Thom Donovan is a Ph.D. candidate at SUNY-Buffalo (Poetics Program) curently residing on Avenue A, NYC. His books and chapbooks include: Sudden Miles (Potes & Poets Press, 1999), Tears Are These Veils (with Abby Walton; Wild Horses of Fire Press, 2004), and Mantle (with Kyle Schlesinger; Atticus/Finch, 2005). His book Soon-To-Be (For Interiority) is forthcoming with Cuneiform Press. Check Wild Horses of Fire weblog for ongoing projects, and works concerning Gordon Matta-Clark in the forthcoming issue of Sarah Campbell's P-Que.

Two Poems by Thom Donovan


The Total Sense of Sense
for Paul Sharits

"Seeing, at last, your mind as it must be at times in unendurable anguish, a series of events leading to that sense of self as burden, artaud making art of it, misery, saw your minding of such in my own horror, shocked, shaking my head a crazy catalogue of images, classical symbols, cartoons of grief -- but it is not always so and it is that lack of it which has to stand for joy in the absence of blessings -- and there are, in rare instances, blessings and you are often there at those places and I have a total sense of sense and you are absolutely cream, having to step on plastic flowers, my mind bursting, blossoming -- someday I will tell you my dreams when it is quiet and I am more willing to let the tragic have its due warmth -- that comes later; now I am content that my dreams were dreams."
--Paul Sharits, 1966

“This very task of destruction poses again, in the last resort, the question of a pure immediate violence that might be able to call a halt to mythical violence. Just as in all spheres God opposes myth, mythical violence is confronted by the divine. And the latter constitutes its antithesis in all respects. If mythical violence is lawmaking, divine violence is law-destroying; if the former sets boundaries, the latter boundlessly destroys them; if mythical violence brings at once guilt and retribution, divine power only expiates; if the former threatens, the latter strikes; if the former is bloody, the latter is lethal without spilling blood.”
--Walter Benjamin


In these greatnesses these smallnesses great blue an instance
Of standing armies and waves opposite
Blue law of blue undreamt

Stick to everything no thing plastic flowers absolutely cream
The colors you see you see to hear
Of standing armies and standing waves
The law new law of red not sensed

Like the fourth clause of Augustine
No man should punish who does not love already in his heart
Is thus unpunishing
War could then be just (only contradiction is just)

Of a proposition red made blue blue made red
Wholly of another law unwoken in these tones
No man should punish who does not love already in his heart
Is thus unwarring
War might then be just (only conspiration is just)

In this dream of armies the war of the sky
And the earth again elemental gigantomachia machine
His white eschatology Benjamin or Augustine
Whomsoever loves eternally holds no peace for the just

Only for the wicked conserve the pieces
The pieces again alighting our time
On earth tears shed mantles between men
Partition apart a Messiaen of varied light

And colors like tears begin
The colors of a cabinet
Cubby-holed to see sound appear
The colors you see you see to hear
A non-sense of number
“A total sense of sense”



Float tones a thing of forms the thinking does for war war also does

A thing of bones to think the flicker oxygen takes hard to hover pink
Float tones a thing of forms the thinking does for war war also does

More disgust by anthem the wind what earthly sense is this to flower
A thing of bones to think the flicker oxygen takes hard to hover pink
Float tones a thing of forms the thinking does for war war also does

False flowers to flower the false a thing of tones to put pieces in
More disgust by anthem the wind what earthly sense is this to flower
A thing of bones to think the flicker oxygen takes hard to hover pink
Float tones a thing of forms the thinking does for war war also does

The inside again brains emote this thought of tones a might of babes
False flowers to flower the false a thing of tones to put pieces in
More disgust by anthem the wind what earthly sense is this to flower
A thing of bones to think the flicker oxygen takes hard to hover pink
Float tones a thing of forms the thinking does for war war also does

Each misses each like tears asunder the tears of all invested by when
Cunnilingus a lingual thing reconciliation born in the where of red
Born out by the multiple mind wind more disgust by anthem the wind
The mind’s alibi each tear discloses the in itself one-by-one the for
For each frame is when where we are in sense to be total to be a piece

Cunnilingus a lingual thing reconciliation born in the where of red
Born out by the multiple mind wind more disgust by anthem the wind
The mind’s alibi each tear discloses the in itself one-by-one the for
For each frame is when where we are in sense to be total to be a piece

Born out by the multiple mind wind more disgust by anthem the wind
The mind’s alibi each tear discloses the in itself one-by-one the for
For each frame is when where we are in sense to be total to be a piece

The mind’s alibi each tear discloses the in itself one-by-one the for
For each frame is when where we are in sense to be total to be a piece

