What You Need, When You Need It



The iris marks the north pole of the marinerís compass.


In a calyx: here, we have two women each hanging upside down on two tall trees, perhaps pine, their hair falling backwards onto the dirt, licking the bark of the tree trunk, or two men, or a woman and a man, or a blending of both....


My mother had three unjealous husbands. My mother had three husbands but a unified life. A flower, they say, is a sex organ, a speech act, a caller, a sense organ, a scent. One of her husbands was something like a mechanic, something to do with tire repair. The second husband, I heard, was much the opposite. Laid out folded cloth napkins at the dinner table, or that sort of thing. Once he wrote an essay full of pine needles, secret caches, cyclones, and everything else. I never met either of them. But my mother would tell me stories about how the prairies failed long ago in Chicago. A fresh iris is waving goodbye to a train, gazing a long time. & now believe me. & outrageous things. You think Iím crazy. The train is gone.


I bring irises to the iris. A fine thing in a world run waste. Then the irises took the form of a man, a king to be specific. He was kicking stones into trays of wealth. Feeling this was pointless, he began journeying far from his bright native city. Going out afar and afar. Saving all—

The king beheaded his foes as if he was taking the head off of a flower. Then something happened and there was only that which remained. A woman, crying, sent the kingís sleeves back to his city. I send the sleeves back to the city. An unusual favor. This story is said to have no beginning and no end, as if there is no doer and no deed, as if there is no event itselfóbut that cannot be true. Comes once, blows once, and soon fades. Something is over now.

The body unravels its shred—
doubt it not, stranger.

the first shoulder (s)he had given the figure was all wrong, it was like (s)he had crawled home, leather swivel chair, giant tarantula, the world is just for me only