Blackbox Manifold

Issue 12: George Life

from precarity

 09.08.13 – 09.17.13

lawn cautiously out of the woods or the three owls one up in the trees

the others in the grass hopping likely hunting          this is not a list of

demands it is not an account of grievances this is a gathering


of         the poor children miracle


                                                    of the children this is a constitution

of our being unfinished species a sheaf of drafts merely a preliminary

to        of course what we can imagine now is nothing in comparison

to        the small words hearing them

                                                           you will see the young couples


09.18.13 – 09.27.13

leaving again in rags          out of poverty give me a boat that can carry

to and we shall row my love and I moving over the continent the bare

ground without wealth refusing wealth or accepting it

                                                                                     to be free of it

a morality play mono no aware over the waves the play it begins with


the world

                 out of poverty quoting such simple things this or that from

out of the open air         of public discourse leaving in rags so to speak

metaphorically of course the dogs          barking in the background



09.28.13 – 10.06.13


the primary element civilization of oil          of narrative a pile of tires

pile of tears without a language of politics and ideology we will not


El Valle as a species

                                  we came across a mola of the sea the we we came


across the shipwreck of the singular the ground of that shipwreck the

course of Mallarmé's Un Coup de Dés du fond d'un naufrage and the

singular the singular that species of actor          that struts and

                                                                                                 frets its

hour upon the stage           and then is heard no more it is a tale told by

10.07.13 – 10.16.13

an idiot the doves flying in flapping and stopping not moving because

I haven't moved and therefore must be thought not to be here

                                                                                              and so

the world          full of sound and fury obscurely again repeat it things

and the self the world and the self


                                                    before the arrival of Europeans the

Polynesian sits in the warm shade under a palm and he thinks I don't

know what he might think I don't know Polynesian thought suppose

like a Greek he thinks the sun is a molten mass

                                                                         and he is filled in that


10.17.13 – 10.26.13

moment with it the most intense excitement whenever the mind rises

even a little

                   it is flooded          with happiness in the future perfect the

future conditional poem the first line of which ends the          the past

matters not only because of what actually happened but also



of that which went that which was and the sealess asail that which in

deference to not that though I am as in

                                                              Ibn Arabi that life as thou the

life of change and the absence of the wind rises as with that which we

George Life lives in North Carolina, and over the past few years has lived variously in China, Panama, and Arizona, where he recently received an MFA. His poems can be found online at Spiral Orb and The Dictionary Project. He is also working on a selected translation of the late poems of Du Fu, some of which have appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He blogs at