The Shining Room
To survive chaos she inscribes
chaos, looking through
shining flycatcher, oat grass
a line through fabric
name, a wild steadying
drawn tightly across
what wonít go away
every false claim
extending her body in space
transparency after transparency
from Practicing Amnesia (Singing Horse Press, 2000) by Heather Thomas
The Room of Not-Knowing
Thereís a bed, a lamp, a bureau,
the drawer filled with your socks.
You keep the corners clear
for piles of laundry, magazines.
You sit at the desk hunting
what you donít know in words
unspooling filigreed patterns
laced like nests across an inner sky.
Someone carries the chair to the car.
When the nests fall
from the weight of their knots
you make new ones
or give up and construct a series
of shifting screens dark or light
depending on whether you
remembered to change the bulb.
Some have the translucence of pearls
or the wings of mating dragonflies.
The car carries someone to the chair.
You come through rain
before everything strung and fallen,
brief as photos, your chance
to live at the heart of the real
and to tell. You are perturbed
at the pronounciation of your name.
Sleeping above you the skeleton
dangles your writing hand from its ear.
The chair someone carries is a car.
—H. T. Harrison
you are not your mind you are not your mind you are not
the poem is
not your body
is language an ocean we live coming to
she was coming to
blank space where the body could be blank space
wet wide open
thought lands wild (grief is simple and dark)
turn into the one you want or each next enter the split
mount an enormous
will you be close
my plot is marvelous this fine gauze
hard careful digging hard careful digging hard
from Resurrection Papers (Chax Press, 2003) by Heather Thomas