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           Riot rides beneath our skins,
           deep where I cannot reach
           to take it apart, our bodies
           difficult as daylight.
                      —Allison Joseph,
                      “Immersion,” What Keeps Us Here

Blessings in barbeques and eye sockets, work that is crated and banged, pineapples, and large oaks with moss.

Blessings in our difficult bodies, our simple jazz, our tolerable foreplay.

Blessings in fallen jokes, bland floors, and victorious chirping.

Blessings that marry taxonomy and Loxahatchee
(the River of Turtles, the length of sorrowful decades).

Blessings of blessings, in their own. 

Blessings of messes and mixes, crows and finches.

Blessings from the Bubble Lounge, the Blue Cow,

Blessings to water.

Blessings for platinum ponytails, little painted nails, and stampedes of softness.


Our bodies are not so difficult, do you think? Oh, maybe. So much of our brains go unexplored. Even our hearts have chambers yet to be discovered. Yesterday I went to live as far from the oil-blooming sea as I could, and I was followed by a brown pelican who straddled my roof-rack like a trail bike, sounding off at caution lights and gaping at the mountains she’d seen once in a dream of a certain doomed silverfish. (For we dream the dreams of our prey.)

I miss the sea—now a wafer of crust holding thin and frail adjectives like blue and living. That brown pelican flew to my back yard, under the pergola, and questioned the water in my birdbath.  It is also dry.  I must get to work.

If I could tell you what I see. If only my bones. If the eye in the center was a viable eye. If the arm reaching out. If the prickly pear, the sea grape. If the gardenia waiting in the garden.    

I miss what you see: the warmth of the black mountains, security of the tides, always on time.  Let me tell you that I can feel your arm, slight and polite, loving from a prickly pear, smelling of gardenias.  Now I will sit on a horse in the rain and sell myself to that arm, without volatility.

A man I know dug eight feet into New Mexico clay and guess what he found? Water. Sand. Shells.  

What if we were mollusks and were intruded?  What if we had an exoskeleton and it became lovely fractions of god and war?  What if the fragments of our lives washed up on Sanibel?  Or Cedar Key?  What if our test was to survive so thoroughly and then remain in death, by the manipulation of little fingers?

The man lowered a dead cat into the well he’d dug and the cat sailed to the sea. (She was patient with the layers of geology.) I’ve missed you. I’ve been to the world’s first international dark-sky park and I was thirsty.

O, did you see the three sisters?  Was that nature?  No, no it was!  (I shall endeavor to be frugal with questions.)

Questions quench when the Milky Way is visible, but only then—how rare we’ve all become. I never thought my hands would grow veined like this. The sky is like the sea, eaten by light. The sisters stalked us. I have pictures to prove it.

You are the bomb-diggity.  How you zoom lens and maze, and lend focus to 3-D.

Another man (who lives in Padua) makes models in 3-D. Sometimes his name is Enrico Dalbosco and sometimes his name is Arrigo Silva, depending on sorcery and transpiration. Do you have your glasses on? Red on right, blue on left. Here we go:


Enrico Dalbosco (http://arrigosilva.blogspot.com)


Sometimes I forget I am more than my three dimensional self. Sometimes I am my five dimensional self. Here we go:

P  U  L  S  I  O  N


                                    D  E  N  S  I  t  Y


                                                                        N  -  p  O  L  E

Like communism and racist sophistry (bell) we are just champions for the North Star.  Like the pole star, like death in activism.

Today I have been married to a man for fifteen years and I don’t know how I feel about it.  Maybe later we will rush west like the shot of a lens.  Maybe later we will sell our bodies to the tree limbs and call ourselves shodden.

There is a tree-shaped coastline making its way across my field of vision. It comes from the light and it passes into the unknown part of my brain where I once married a mathematician. Everyone is worried about future geometry.

We are famous in our inheritance of the future.

I am taken toward longing, and beyond, into another region, past the walls of this house, or all I can see, stretching farther than the horizon where right now sea and sky blend.  It is as if my cells are moving in a larger wave, a wave that takes in every history, every story.  (Susan Griffin, “Our Secret,” A Chorus of Stones)

May I spend the day in wonder? When we call to the plovers they walk away, and when we call to the pelicans they laugh over their shoulders. Ignored by birds, we flop along with our useless arms as if we ourselves were not flying through the dust of meteors. Step out for a minute, step the body out of the dust. 


