Apartment Poetry Quarterly

9A              9B              9C              9D              9E              9F


9F Caryl Pagel



Is that part

of the stem—the one that bends—

around the pole—

stood there now decades ago—the stem

that mended obstruction

by humbly arounding—by shooting through it—

is it then—

that stem—evidence—of memory—or antennae—

alien force for

sure tasked to twist about the ruin

of what’s been

reckless—this city’s past’s past’s making—growth

a mark of

unreasonable season                       growth showing where a wild

coyote walked kingly

down the street at dawn but                       no

wait—wild is

wrong—you didn’t see it                        There can’t

be any longer

                        Wild is the thing that lives

inside watching from

the window what is wilder still than

him—with vigilance

You touch him                       You’re thinking most creatures

can’t believe can’t

recall beginning—their ends we witness—but

that stem started

long before you thought to meet it

and around it

bends—born in cement…                         Have you put

a face to

your enemy                     Have you sat in séance

Have you asked

your dead what way yet                     Have you

finished accounting                       Will

you gift your belongings                    Would you ever

even do that

What would you do                      HD said that

“we look through

a window into the world of pure

over-mind” and—like

a cap—it shadows us—it keeps

us—so she

said—connected—to a deep internal discerning

consciousness                       a sea-wall

underwater lens it rests over perception as

a jellyfish—veil

or vision molten blurring of the external

world in service

to something undeclared                       dense prediction                       too too

far withdrawn to

convey that the conventional means of making

is taking                       Are

you inside or outside                    Are you persistent

or troubling                       Outside

today not far away                      more mistaken violence—

the site says

stay safe                       go hide                     don’t fight but

dread cocoons—dread

weaponizes context                     Have you asked yet your

map—the alphabet

for further instruction—an introduction to what

might drive you

further in a resistant direction—insurrection—some

pilot—a permanent

presence                     Are you inside or outside                     Are

you yourself well

What is the memory of a stem—

its bend

will you go when you leave                      What

has the city’s

past’s past abandoned                      The gazebo                      The observatory                      Exhaust

You are trying to think but that sound—that

sound not strong—

not a train or a shot                                    not

a wail not

a watch—that pitch—there is something

in the way

of the thought—you are revolving around

it—Stop growling