We were looking at the universe and believed it was looking back,
as big flashbulbs clustered lifted and went off there was the
gleam of see and be seen which was the vital element of our lifeform.
There were no slaves any more to haul themselves
up on the towers and watch for the signals there were no well-dressed
pound pots and pans in the street and bang on the vaultdoors for
the moneyback because noone was eating. Whoever wasn’t processing
nitrogren was dead. We were limbic and anemic as the sprouts we
remembered growing in a far-off grammar school class. Which one
is growing straight under the lamp which one e-t-i-o-l-a-t-e
-Dizzy thin we bobbled around on our levels. Drew
circles around our eyes, to make the point. Shaded our skin metallic.
our bangs. Zippered slick reflective skirts around us. Waited for
the universe to get back in touch.
Why did we come to the jungle? Right. To build
an observation dome. Despite the literary precedents against
it. Like the back
of a slouching animal or a pair of humped hands, belittling some
playground sand in a far off moment of boredom (remember? the soupy
pools we simmered in, frog-and-flower-shaped? the ease with which
we devoured our first nature! we knew it so well we could cast
it all over in plastic. blown up a million times.) Like a handleless
vaccuum with a hundred eyes who went out hissing and revolving.
Then we smashed that model with a hammer and divvied up the eyes.
We constructed a remarkable retracting spray of pen-shaped panels:
a peacock’s fan. It stood up straight in back of the observatory,
and by night it would open and close across the sequined sky revealing,
not revealing. As if the sky was a goodtime girl, wanted to wink.
We should have opened it by day. If the airconditioner
kicked off in the far haunches of the armadillo-dome, we didn’t
notice. In the minor trireme of the armada-coderilla. In the little
envelope of code red. In the rotting flight feather in the nest
of the mountain aerie. In the Bible under ‘zyzybub’ we
didn’t notice. We slept cooly on the brushed aluminum bunks,
organs pressed againt the examination tables. We had exactly no
and at night slipped out beyond shaved perimeter to watch the
fan rise and close. Our thighs brushed on all sides by red squirrels
fleeing down the mountain. Then the dirt nuzzled up.
hoc fecit worm
also the huzz of the motors and units. the blood
sound, from a distance, the whole heap made. like being inside
your own head,
never escape it:
pink sky. stared up for the floozie, the knockout,
the chanteuse, the exhaustic dancer, the schoolgirl, the teacher,
the blonde, the bride, the encaustic, the cold lesbian, the
girl with the boa, the lady cop, the lady boss, the meter
postal worker, the doctress, the mama desparate for the rent,
the lady astronaut, the soldier, the cowgirl, the spoiled
house-kitten, the secretary, the maid, the girl who makes sandwiches,
girl who wears a bikini, the girl in pigtails, the girl writing
the girl in the rain, the girl who has dropped her groceries,
the farmgirl, the angry girl, the hairstylist, the militant,
the baby, the artist