This is what I told Planet X: get off my tail.  I am the Sun and this red dust is littering my back.  I am aching as you curve toward me, remembering my birth.
(She remembers the red dust rolling in.)




A 2.5 mile-wide asteroid named Toutatis orbited within 2.2 million miles of the planet
            Another space rock large enough to be seen on
                        Earthbound telescopes passed
                                    By later        big enough to destroy a major city
                                                Atomic devices                 launch rockets
                                                                        Misses                action taken


I can’t propel farther than my bedroom in Unit 2 (Unnamed Motel, South Florida, USA), which lies ninety feet from the ocean on most days, and holds me in its woman-shape, as if my soul could stay still long enough to imprint on the skin of a bed. (Who made me?) In my flying dream, should I be able to recognize the difference between a sequoia and a fawn? From above they both look like stars.

Or, peanuts.  A salty crust that could be stepping its toe into the blue-green ink.  But who knows about these things? To whom can we refer?  I will read Aristotle and calibrate his words into the feminine.  He is wearing a pin in his upswept hair.  A few pieces dangle over his right eye.

Aristotle is great ­but is he enough?
Aristotle is very busy and does not always answer in a timely manner.
Aristotle is expanding his account of the role of actuality and potentiality.
Aristotle is also interested in the relationship between happiness.

I inadvertently dropped into a sequoia and stayed there as long as I could with my corpuscles imbedded in its intercellular matrix, that is, until my own philosophy grew from an acorn to a sylph and I was alone yet the mother of many, the mother of many philosophers, past, present, future.

When I wander away, will you bring me back?

I will! You are my companion, a sequined stack.  You burn the philology out of my Scrabble Cheez-its.  Just when I was sure I had spelled M O U N T A I N, it only made sense as P A G O D A.

                                                  F  R  O  N  D  S


I got lost one block from the ocean. I kept going to the Marriott where there is a pool AND an ocean, both green/blue/green/warm/. I thought I saw someone there with blonde fronds flowing up from her head. Was it you? I thought so, and in that moment, I turned and headed east. Toward the iced watermelon.

We had watermelon this morning.  But it is gone now!  I love the finials of South Florida.  Their politics are so non-discreet and they smell like sifted gold.  I only wish that when they spoke, their tongues flared and shivered.

Today, I feel like a gondolier with syphilis.  I am rowing, rowing.  And craving some cumulonimbus.

If I can’t find sweetheart beans from South America among the sargassum, I’ll nevertheless be swimming later, in my suit that looks like a penguin. All the sharks will recognize me as their prey. All the time I will be praying. 

Melon seeds spit like buckshot.

Water in the throat.

I love the future as it peeks into the present and vice versa, for all the sharpness and sorrow. I love us there: wiser and adept at flight. Over the adobe wall I see the flower of the yucca. Beyond that, mountains where a black bear was wounded by an unknown human. When we walked there, we felt lightning in our hands. When we sat on the edge, we swung our bodies out and were gone.  


Maureen Seaton’s most recent books are Stealth (with Sam Ace, Chax Press, 2011) and Sinéad O’Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds, winner of the Sentence Book Award (with Neil de la Flor, Firewheel Editions, 2011). Her work with Kristine Snodgrass is ongoing, celebratory, and richly yin. She has a monthly column, “Glit Lit” (www.almostdorothy.wordpress.com), and a website: www.maureenseaton.com. (See Links.)  She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami, Florida.

Kristine Snodgrass’s solo work has appeared in Big Bridge, Coconut, 5_Trope, Shampoo, and La Fovea.  Her chapbook Fledgling Starlet was published by Grey Book Press in 2009.  She collaborates enthusiastically with Maureen Seaton and Neil de la Flor.  Maureen and Kristine’s work has appeared in LIT and Hayden’s Ferry Review.   De la Flor, Seaton, and Snodgrass have published a chapbook, Facial Geometry from NeoPepper Press, as well as many “triad” poems.