Spring 2001


Leonore Wilson


When I withdraw from the shower stall,
the box, the confessional,
when I lift my hunger to you,
my breasts with the hysterical
veins, the marsupial belly,
the mottled limbs sluiced of dirt,
of childbirth,
have patience with me;
I dont resemble anyone.
I am a broken animal
just catching light, so full of blood,
raw and pale, I am the moan inside
the body still, dear god, remembering the pain
and rhyme of theft, when that which lived
for me pushed out, that which was stern
and brazen and slow. Clarify me
with your face of gentleness,
that I may be well
and acknowledge you. I do not
know this flesh I have slipped back
into, do not touch me
when I have been somewhere else
where I was impounded and committed
a place of shadow and slippage.
I have visited hell.
Glance at me as you would a vase
behind a storefront window, something
separate and secretive
open to happiness
that you would fill.




Leonore Wilson


Gouged branch of indifference,
is this what marriage hardens into?

Then at night,
the mad hoofing in the wedding bed
as if to escape, to get somewhere.
Under the blankets,
this wild trampling as if through hedges.

And afterwards,
the washing of hands in the basin
as if in sacrifice,
the routine cleansing.

The wasp nests harden to tusk too
and the honeycombs,
the dried narcissi, the winter lilies--
I hold the bulbs in my hands like testicles.

I see what can happen to matrimony.
Perhaps it is what the gods knew.
Just the curb and bit of memory.

The soul is chiseled wood.
It listens to the terrible bull-like note of flesh.
The curse of it, the pathos.
The blind churning of sex gets nowhere.

My hearts a shield, a spear, a kilt of bronze--

see how the mind is blurred,
not even the strongest will can move it.



Leonore Wilson

"If our senses were fine enough, we would perceive the slumbering cliff as a dancing chaos."
--Fredrich Nietzche

Looking down from the edge of
Highway 1, I see no dance
only terror, melee, the world
held impossible, a wicked Mendocino,
not melodious, but demonic.

No order, no symmetry--
regions primordial, jagged,
a wicked theology, pagan-bred,
not life-inducing.

Where is the dance
of Shiva, of jazz--

No dots
connect matrices to
integrals, yet fractals tell us

here a bonanza of code lingers
in certain repetitions
of coastline
like movements
of a waltz.

deja vu of earth stretches
from Baja to Eureka.

An accurate measurement
of one small piece of the littoral west
can tell us the pattern
of the entire burbling shore.

is not solely what the eye perceives,
no, it holds its own paradox;

tempo and rhythm
escalating and undulating

in the one perfect image and likeness
of itself.


Leonore Wilson


The sea churns and sucks back like the empire of the fist.
The waves are male energy the body writhing, inflamed;
all boy, the crusade of blood pulling hard.

This is the force of life I carried in me three times and expelled: children
of creased foreheads, hard-biting, bullets swaddled
in their blue mist like the Pacific.

When I take my youngest here, site of the biggest rip curls, he is
ecstatic breathless heave and collapse of labor.
The whole ocean bloats, feverish mountains knocked out
flat, incredible heaps of winter blooms smashing and booming.

The flesh of Mavericks hunches as if harpooned, thrashing, somersaulting,
stunning itself in its own underglimmer.

This umbrage is my wild son, all-knuckle, wanting to crush the world out
with his heel. Boy whose words are like burnt rubber,
who scrapes out the serenity of mother, hard-toothed child who pours salt
on my heart, naked creation, template of myself, what twists under my tongue.

He is the knowledge born of me, not licensed for gentleness, big-lunged teenager,
sexual wail of the sliced universe, my twinned skeleton of frenzy,
what the shaft of darkness shaped, Zion I cannot climb.

He is the mounded muscles of water, nearly spent and defiant. Not a tadpole him,
a leviathan. Lear cocked on a precipice, spanning manhood,
praising his own damn territory.

Leonore Wilson teaches creative writing at Napa Valley College. Her work has been featured in many magazines including Quarterly West, Madison Review, Laurel Review, English Journal.



top of page

send comments to info@poetrybay.com

first electronic copyright 2001 poetrybay. 
all rights revert to authors

website comments to dpb@islandguide.com