The poem of Christian's I choose from The Book of Funnels takes "the end / of the driveway" as a point of departure, and inhabits a psychic landscape as meaningful in its openness as Michael Teig's is in its focus. This is a poem whose quatrains visually illustrate how it moves: as a kind of funneling of the imagination, where Christian's great sense of play contends with another end, "the end of us." It also shows how a poet can be a collector of words, waiting for the right place/moment to feature what is otherwise useless -- you'll see what I mean, I assure you!
-- Rob Casper
NIGHT WITHOUT THIEVES
The day is going to come -- it will come -- put on your nightgown,
put on your fur. And yea unto those who go unclothed,
unshod, without fear, fingering the corners
of bright countertops
and calmly, absentmindedly, toeing the edges of clouds
drifting in a puddle. Put on your deep-sea gear,
your flippers, and walk to the end
of the driveway.
It will come. Be not afraid to chase large animals. I was terrified. I froze. I backed away. I imagined it.
Once, I had a conversation with the eye
of a moose, looming wetly
through the branches.
And then on the other hand there are those
truly fearless: schools of silver minnows
darting in and out
of the gills of blue whales -- how many invisible organisms
do we sustain without knowing it? Our own,
for one. Put on your crowded body,
I was terrified. I froze. I backed away. I imagined it.
who pulled the sea over his shoulders in the morning perfectly -- unknowingly -- and wrote by the red light of
his teeth a bank of swollen clouds surging over the tree line, nor can we move sideways, high on this narrow goat path, sounds like an avalanche, and is. Put on your helmet. the end of us -- Rita, hand over the kazoo. Thank you. there is no emergency and move on. Like a thief in the night
and stepped firmly into ground. Thus,
when the day came, he conducted
after a glass of dark wine. Put on your lamp shade.
Put on your cage. If, in the shape of a key,
the shape of a woman,
a world basipetally descends
break it open: how pome
meet in dense honeycombs, red seeds erupting inside a mouth.
And though we lose eleven eyelashes a day
by blinking alone we cannot enter
without the proper footgear; a pebble's kicked loose,
and the echo returning
from the ravine
Take off your clothes. If anyone even thinks
it will be
Now hand over the other one. Good.
And in case of an emergency
the day came. Then night came,
and emptied out its thieves
into the furious sunlight.
perfectly -- unknowingly -- and wrote by the red light of
a bank of swollen clouds surging over the tree line,
nor can we move sideways, high on this narrow goat path,
sounds like an avalanche, and is. Put on your helmet.
the end of us -- Rita, hand over the kazoo. Thank you.
there is no emergency and move on. Like a thief in the night
-- Christian Hawkey