Vancouver, British Columbia

30 May 2007

Three Poems

["This is an open air experiment"]
["set one=surveillance"]   
28 Logos

About Kim Minkus



["This is an open air experiment"]

This is an open air experiment.

When you crouch down and look close
you can see the details and what is written and unwritten and written over

It is very hard to separate
instructions from messages

Some constraints or parts of constraints
have changed the syntax
have removed the object from the system
the result being
that expression has no side effect
this is an unscheduled meeting of details
elements caution other elements
elements load other elements
there are still little moments of glamour
This is a reference that is binding
a constraint expressed as an instant       
a future work
a little interference
until one day story



["set one=surveillance"]

set one=surveillance

the premises are open to partial expressions
insert              as salt
simple and uniform
delicious in its tissue
this is a union
not an intersection
there is a trace of decline
and many ways to be broken
set two=tantamount
or almost equal but not quite
it is all so cryptic
get to know your neighbours
you can never have too much                 information
still      how lovely she is
she smells of vanilla and cardamom
so twisted        her hair     resistant black
set three=the remaining details
there are too many
keeping safe             along the way
if true              if else
it will be off balance
too high to tell just one story
avoidance is always an option
                        this is a pretend warzone
but we had sugar      last time



28 logos

prophecies are rich dog food for the masses

beware of horses that eat snakes in the grass
do not become enamored of your wife
do not turn your back on your slave
what of my brothers, husbands, sons
cut down like burnt crops
no temples
no paid tribute
no sacrifices
the oracle has finally erased them
it all began with abduction
supplicants or not
witnesses or not
to that thing that destroys utterly and completely
like our enemies we inflict famine on ourselves
sold women
out in the open
lit bonfires waiting for the smoke of intoxication
we save our honey to embalm the dead
and stand with our hands wide open
not lame
not crippled
not ugly
we are that bird, that dog
that mark the dead
grave diggers
who know the extent of the sea

I know human happiness never remains long in the same place

my fingers crawl across my skin
into my eyes
It’s tisis - retribution
for the death of precious things
I know we let ourselves be scraped down
stuffed with myrrh cassia frankincense
we are the singing women
that hurl abuse
that care for the eel the otter the bear
and stumble with our eyes open
we move upstream with our young
stabbing the river
that mid-heaven
following the foothills and gorges
I am contaminated
            like the others
I wash before the sacred
before the gilded tomb
with my eyebrows shaved
when I enter the sanctuary
that smell of cloves, crushed and burnt
hides the smell of entrails,
we are the bridges
across the fire

The leaves will not drop

my sisters
it is our glory to make tall
and good-looking children
they are the ointment we spread
we drench ourselves in them
diviners of the flesh
we are the vagabonds
we produce and lament
we feed them
they can’t get enough of our spices
and rich stews
we stuff them full of tragedy
all the while preparing their coffins

One of those leaning days

I will remind you
that  I am a daughter of the river
half maiden half serpent
blind to rapture
I eat milk and flesh together
            torn from the thighs of rams
still      I have heard of that country
where the air fills with feathers
some days
when I am down in the mud
 I dream of it
the river is my ally
I am yoked to it
                        send your envoys to me
I will serve them in my underground room

What we really want is something

occupied by bees
it  is the custom of my people
to observe their cunning
their slavery
the dancing boundaries they keep
it is said that the women of our enemies
are murdered over the graves of their husbands
and in their eyes are seen the images of the tyrants
                        we know it is because they are the poets and
                                                                                                inventors of fables

It doesn’t matter which way the wind is blowing

these acts of great cruelty are Lemnian deeds
there are no penance for these
            the garlands of war give no protection
where are the archers when we need them
those that grasp at affluence
and turn their faces into the wind
the daggers keep coming down
                        the fights at sea
                                    our only freedom is to burn with our husbands

No success is ever enough to satisfy a man

it was all decided by a dream
no talk of virtue
only of defiling
only submission
they had already made their resolution
            to act as scourges
            to pull themselves
            along the salty river
we are mere ornaments
they left us at the headlands
and moved forward with nothing

Who we areall this coming together
            we are the conquered
            we are seven
my sisters dispose of the bodies of the dead
as they wash up
some whole             some broken
we are all barbarians
                        we are zealous and fear disfavour
we look for rewards
                        the unspoken deeds
certain of us
                        are violated to death
a few will wear the crown of olive
but we are seven

The answers are hidden inside you

it is a craving
they lust after us
                        little do they know
we bear soft men
                        others of us are barren
we are known to turn on each other
                        as the true spoils of war
                                    there is no refuge with us
if you come down to the ravine
beware of the wolves
                        we have called them out
look for the anointed among us there
            and know we are not humbled


Kim Minkus A poet and Librarian, is also a PhD candidate in the English Department at Simon Fraser University, where she is specializing in contemporary poetics. In April of 2006 Kim was awarded a fellowship to King's College London. Her latest review appears in the online journal Jacket 28 and she has poems forthcoming in the journal West Coast Line.