In the instant after the Chevron refinery explodes, I descend below the level of individual syllables.

Sky, through my kitchen window, a trash vault.

Punctuation without words is a primary red, then, between smoke-bursts, florid.

Everyone on the block, out on the sidewalk to watch.

Smoke unfastens its vowels from the orderly control of our consonants.

My neighbor is experiencing shortness of breath, my lungs have acquired a vanishing point I
do not test.

Conversation romances its calamities, modifies for us a commons.

We mime humanity for the already-overhead TV helicopter.

My neighbor seems to be developing a thingness in his eyes.

We are already, to each other, TV noise, a regulating background.

Theatrical value-add of windows in the houses around us sliding shut.

We all know to go back inside, as though summoned.

Event already franchised—event-technology already busily procuring event-disposal.


Rusty Morrison‘s –Beyond the Chainlink- (Ahsahta) will be published in January 2014. Her book -After Urgency- won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize. -Book of the Given–is available from Noemi Press. -the true keeps calm biding its story- won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, Academy of American Poet’s James Laughlin Award, Northern California Book Award, and DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America. –Whethering-won the Colorado Prize for Poetry. She has received the Bogin, Hemley, Winner, and DiCastagnola Awards from PSA. Her poems and/or essays have appeared in A Pubic Space, American Poetry Review, Aufgabe, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Lana Turner, Pleiades, and elsewhere. Her poems were anthologized in the Norton Postmodern American Poetry 2nd Edition, The Arcadia Project: Postmodern Pastoral, Beauty is a Verb, and elsewhere. She is co-publisher of Omnidawn.


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  1. Pingback: Table of Contents, Issue Five | Matter

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