Unbecoming in McCarthy

Fevered with my first winter flu/cold, shivering and stiff, somehow i feel better reliving these delirious poems from a bout with severe dermatitis, summer 2012.

I

here is river
here is here
there is across

and there is river
as in river
as suspension, silt.
bodies
bridges
between-ness
and banks

here is gleaning
of peace
stillness found
how strange beside
so much motion
sound so great it is reduced
to soundless noise
to white
not blue

here it is white
here it is rock flour
there it is milk

and there it is ice
down river it is water
it sheds rock, gravel
unwanted clothing
baggage burden

free it is liquid
it is chaos and churning
and grinding

bound it is
upriver
is centuries ago
is ice

here is river
sublimating
unrivering
rock, gravel
emerging from lake
rising up valley

here was river
her is still river
though far from still
still flowing

II

human moraine
glacier letting down
milk, eggs, families, story

getting here requires a crossing
several crossings
rivers flowing
river bones
leaving the unessential
on the east bank
of the kennicott
at least…attempting
some errata is
easier left behind

cross over
suspend over
between feet
river

screw vision
unsee bridge
ungineer

stand suspended
boots, air, river
unbridged

crossing does not
require water walking

there will be a last summer
there will be tolling bells
there will be sacrifice
failure, struggle

but no one will die
or if there is death
there is undying
there is birth

friendships, new, awe
respect for process
this strange work
brings us together

circling
accuracy’s paradox
honing in
but never landing

III

rocks in a box
nothing to meaning
without names
sulfur, graphite
cinnabar, galena

perhaps even without bodies
mineral, metal, crystal
they are still song
feldspar, obsidian, sandstone

IV

locked box
one to one hundred
around a center
a way in

V
woodstove
unfired
unlit
unkindled

fan blades at heart
storied by conduction
a dream
of turning and burning

VI

rock and river
river softening, stoning
stone turning
returning rock
rolling
becoming
stone
song

timber beam, beaming
dry, weathered by winter
and wind

beam unbeaming
timber unmilled
beam unbecoming

tree, tall, talking
talk in heartwood
sap or song

VII

wording and wording
manic ink and scratch
fever and fever
itch and itch

concentrate

no scratching
unitching

no sun
unsunning

fever pitched and
pitching

gnats and wings
and biting
piercing mouth parts

mouth parts
unbiting
wings unwinging

pocked, swolen
hand uncarving
damage
carved to heart
and flesh
undamage
and flood
of sensation
unsensing, senselessness

no itch
no poem

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