Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Elisa Gabbert

Blogpoem for April

You can’t invent a color, only name it,
like how I just named those contrails Benjamin
and then the sky behind them Benjamin II.
Now, retronymically, I refer to Ben as Ben I.
If he becomes famous, they’ll stop calling
clouds “clouds” and call them “nonlinear
clouds” or “pre-Benjamin” for clarity.
I can think about fame all day, and
compose apologies for my friends’ friends
who I’ve variously snubbed, write them
into emails with personalized P.S.’s:
P.S. My love for you extends forever
in all directions, or sometimes seems to.
P.S. I include a swatch of Yves Klein blue.
P.S. If the sky is a piano store and clouds
are baby grands, we just hang out in the back
and listen to a Casiotone’s preprogrammeds.
P.S. This P.S. is my email’s last will
and testament. It’s leaving everything
to you. P.S. Like my love for you,
like the infinite crystalline watchface of
God of the sky, my email will never die.


Don’t walk through the path of my blank stare:
it will lase a hole in you, incorporate your body
into blankness. Nothing can come between us,

me & the not-blackness—telephone wire
across the parking lot, a line against the sky’s
unclouded plane. Where are they hiding

their dimensions? They’ve gone Polaroid:
on empty window panes were slowly reified,
settling at half their real sharpness,

their real shades. Then a crow flew in
& landed, scratched the surface of the image
like a thumbnail. The bird mars it,

the wind that makes the pole drift &
quickens the wire. It starts to look alive,
poltergeisted. It’s taking something from me,

sapping through the wick of my locked
gaze. As I lose heart, I lose focus. Don’t
move. Don’t touch it. Look away.

Elisa Gabbert lives and works as an editor in the Boston area, where she is also a reader for Ploughshares. Her poems and prose have been published or are forthcoming in journals including LIT, Redivider, Shampoo, The G.W. Review, Illya's Honey, and Poetry Motel.