Journal » Trout 15 » Refixing The Notion Of Electricity [Blaine Tolentino]
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Refixing the Notion of Electricity

Blaine Tolentino

While he looks in the mirror
by my bed, light breaking
in through the morning window slats,
he is fixing his hair quietly, pressing
the blood from the sleep
hanging on his eyes.
I wake up with a marker
under my leg,
and use it to write
down his left back panel, shivering
under the tip,
one word at a time:

It was summer when we met,
so people were madly mating
around us.
We'd get bored, fondling
books of Caulder's paper carnivals
in my apartment, fan sweeping
up leaves on paper piles; our minds
would get bored
with the Rape of Nanking
or sketches of pufferfish
by some new artist.
There were only so many books
on the shelves.

We find a field
on a mountainside, some kind
of strange odyssey for normalcy
in the carnage of wild
tree heights. We could have gone to a park
I suppose
to find comfortable flat land.

While he is drawing
a batch of eggs
in a crumbling moss
log, I am crouching
in the brush
with a Polaroid camera,
putting stray bugs in
the foreground of his lanky frame.
I am catching his toolong
arms, twitching at the wrist,
legs traveling in slim twigs
toward the high grass.

I know what cameras see:
not the charcoal
dust clouding up his knuckle
not the halfway warmth
of the sun's windy shade
on his face and chest.

You're no Audubon, I say,
skimming his sketches
and lighting his cigarette
in my periphery,
trusting his hands
will cup the flame
from the breeze.
It is a faceless pressure,
not only large,
but filled with bird sounds
from the next valley over.

By the eggs in his book,
he has drawn a crowd of human
baby faces
with fawn ears
sprouting from their whispy
no Audubon.

Where are our ruins,
he asks, framing the landscape
with his fingers in a square.
Everything is in bloom, everything
is green and lush; this flurry
of beauty, excessive
and floundering,
could make anyone nauseous
in this amount. If it were not
for the binding bricks
of the city, how we knew them
too well, this would be wasted
on us.

We walk into stacks of trees,
toward a place where we think
a stream will show itself. With any luck,
it will be a river.
The sun is tangles of light
on our bodies, shifting
while bark moans
in big aches. I close my eyes
in a clearing, his footsteps
brushing along,
and imagine something big
is eating me.


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© Copyright 2008 Blaine Tolentino & Trout.