using bleach from the jug. Pour patches
On the lawn to sear the weeds to dust.
Use pails. Stand and sleep with your
Pure bucket; sit mingling
In turpentine your hands in cleanliness.

By a gate in a fence we may
Swarm our hands over others’ hands—
It doesn’t matter. Gossip and thumbs.
Smother the handshake and
Dilly-dally. Wait your turn. Scram.
The posts uprooted. The gate gone for kindling.

distil your venoms
until they sparkle        dribble droplets into fruits        accidental thimblefuls
into bath water        murder Linda         murder the twins         sing bee
meets bird        murder the guests in the marble tub
they’ll be smitten by their nerves’ racket
around their bones’ crackle         how amazing        how deserved
But who believes in the stamina of paradise
Until he or she agrees to drown
In its colossal wave?
My children stream with ocean water.
The beach blazes with diamonds. Water is afire.
All motion burns. Thank you. Thank you.

Easy luge on the smooth slide,
Gliding, zooming the glass—
My creatures move like this in paradise,
Period. They smoothly shine joy
Which simply vapors outward. They
Inhale light and become beacons, full stop.

God makes watches quenchlessly but
Never with abandon; from the one
Assembled around your wrist, to the one
Your standing body’s shadow is a hand of,
God is at work making watches;
It watches itself as it works.

To want,
To want is
In each want is
God, accumulating

Shedding a dress the
Nude descends the staircase
Her nipples float by her breasts
Which are a divided sphere
This dextrous frame of a woman
This skeleton vouchsafed the boon of flesh

She and I wore sunglasses. Four smoky lenses
Among the rays. She wore
White woven clothing head to toe,
Had gold-crowned hair, and hovered on the pier.
Our eye-beams met within their shaded x.
My greed for her is what the light is for.

Here in the dusty lane where cacti war
A graceful woman emanates her substance,
Which ripples slowly into white, clear air,
Shaking the light. We’re strange by circumstance
So say hello. The guards of our encounter,
The dogs in yards surrounding, bark and dance.

A woman floats using circles
While men watch. Then the men fight
Submerged in bowls of tears.
Humans coincide. The woman pauses
In awe at a perfect brawl.
Later their children sprint a marathon.

Here is a small square of paper folded in two.
My scissors cut in from the bent axis
A half heart-shape, ear-like.
When unfolded,
Here is the shape of a complete heart
Cut out: a heart hole.
There was a stream
In our path.
I jumped.
I looked back at Jonathan.
He was sipping.
I landed.

In case you are confused here’s my hand
Signalling you to move
Ahead into the space I would have floated
Across, daydreaming, if you hadn’t stepped to
Cross the same zone; my hand
Waving go, go ahead. And you do.

My woman is wrapped in a fabric tunnel.
The entrance surrounds her neck.
The exit is within.
A tunnel of continuum.
Her love is the light at its end.
· Spa-seekers · The oasis in the tundra exists ·
You’re confirming the traveller’s myth?
· Heated water, bending lemon trees · Glad prisoners
On strolls · The climate is the lock and key ·
Which climate is the lock and key?
· One of the two ·
Cleaner and cleaner torso in a throat of water,
Soap flowering as the shower rains
Through the valley and over the mountain—you.
Foam patters onto the marble.
On your skin
Your hand, washing the world.

Our maps floating in the still pool
Doves on the eaves
Aloe vera smoothed on my wound
          and the abacus’s delicate clicks halt in the dawn
Look at all this
          then let’s sleep, wife, elegant woman