Eleni Sikelianos Feature, Page 2


Selections from "The Bright, the Heavy"
—a series from the forthcoming collection The Monster Lives of Boys & Girls

ONE DAY, THIS happens:

My head is full of snow.

Quiet is on my head.

The ice-man keeps hitting me over the head
with an ice-bar hard as ice;  

I fall down; I get up; the ice-man
hits me on the head again.

I see this happen:
It happens again. I get

up again, the in-
explicable will.

Silence is on my head  he breaks it
in the lung-hunt (air);

tympan-crack under the shock
of air-mass sonore;  he unties

the insides of my ear

toward the clean sound, the loud sound
the cotton then and iron sound in snow;

at the indicating post, arrowing the good
hypothesis:  Don’t try to make me

know the soul-
envelope over

the grid of language:  a microscopic
futility.  Here:  silence

is on my head it’s
growing in my head I

dreamed it there bigger
in the ice-sphere he breaks it Come

break it What
can guarantee me

from the cold


LAST NIGHT I ATE A HUMAN in a dream––or at least its bones––I thought
that fingers might split over the touch of human
skin  That day on the subway we heard the buzzing of the mechanic’s wing like 
ice cubes rattling against each other––

Tuesday:  snow in the grates

Torn into the quick, it’s small things
that become difficult, buying apples
not pears, placing the fingers inside the holes––

Now I am this living instrument

of a heart, two hands, etc., given loose to animal
luminosity & fabulous humors.  These, too, do grow
out of (me) (a) the (very) body of all surprise––


I SAID to them then in their sleeps
Your sheets have wandered off.
Let them, he said, let them.


THIS spectacle:  the movie-house universe

moving.  Hold still.––to touch this you with a twelve-
fingered attention, concentrated 
on the flesh, made by 

the laws of science

	Out of an eye I made
a long tear

a diamond-string system of color––, & in the evening
out in space you see sixteen sunsets come & go

in one day from brilliant
red to deepest
	          blue––& the lights 
the pole-bathing seas”––

Settle down now, bring them (here) 
near a center, an axis, for

what ration of relief in the world 
(to be found) (inside)

(“a body”) “the exact point[s] I inhabit” (“on earth”)


FROM THE FROTHIEST RIVERS on the rockiest globe, escutcheon me 
with a signing coat far east of us, my insignias’ arms is missing
something in the night-restaurant I swallow

the pit’s full-middle 
from an endometrium dark I did could

build a new grill   a new grrr	  new girrl


		In this ejecta process, known visitors from other planets are a small fraction
		of alien troves lying undiscovered here on Earth, mainly mistaken for rocks.

HERE IS THE MAN WHO GOT HIS GOLD eye put out (7 x 4 foot frame)––What was he doing 
so close to the ground?

Now he’s a dark, with wrinkles and crow’s feet	his eye was a rock
in the system [sissies] that relegated animals to childhood, and put

at the bottom of the beast

Like him, they have risen
so that they no longer exist on earth

What do they do with the missing parts?  [[(Cars, or all that is left of the picture 
is two big toes)]]

	Thinking with things 
as they exist (ruins) the mind tries
to rebuild (de-composed) feet.

There were days when objects came to me easily  
(a coat, a tire) Knowing or not the value of matter, it’s easy 

		to lose 

			three inches in a lifetime	 (bits of moon  blasted loose at dawn)

skewed by the tug of other planets, I might form a ring 
that rotates 	near Jupiter 	  (shed skin)	a piece of debris from Venus 
		moves	to fall 
to Earth, bits 
of life push											
between borders––kiss kiss this
Parthenon dust

It doesn’t take that much walking
to make a path through the grass but the dandelion is poisonous

Now they grow artichokes on top of the church
for the melting lamb, the snow-or-sun-daughter they eat in April, it’s what

the crowned heart told
about the “candleblows” of sunlight––

I saw the columns from the bathroom window––
that stone even my hands could smash

As the meat was created
to hang on the hours of earth

at the backside of the peacock, where the eyes are spread
is the original anti-matter, the Achilles heel

so according to the inscription on the votive thighs, Love 
is of antediluvian, has
tender feet, steps
on the heads of men

Love, what is Love love of

We are currently standing in North

(Somewhere in the Western Ocean we will live for love)

(Love, come) (within) (the long range) (of age)

carrying a scratch back from the Acropolis
with a gesture of epiphany toward the right hand
Like the man who forgot then re-learned his language

word-by-word.  Each day, in his language I learn a new word
A new word comes back to me–– ìßäåí (zero), êïõêÜëé (spoon)


CUTTING UP its contents, this apartment is a scene
obtained from tapering blanket-pieces
when stripped &  hoisted

First comes white-horse
Then the receptacle piece
honed from 1,000 nameless emergencies woven within the hour

By the ordinary laws of anatomy,

I, too, was given a heart.  They could have hidden
something in there, in the beginning, without us knowing:  A bottle cap, 
a bit of plastic.  Such as

the oyster, I’ll get over it.  And when they opened the chest 
each night sets fire to its own ear     eye   throat, heart



One day, tired of heeling the path
abrupt I will


and melt the nerves of thought
in my hard head, sieved

in the magic pavement.  The flying fishes of this brainy instrument
are accorded 

as pearled notes
are cramping across

the atmosphere’s elastic bands.
What have my friends given me?

What have I given them?
Stranded in the blood or the book––impossible

globes & strapped an impassible task
I imitate stars.  What have I dreamed of

the most grandiose?

Featured Poet, Page 1 - Eleni Sikelianos

I - Trinkets in a Closed Drawer

II - A Wrinkle in the Trees
III - Becoming a Fish
IV - Closer to the Cosmos

Afterword - A Poem by Nell Maiden

Current Issue - Summer 2003