Blackbox manifold

Issue 14: Peter Streckfus


Your eyes make what you see there, a misty Dutch landscape.


The wind hits your back, enveloped, and continues.


Wind and light above, water below.




Creeks straightened.


Threshing below the water barriers.


Now, I’ve put water around it.




Sandy barriers, islands, wave-breaking willow areas.


The grass kept low by grazing.


Self blinding, we see only what light touches.


Which favors translation.


Every minute you die, something of your substance falls like this.


Always flowing, ending in horizontal, temporary death.


And if you prepared more, you would be more ready.






Out pours the content.


Many years later.


And I look up.


Three times, the counter-weight chimes against the frame.


You, without a home but with the means to travel comfortably.


You wanted but had not yet become.


As a mother without a child.




I can barely access you now—you are that internal.


Sparkling, shivering back of water.




My former self in the brilliant mirror of the prologos.

Which, like the ether of afterlife, of final days, is unknown to us.


Although we have all passed through it.


Raise your oars into the air.


What is love amid the noise of the moving, reflectant surface.


Organs opening on the reflectant surface, amid its noise.


Organs, meaning, coherent patterns that sustain themselves.






Oh the visual world is such a bother.


Will you photograph me with my father.


My eye, the tails of its coat like wings.




I call it a virus.


You can’t live in a city.


He can’t go.


This one will stay.


This one, my husband went to school here.


This was an old farmer, he rented from an owner.


My husband says, it is enough.


In your mind thinking, better that people go.


He opens the bridge for ships.


Canvas saddle bags of feeling.


The tin roof of trouble.


Catching it in the mind first, perceiving its connection.


Its linkage, to the previous bird.


Perceiving its path and connecting it to the previous bird.


And connecting its next movement to that bird’s.


Adjusting like this, in aggregate time.


And you too could push on the seams of the narrative.


With all your tests and questions.




It wasn’t a cop, I don’t think, just a guy who whispered.


Be away, be someplace else, someplace quiet.


In a truck we sped over the wet beds.


Ripping through curtains.


The water a foot deep and teeming with life.




Leaping in its progress between persons.