For each frame is when where we are in sense to be total to be a piece






Wage the each instant the occurring born in where the wager of each at piece a now so there

Stained to a voice stayed to a touch of them flowers the wages of them to recover each sense of when

Of wend the total doing our pieces go to light surrender red defender defender red

Of blue of blue the opposite is when pure means of will to render wind

To wend the opposite to encounter frame my number your number sympathetic share

Conspire tears of blue of blue or tear here

In the inside of the face

Swelled then the opposite is when flowers bend urgent flowers mind content to render
them

Alone alone one one each each all all

One one one two two not two bluish fog of war so blended frame

Your frame of when your frame of when your frame of when your frame of when rushed to blue vertical red horizontal hold to defend

When frame is where number frame is where number frame is where number wends and split

The each for the all all of a piece the each for the each out of place to move space the each

To piece end war to piece piece end war end piece end piece war end war piece don’t end red don’t end don’t end red don’t end blue reconcile don’t end wend don’t end when to not stop the tears a furtive reel

A feel for sense of number for sense of number when a sense of when is enough

Conspire tears of blue of blue or tear here

In the inside of the face

Swelled then the opposite is when flowers bend urgent flowers mind content to render
them

“Take me
[understanding] from grief
and take me
to yourselves from understanding
[and] grief.
And take me
to yourselves from places
that are ugly and in ruin,
and rob from those
which are good even though in ugliness.
Out of shame, take me
to yourselves shamelessly;
and out of shamelessness
and shame, upbraid my members
in yourselves.
And come forward to me,
you who know me
and you who
know my members,
and
establish the great ones among the small
first creatures.
Come forward to childhood,
and do not despise it
because it is small and it is little.
And do not turn away
greatness in some parts from the
smallnesses,
for
the smallnesses are known
from the greatnesses.”

In these greatnesses these smallnesses great blue an instance
Of standing armies and waves opposite
Blue law of blue undreamt

War could then be just (only contradiction is just)





No Idem Mother

Rotate come track the camera around
Come walk the camera around him with child
Come track the camera walk around him an innocent one
An innocent one will pray come track that prayer
Come track that prayer prayer until time ends
Come track until she extends time her life in prayer
Her life in prayer come track her prayer extend the life of mother
Extend her hand vision mother camera pace around these loving two
Light as air he picks up the child her kiss and his embrace as light as air

Effortless to pray for the dead to pray for the dead the dead will come again clocks clocks must pick up where they left off

Where they left off come pace the camera around that lightest prayer for mother

For mother wish this night this night away until day until daylight shines through these windows come track those weeds the wind down


Come walk with the camera camera around around one room one room for the two her kiss as light

Effortless extend her hand as vision this will be a day the body stays stays on earth this will be a day the eyes await

Awaken as in the days of old camera pace in one room in one in one room with the two in one room with the two two candles by the window will show no way through darkness tonight keep pacing keep pace until today the light through the two windows

Two go down go down together together in prayer pacing around the light a kiss the lightest kiss the light on the wall in the room pacing the room of two their light

Spring or fall light one can not tell summer light wind down by the reeds the two one can not tell weather moves over the dunes to find them pacing effortlessly

Effortless as the sea the wind in the reeds the two the two is she dead or are we mother born by prayer by the two two windows filling the room with light the mourners


Rising effortless as the wind from the sea lifting rising to make their tears commence prayer is a habit and a movement make it happen make mother rise again

Make mother the camera here and pacing walk pacing walk around this room room of two in prayer eyes with tears two eyes with tears two windows

Come track until she extends her death in life clocks stop clocks stop until she renders her death in life a kiss
the kiss of one born the kiss the kiss of one dead rising effortlessly as the wind from the sea with tears in her eyes cheeks cheeks and teeth

A new mother not an imitation a new mother a new mother who renders this death in life her tears to be renewed as in the days of old

Her tears our tears for time for time to be renewed the fleeting of of this death in life how light shines on the walls from the windows the reeds how they gather perceptible wind


How tears gather how the mourners gather tears lifting so effortlessly so light to render this kiss this kiss is life rendering death

Pray how the body comes and pray how the wind comes by these tears obey the body the wind in the reeds this camera pace the two pace the two in a circle in a circle the center of the world that has no circumference multiple centers for the eyes this death in life how the body comes how her life alights wind

Light thoughts light think light the child the child thinks light prays her kiss so light this shot around so effortless a central event this camera track circle pace a light the child’s kiss

Labor on the waves a play of light dies it renders life dead and living play on the waves the way reeds tend

We tend toward wind camera pace renewal of the eyes light in the eyes this death in life she breaths again she gasps she kisses no imitation

No mother in resemblance go down the two to reed beds go down the two to win this innocence child pray kiss child pray