Three Poems by Jeremy Behreandt

A Third Place

The bell tower prescribed an auditory space that corresponded to a particular notion of territoriality, one obsessed with mutual acquaintance. The bell reinforced divisions between an inside and an outside, as one might infer from the pejorative use of terms such as l’esprit du clocher.

—Alain Corbin, Village Bells

 

as with the clouds, the tower. a change or carillon theory
for bells. will trade ribbons for shoes. of walking, of eating.
so very few pebbles. dewlap of sky at its meal. botched
aluminum. here we are with the other exposition, perhaps
drinking cantos, perhaps meeting the resistance of paper.
$9/hr, up to 18 hrs/wk. river for the bells, village upon
river, village upon bells, small permissions dissembling
with leaves fled from cares a more than human height.
clay up to a height everywhere. following the actor, hair
blown about in prime numbers at the geyser. will trade
boomerang for cigarettes or foam insulation. the deed
keeps with the shape it has made.
on usage: in the garden of the absent or the village built
over the grotto, where the messenger and operator
trade names, build a deference from paper.
how the size of it swells in the census. will trade am/fm
radio for flashlight. will trade hull breach for engine
malfunction, shouts one child to another, feet dangling
from the rain gutters. both immensity and antlers.
here we are with one parachute between us.
the actor popping out of the vehicle with hair like valhalla,
saying sometimes i draw my eyes on a piece of paper,
and show the paper around the room, especially a room
as beautiful as this, each of you winning play out from
the bear, and fold the paper into a cylinder, a cylinder
on which one might draw 8 by 8 squares and play chess.
the translator who steps off the map in the last act,
her tallies which are towers, her clay tablet on which
the behemoth are drawn, as if brought to height, as if
their shapes together will be devoured by the siege.

 

Slant Projection

I.

422 monuments, a night grammar for embraces,
three elegies for the republic of corey. whosoever
rhetoric, whosoever recognize i trade ivy for news
of a stone. the acorns rattle as so many tiny bells,
the river the magician must saw in half. candles
in glances eating away what hands can touch, hold,
the child who at 6 pm every day stands on the porch
and fiddles what do we do with a drunken sailor.
herm, hemlock, connect enough dots and the sound
of florida emerges: must a cigarette my compatriots
hold like religion as i am holding a religion warm
like scattered fleets touching the smaller figure with
the large until strength is the dream of strength, until
the lights are as surveilled by drones, as seagulls or
napkins flocking over the parking lots. a night
grammar for the republic of corey: first elegy
rebuilds corpse with foils, struts and propellers;
second elegy charts the possessions of stone, each
with diminishing solitude; third elegy in which
the populace floats through the capitol as moths,
in daily election colliding and misdirecting sight.

II.

422 monuments, each bearing the same sentence in
422 languages for 422 religions, each one drawing
up and away its adherents and the shadows aswarm
between them. a cube of children i hold at 6 pm,
chiseled as de chirico obelisks, poured briefly upon
the fiddle. whosoever col legno, whosoever
collaborates, the magician in the early or late
republic who draws a pencil through the skull and
amidst percussions delivers three lectures on the
422 tribes of corey, their arrival as drunkards or
brigands to alpha centauri, when the wars fought
between them were less in splendor, more about
technique: this man expresses himself with hats;
this man breaks heath definitions at war with
the stone candle in his own body; this man is
the possible man, dancing ivy with two bears
in heraldry, is two men attached at the hip into
one dancing, the magician as he is renamed corey
and the child who has just now cast down the bow.

 

Remnants of an Event

On the right and left we could vaguely see roofless walls, which were hardly visible in the profound darkness. Here and there a light was burning in a room; some family had remained to keep its house standing as well as they were able; a family of brave or of poor people. The rain began to fall, a fine, icy cold rain, which froze as it fell on our cloaks. The horses stumbled against stones, against beams, against furniture.

—Guy de Maupassant, “Epiphany”

 

parliament of deep, champagne and platinum
we must seem, and long-eyelashed, to giant
the cavernous under nepal. or terraria in paris,
a low wind over the field massages a calf
and centuried drawing up the potatoes
abandoned to the poor in paris. mostly
we sit around waiting for father la jolie to speak,
his heart-shaped face nearer from the balconies.
from the balconies in madison they’re shouting,
‘yeah take that shit,’ like a child of accuracy can be;

like children can be taking turns or sharing turns,
they are leaning on the balconies and encouraging
the clothes off like calendars drawn up
from the pyramids we folded to the edge
of the eye, riverfoot turning the eye,
the step the step the step where the bed ripped
in this economy so they turned away from drinking
to each other and asked, ‘what cannibals are you
lacking?’ as though upon a thatched roof in a
maupassant story, as father la jolie recalled it,
drawing a jar full of razor blades from his desk,
drawing a man and woman entwined in silhouette.

no more rivers in maupassant thinking a peculiar
light the cardigan in winter confidence smoldering.
until it is called second body or the unlikeness
of bayonets and going fast and then slow with or
without clothes, the they built a low wind out
of harnesses and bladders and belts of leather,
there was no wind before. as father la jolie advised,
‘derive pleasure from the shapes in stranger’s
faces, consult the minerals of the earth to know
the color of their eyes.’ potatoes they would dig
up and throw at mounted police and now we
poets, also, rose from our seats and rose from
nearly revelries—then—now—everywhere
as students of the wet and the cold.

 

 

***

Jeremy Behreandt was raised in Park Falls, Wisconsin. He received his BA from UW-Eau Claire and his MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. His first chapbook, The Wilhelm Scream, was published by Plumberries Press.

Image: quicksandala, morguefile.com

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