The Argotist Online
Annabelle Clippinger has had two books of poetry published with experimental press, Potes and Poets: Sky Frame and Cloud Banner. She is compiling a new manuscript, and the poems included here represent the direction of this work. Annabelle was one of the founding editors of the on-line avant-garde poetry journal, Poethia, and has had her work appear in many literary magazines including LVNG, Five Fingers Review, 6ix, Poetry New York, and Aught, among others. She lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA with her family.
beauties, like a secret
in whispers, plunged up from
carapace of anger, little girls walk
a blush of neurons
jangles round the head
delicate webbing, mouse-clicked. . .conduits slide
toward a trashcan
slogged grenades at the children
for the polis, wreaking “collateral damage”
tapping the keyboard,
sparkling, joining with coffee in quiet
the girls, gauntlet-walked in red coats
tremor of not knowing breaks around the window shade
in the form of light
name is carved again and again on stone
by the elements
I call my mother forth from the chasm
where she is burned to cinder
and gain no touch
words in my mouth not my own, but hers
collect a being transposed
now in my mouth for a talk
small for my children, given
to laughter, as she was
to me, hemmed me in, draped in such
now cannot be gotten
all this look to stars as I am wont to have
looking at her prompt, not in words
but in a
free space where words might gain
to be writ down,
proffered to the elements,
they are, to be named “poem” or not.
in muscle a mood
body’s moves a tablet of memory
is slid into a bin is the body’s candle of deemed refuse
nebulae is the marbling of meat hung along a lacework of muscle, stars
clouds an animal’s membranes on a celestial hook,
by roses as set upon a grave, in this bin
loosened from the skin now mean the past is a set of dreams
in the path of
by what is past the path of reason
to be exact, like the contours of a body, defined as “maternal structures”
hoof, the lam, what is passing
is laid upon the landscape in the shadows of a landfill
regardless of what is projected by the poet
rain washes this trash
offered at the abattoir, incense burned
appetite for the sacred
in a bright chill, head
down for brace.
his moves and courts blood.
in words of sleet
glacial guttings of the land
rises, fog from dreams
turn sour before dawn
from sidewalks, intensity
back by rain
buoys itself from nowhere,
in the skin of gnawed
coils and strikes.
are words like this.
condition is not elect
swirled as moon clouds
exploding against machinery
my organic claim
as of deep sea
being, its ink a given
a pause, a breath, caesura
This time oceanic on the page
blasted from the mouth of a seabird
spelling danger, infinitude
of roe, a dreadful meetinghouse,
this so fecund
beauty and given back to beauty
so closure a loop for you
and spit and tidepool squeamish
a slide of blood, a birth
at last emerging
still ocean of morning, beach walkers speed and fail
gulls alert in a stretch of sun, cheating through rain, a woman’s voice
by a veil.
Listening, a veil of voices with no sure shape, trailing on wind
snap of cloth does.
At last an avian statement.
has it edges in nonsense and emphasis.
It did rain? Skipping pages;
Sand in the crotch?
the heat of the day’s benediction is the smell of salt.
is a constellation of related tones.
Desire surprises one, so that as the sea
its tides, its cycles bring our own failures into relief.
the landscape is used like this in my own poem.
of this room offer no respite from the ocean; it now
expanse of my mind.
of rain up and down the coast.
For winds dashing at oleanders in red brilliance.
washed and buoyed.
Expanse of seawater to horizon.
shorebirds, elegant, white.
In the storms’s eye
poor lens: taking in what it can not, being in time lost.
its brine, spitting it.
Ida, Annabelle, Annabelle, Tess.
It is the blood of tides and generations plunged
shouted into waves.
© Annabelle Clippinger