you are in the diode archives diode v4n3



Hedonism and Salt

Off to the side of
Things, all around the
Nimbus of the sun,

The vapor in your eyes
Called knowledge,
A containment—the body—

Undulating, drinking
A birth out of mud
Puddles, cutting things

Up with a knife, your
Many many glances,
The zipper preceding

These words, the fabric
Of tasting your skin,
Consciousness like a

Flashlight or pivot,
Breaking the stems, eating
In the direction

Of all vanishing
Points . . . You find yourself

Choice. The whipping winds
Are a slut. Thoughts spill
All over the body.

The gate bangs the neighbor-
Hood awake. Two, and one,
That back and forth (and

Forth), and two, then the one—
the sweat bees
Of arousal—glints of blond body

Hair—she smells like a burning
Sparkler . . . the narrative of
Feeling; the senses, the senses; the face.


North Carolina

For years the pine,
The sycamore,
Swayed over my

Right shoulder. The
Afterlife, leaves
Rustling, a bell

Someone near there
Kept ringing for
Dinner. First it

Thundered, then came
Smoke, boiling tunnels
Of white . . . It was

Because they burned
Those trees that ashes
Fell in summer

Once for over
A week. As they
Are again today.

It’s as if they’ve
Never stopped—ashes
Through the snowy

Season and on
Into spring. But this
Isn’t childhood.



The outdoors jags along—it shifts its idea
   of itself
Over the dishes, the stacks of books, interposes

With the fluidity of music, and consciousness—
    are you undressing
Before God, and country?

Furnishings, different in type, litter two porches.
   What’s most true
Won’t even sit, or watch; it’s devising a strategy

For decomposing your knees. Aesthetics is
   the invisible way the door’s
Pushed open, the air that constitutes everything

Rivering your skin—it’s also alive without asking . . .


“The Artistic Process”

The lard waits in its bucket. The cow.

I know . . .

Where you lived, where you drained from the valley.

One person at a time, like separating molars . . .

2 plus 2 is           [NOT] Five.

But you should see your face when the mountains start squeaking.

The sunlight. The frame the ponds make.

The many many buckets of milk.

You, with your identification with what the others can’t keep believing . . .

Crawling naked toward the open window

I swear your mind is a plastic adapter.

Komodo dragons, or memory, slips over and through the loose sand

(a last chicken flops around on the sidewalk)

Not founding, not stamping.

Pearls spilling, like groundwater dripping into a cave.

The table is set. It’s been that way for a year.

Her blood makes a halo of scales.

How white her white skin is in such night!

Now ignite the cut flowers.


The Bar

You know that small
Dome, cigarettes—
The church in heaven

Will be serving
Breakfast, with plenty
Of meat products.

Windex, double
Your bliss. Out the
Bay window. Your

Daughter is going
Into the military.
Jet engines clutter

Your sleep. A candle
Might burn all that mud.
Birds breeding on rocks, too

many mosquitoes. A few
Poems might do the
trick, written on

Paper, and torn,
Before and after
The wine, last summer . . .


David Dodd Lee is the author of seven books of poems, including Orphan, Indiana and The Nervous Filaments. His eighth book, The Coldest Winter on Earth, will appear from Marick Press in late 2011. He is editor of 42 Miles Press and teaches classes on visual art, literature, and poetry at Indiana University South Bend. He believes Stella Radelescu is an under read and underrated poet. Check out her book, all seeds & blues.