Marcella Durand

Five Poems

[The last two of these poems, "HPOME 1" and "HPOME 2," were previously published in Ixnay.]

So Rare

     To Anselm

so rare to write a poem at work
waiting for the chips to come down
or to calm down with the chips
light burning bright next to me
the computer screen bluer than oxygen
a mixture of chemicals?—what is inside
a computer screen anyhow?—while
people are waiting downstairs talking,
while walking down the street
looking for a mailbox, while wondering
why gerunds are so immensely
interesting, so proliferous.
And to think of interviews one could
conduct. And prone operations, while
laying, raise a hand. Scrutinize eyes,
if one is still open, the foggiest
retina of an idea, a whale passes
distantly thru the iris, an ocean
of gelatin, effervescent, with an
addition of attendance. So I write
you, the computer, and you, the
telephone, and you, the voice mail
hiding yourself away inside boxes
and cable-wires, and across this
distant space of a double-arched
harmonic acoustic freeway, with
walls the consistency of absorption,
you, waiting in the basement, you,
the one with the pen in your hand,
you, typing, thinking of excruciating
existence, the drawers and the penholders,
the whiteout and the shipping lanes,
the trademarks and the mutual funds.
Whether to invest in something the
size of a tropical depression emanating
from a continent filled with roads and
roads for the escapees of weather and
of circumstance. This water well was
planned a long time ago, during a certain
war, between the trusted and the vilified.
And in the quietude of the international
bureau, the peace of a carpeted fluorescent
skyscraper window office, the transactions
take place, in the meditative clicking of
a river without a dam, and the blueprints
of a bridge.

Reading Postures 4

in silence with that silence outdoors in that outdoors
in two beings           transcribe each other          articulate
the interior avenues           to read a face     translate into
photographs of breath                question, always question
     whether spaces insinuate electrons          what
a question        in silence             in machinery working
     together         production of a low sound
our arms pump against each other              piston, gear,
     piston, gear, piston          grease-monkey
doubt, fear        in silence with that          humming
         in watching the ships move down the
great rivers     in revealing the mask under the mask
         in that mountain          whether electrons
bells still rings             & rings          & rings
          in the frozen wilderness     taking
photographs           of breath           whether these
wide-open                  revealings            think
     of transcriptions          what language
do you speak in between spaces           if offset
     if upset                if you have a question
   about two people walking          in snow
     in silence with that
in silence with that silence
outdoors in that outdoors

Ode to Planetarium

     to Rich

Because I could not be there
your sphere hanging in green light
steel supports & tubes, hands cradled
interior, gears coppered & cushion.
Because your truth is heated full
and charges out of the tunnel
under the mountain called think
and on this long journey thru the alps
we remembered the dishes and the
extraneous minerals. When I arrive
with hands dipped in iron & gems.
When the station moves down
the tracks to greet me. When the
greeting has to do with pistons &
rivets. When bolts are held by nuts,
and nuts fly back in the wind of valleys
& polar caps. When you are a nut and look
at me thru the glasses of fission
& combination. Because I would
be there if the guitarists and the
orchestra played the tunes from
the crinkling of our pillows. If
you handed me a glass of champagne
and saw thru the bubbles a whole
new way of building traintracks
thru the ruffled sides of geological
monuments. Would I be there if
the house swayed slightly on
stairways suspended over space?
Would these matchstick supports
guide a full band, tuxedos and
all, into the constellations of
snowfalls & a train stuck
between tunnel & border?
In the iron thought of age,
guide my hands onto an
arrival platform, a constructed
dance as intricate as a
steam engine plowing thru
the wake of thoughts.


The wandering icicle afternoons thread the zoologist
threat of food & polar weight and discontent in this
locale of thick glass and admission. Wandering thru
the stalagmites of early evening, we check the clock
whimsical in overlooking crowds of rain, in the days
of caves, fur, declarations: in menagerie do we drift
a generation of motor oil and dusks spent whiling away
the opacities. A duck the colors of mint & sienna
glides along the ball bearings of a secret current carrying
the crest of a horse race on a slanted, shell-like piazza,
around a clock the flatness of glacier desert. Here this
border marks the sasquatch, wild & far from a clock
with metal bears, trampolines, & small urban hammers,
messengers from a city locked between two sediments,
the gift given of boulders which bear the weight of miles,
or glass popping from the eyes of visitors. Soon this
tunnel. Amenities. Whiling away the simple dusks
of a sightseeing jaunt, the cabin’s not for rent. We check
the checks, express, finalize the deals. This generation
notes similitude in the voyage of a car down docks, in
the rain of a city in tune with urban renewal. In this
blue afternoon we play the same umbrellas, the chess
game stops and starts in the dark corners of the park,
the paper bags of furtiveness, sasquatch, do you read
the paws of trapper john, the soft claw of toes growing
together, the hairlessness of evaporation. We turn
backwards, feet face each other, hair retracts
into teeth growing back in. Cartilage. Big foot, your
terrain comes to an end, in a halogen permanent
sunrise the shape of a beaded explosion from an
airplane. Injection. How beautiful the orange strung
light wires of your diurnal cages.


this search is for ongoing tryst
frigid no we kiss in orangutan
carnivore bliss searching out
armpit & thirst to extend arm
further into vine & then toward
ocean several hundred miles
and then some more after that
some more and tryst no
Trieste this central zone this
easy travel over hard terrain
dull city situated in between
this hill and that this silk
route and that continent
that orogeny between plates
atlantic & pacific north indian
it begins to rain as hard as
erogenous orangutans
searching out with orange
hairy fingers carnivorous
geographies Trieste you
twist my heart in your dull-
ness your geography of uplift
your classical profile your secret
men mustachioed in plane
trees, pollarded again and
espalier, pruned, pruned, this
silk route crosses over boulders
the size of chimp skulls and
larger, the size of small clouds
and music, the music of a city
crushed in an uplift the size
of Montana, a secret carnival
underground, a central route,
a zone, a development, pale
sand, pressed into shale, oily &
somewhere, somehow is a jungle

[Back to Readme]