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A rock on which the sea may crash,
revealing endless surfing depths
to sky and life, can’t hold embrace
but yields the water to its waves.

Yet scattered waters pool and shimmer,
evaporate on summer days,
or freeze to make the footsteps shake,
or drink into a gull or mouse.

Stone so solid mortal too:
eroding sand and molecules
dissolved will soon release to fall
down to the seafloor deeping blue.

Through dark and day they stand and seethe,
so closely placed by nature’s play.
A shore unoceaned never was,
nor weeping vastness uncontained.

Oh droplet mist! oh crystals drowned!
may never merge, but ever churn.

(“Eros”)




this mess seems a molasses morass
under the undulating stomach churn noise
wrack-ridden donkey hopers hole-in-one it
celophane stretchers babybuggybumping downstairs
the goose-alas lass swatting moths aflame
ether-breather oracle thoraces crackle
gadflown tyrants pop chuckle buttons
heaving motorists sputter traffic circle lane changes
killerrobots suspect us of disloyalty
putter pandas zoo-mewl new eulogies
birds dropping out of the sky
antipositive ions posit idle locksecrets
careless curators’ tendon torsion tightens
aching eaglets maw maw for fishsnacks
cyanide bombs on the dewstrewn verdure
overflight roarsoarers drop engine parts
centerheld solidity winds a slow waltz
windy galaxy wings collide mercilessly
the definition function furnishes fun hideaways
calisthenic classes silence spent bitcoins
faucet readers ideate vidiotriolic vedas
paucity coffers sinkhole hardworking caps-n-gown
keys jingle in opening old drawers
wary-weary-staring panopticon watchers willaway
cadence delivery driver wheelies mudspin
may the moon upon us new anew




but listen listen to the leaves
scutting asphalt in the lot
listen listen to my love
unfettered from my thoughts
limn a lim'rick in the dark
just past the busy lights
obscene absolving in the deep
uncharacter my life
control control the giddy gush
fitting bark to tender shoots
control control the living fire
unwaver from the truth




God’s voice speaks to the soul
The soul speaks to the person
Person speaks to tribe
Tribe speaks to city
City to nation
Nation to world
World speaks to God’s ear

“Might makes right” is an
ear speaking to a voice

God’s oven houses the world
The world’s oven houses the nation
Nation houses city
City houses tribe
Tribe the person
Person soul
The soul houses God’s flame

“Might makes right” is a
flame housing an oven

A speaking ear and
an unhoused flame
A listening ear and
a cooking flame

These are the ways of
people in the world.

(2016)



PAI MEI is walking a mountain trail

a track retraced by littler feet
the progress of animal vigor
kicked rocks line the way
scat scattered, twig twisted
beasts of scent and chase
claw a soul into mountain flesh

a rocky brow-wrinkle
wrinked by littler creases
each a path through unreasoning darkness
a disordered ordering of stone by life
interspecies cooperation without purpose

PAI MEI is walking on this mountain trail

footfalls beat rhythm to his center
to deepest harmony of his heart

the yellowing forest hears him pass
he hums the onward toll of time

sun-redded flower fuzz

(2016)



PAI MEI sings a hymn of praise
  words of love unknown
  in tender motion drawn
  springlike
  from silent pool of cool clear heart
  "what stirred?“
  the water-shadowed whiskers of dormant desire
  to whom? to where?
  source without vessel
  wonder unpurposed
  notes leap and shrilling
  melody jerk and haw
  like a fishhook line

PAI MEI sings this song of praise
  while clubbing meat to death for life
  "the sound of a fish slapping against the shore”
  we swim in a river we watch out from ourselves
  current risen falls like a lapping wave

(2016)



PAI MEI sleeps in a tiger-trap
  walking through the woods
  eyes closed gently chanting
  he heard the snapping woven branches
  felt the forest floor collapse
  the shaking of the fall
  time stilled to slow
  to speak the chant’s last syllables
  to hear his echo in the pit

PAI MEI sleeps in this tiger-trap
  an arm or leg was pierced
  but heart and voice beat strong
  he feels the warmth beneath him
  of a tiger’s fading world
  a bed of fur and folly
  to nap until the hunters come




These are words that go into your mind. I, Brian Brock, write them from my mind, and at the very moment you read them (now) they go into your mind. I perform a certain activity which, upon sufficient exercise of your own faculties, produces the letters comprising these words. We produce the letters materially into contrasting colors such that the shapes represent conventionally determined sounds and/or their indicated meanings. Whether the meanings are depicted as straightforwardly as possible in this visual medium, or by an intermediate such as sound which by a second layer of convention represents various meaning-forms residing in the space between your mind and the convention, as you read them the meanings impress upon your thoughts. These thoughts place a permanent shape into your feelings, memories, and upon the both recognized and unconscious language network surrounding you and your various interlocutors. This has already happened as a direct result of your having read the preceding sentences, and continues to happen up to this point. I further note that given our language protocol and the necessary investment of self into the acquisition thereof, these meanings and your comprehension of them are an iteration of a continuously refracting portrait of meaning stretched within a language space which comprehends us incomprehensible. This language space precedes our comprehension of it. The meanings which are thus communicated precede this communication.




Corn monoculture opposite
Prairie remnant restoration
Below, the working farmer fields
Stalk up green from bare brown dirt
Th’ ecologists’ ‘rods 'n’ asters rise
Plants and soil all the way down
Out the windows as their Subaru
Drives the grassy ruts between




After joy the wise go home
The world is very large
Within Krishna’s cloak
Many terrors also thrive

The vast and frigid ocean
Holds a burning core
Our world insulates
The embracing opposites

Joy isn’t enlightenment
It’s a smile of recognition
There’s a reason old friends
Departed long ago

Wandering in this forest
I’ve worn a circle path
The hissing in the clearing
The berries in the brambles




So, something compels us to believe in our invisible selves:
our common manifestation of the something is in language.
This being in whose grammar we reveal our inner divinity is
a prophet and priest of the oracle.

Now, language also breeds humanity’s awakening organism:
the prophet, who in ourselves seeing our selves
forms and informs eye and optics and object,
dwells in the world harvesting selfhood.

Now then, a being carries us body and spirit:
the being maintains we believe we exist and,
in this way, the being sees itself manifest:
God is a Metaphor for God.




Impostor: I am not to be believed.

Impostor Syndrome: my belief that I am not to be believed is not to be believed.

Impostor Impostor Syndrome: my belief that my belief that I am not to be believed is not to be believed is not to be believed.

Impostor Impostor Syndrome Syndrome: my belief that my belief that my belief that I am not to be believed is not to be believed is not to be believed.




Brian Brock, 2019