Guillermo Juan Parra
Evil Stanzas

          No spirit seek here rest.
                   —Stephen Spender


Breath defines line length
As does notebook shape / size

Yesterday afternoon hearing
     Archie Shepp play

full breath, rich-toned
     saxophone chords
  think language too
  can do this /

  make feeling evidence
  sound can evil stanzas

As one sufferer said:
unto us denied blessings

Make characteristic failure
our tautness—a trance

          after Juan Sánchez Peláez

If snow falls now
on a street without course
nor sign,
myriad shades inquire
from the foyer
if our errantry is fleeting,
will it last or not
and they point toward
the actual path
always attentive or dressed
in night cloth

from what north or south
from what east or west
these prompt shadows arrive
or amble
through fields
in stables and cottages,

no one knows
save at dusk’s thin beam
when we can glimpse the absent
when our big hands
talking alone
open toward the other cold.


Taking stanzas at three breaths
per lyric—the landscape digest
in journal form  /  small pressd

       figured language
       thru prayer & magick
       verses hymn transit
       afterwards prophet etc.

at evening’s husk our trees
their carved bark, memory

how our airs take care to
translate by image by image


How do we survive these torrents
of violence and animosity, filtered
through daily routines of Empire
and neo-colonization?
Violence of gesture and language
underpinning all social relations.
One must be lithe, agile and
strategic—patterns of
inquiry  /  Breath gleaned or
entire libraries memorized.
Ancestry combined by sensibility
and Dream-book futures.
Method divulged to none.


The poem arriving in gusts
of wind
             directly off the Charles
My left hand
             keeping the pages down
This eye turned down
in the pages—
       disappearance map
career & sun drops
       into the city
ever-taut and reluciente

My feet dragging under weight
Denied entry to the halls
because of a tone or shade

all physical qualities count

return to SHAMPOO 11