We are living in a state of accelerated stasis: W.J.T. Mitchell
checking in at curb I trigger computer-random search alarm lift carry suitcase end of line snake to ticket counter where I trigger computer-random search alarm tail on to another line unlock zip open riffle agent wipes inside of case with a white disk what’s that? explosive detector palpates bathrobe blouses umbrella re-zip re-lock separation anxiety as suitcase is tagged on moving belt to cargo walk to x-ray line remove coat into tray fold pocketbook tote stand upright on moving-person belt enter arch of electric eye up escalator gate 38 wait THE 2:30 WILL BE 20 MINUTES WILL BE HOUR WILL BE 2 HOURS CANCELLED GO DOWN TO TICKET COUNTER BE RE-ASSIGNED A CONNECTING FLIGHT walk down escalator walk to long long crocodiling line where is suitcase found re-tagged for another airline tag on to end of intestinal coil of line to x-ray escalator up to gate wait I trigger computer-random search alarm riffle through handcarried pocketbook tote bag off with coat arms apart in crucifixion pose wave wand pick up a foot wave wand pick up other foot wave wand buckle in smile smile juice water pepsi? little bag of little pretzels highway lights opposing pairs white red house roofs parking lots neon suitcase pocketbook tote coat home oh home ah
WAITING ROOM AT THE EYE INSTITUTE
Out of blindness rising like a blade of white silk I cleave gray cloud into black space lit by glows of burnt-out suns our own sun far on other side of the blue-veined planet. Destiny to become a white blade in unknown orbit? Into space time of forgetting? What I cannot recall does not therefore exist – at least not for my span of existence – not as a breathing pulsing organism but as a means – a mechanism assembled by some unknown force towards some unknown purpose of its own desire and yet clean bright on my way not so much to a destination as to joy of the voyage progression is part of the unwritten story no genesis that any human brain can spark but what I am is spark itself that ignites and cannot be put out
Charlotte Mandel’s tenth book of poetry is new from White Violet Press. Previous titles include two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision — The Life of Mary and The Marriages of Jacob. Awards include the NJ Poets Prize and two fellowships in poetry from NJ State Council on the Arts. Visit her at charlottemandel.com.