Grandfather’s Loop by Marianne Morris


from one space to another space unencumbered

the one likes his vacuum gargantuan the other

feels claustrophobic in a national park which is

a symptom of a compromised will the other

is a ticket falling from the fingers of a child

the sticky coat attracts the sand I

wake clutching the dream to wake to

tell it to the one I

dreamed of, clinging in

my sleep to the place where he was born, unbeknownst

to consciousness whose trauma

is spermatozoan, not merely hoping

for rest among others

in a graveyard of like minds, like me not to be

exploded from within

by my own lack of water


water hath visited me

several times these 24 hours

this makes me fortunate because I am a creature of water

I was born under the sun of water

I was about to cut the deck but so much afraid

of skulls in my back

fear in the palm of my sword

which I press open in the black bath tub

press open along the lines of my jaw

pummel open from the side of my head

not screaming to let go but let go

pummel the head

seek out the pile of bones, all that said we

came together in our narratives


one said a tangle of roads takes away a narrative

another said a road weaves a narrative into

and through and in and of itself

because it started in Los Angeles with fire

which was picked up by the thread of radio

which found itself mauled by the traumas of mine

and everyone’s head who has experienced

a compromising of the will

at a young age or any age

and that crept all through the day, through the radio of the day

in between my decision to move into the offering

and not to close up my practice of making words

offerings, either, but to withdraw from the immediacy

of what hurts when one does not know about it

or knows through a computer, through a gossip

a frozen sacrum that flaps a mandible

when one really just needs the passion of work

and good training


but both are intuition,

————————————-that was the thread

that wove itself through me

taut thread of water that I followed and which grew all day

burn the journals they said

someone will only use them to harm you

and as for piles of bones, that’s messed up energy

select your dead with care

know by asking, what belongs to you

and put the rest in trees, she said

she gave much in a short time

she filled an entire poem





not enough space is contained

in grandfather’s loop

the day continued to follow its thread of white water

followed the dropped names of its patriarchs

across three states, maybe four

even the rocks are imagined as men

the great ones whose legacy we suffer beneath

waddle in shorts beneath point

our cameras beneath

god’s names smeared across a land of spirits

and then I wake to more coincidence, and

think of ones we lost and take

the good with bad evidence.

This is a morning whipping my brain from without

the enclosure, wind I only imagine I feel

space I only imagine I cannot fill when I can—

heart that waits for information

to fill, or the correct memory (such

as her grief filling the concrete room

her lone promise stuck to, a song

that becomes a scream that rings

the concrete, pierces our ears)

when I close my eyes a terrain

is falling past them, a low sky is

bending to swoop across the little buttress

of a vehicle the white wind sets to uncovering,

a travel that has worn away my eye and put sight in its place

a peeping through of sun down in the valley

a diamond scratch of light through blue in gold


there is only so much

whispering to the fractures in bone

and singing to the sutures in bone

that can appease a grandfather

having just written the thing about clutching a man

it being one tiny dropped thing that drops from me

drops from my

nomenclature, thing to be

tripped over instead of

buried inside

tiny thing that

drops from

priapic extension

tiny thing that becomes a body

a collection of traumas

a person exterminated and then made to rise again—

an absence of space, and no shamans

to liberate us, we reappear

upon the earth

again and again and again

clotted bags of bellied harm

buried in the little vessels

that hide apart from bones

that hide their fires and feelings

knowing only survival as their loop


I say,

I do not want to be made to return

to this accidental fuckery of endless beauty

on earth





it does not mean

and so I make it mean

put it next to other

things that mean and

make it mean


Photo credit: Abraham Morales

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