Primitive State [excerpt]

Anselm Berrigan

 
Thingitation righteousness for pre-avail to drive away the mighty kraken

Put me in a room full of strangers and leave me alone

...cauldron in twine, disarray as fair game, keen ablution borne skeezed...

Forced into assertions by a lack of attention

...the warp we held out in readiness, taking wind off the table, the awe thus retrofitted
within the futility of cleanliness, that mere cost...

But I am not trying to achieve a general unity of impression, which anyway sounds like a
metaphysics of port authority

Clear-cut you are my enemy, alternate pen failing eternity

...bazaar residence, chatty folly, all perks, all codes...

If’n diffident glee

For the appearance of a glove, designed in wood to imitate a mama whooping crane from
the neck up, would prevent the little chick from being humanized by coming through a
hatch in the wall to commence feeding time

Where its nothing personal happens

Selling points envying the rim

The patter of claws as I upload Brahms in the dark

He demonstrated the location of his injury by touching the trainer’s parallel area

...video courtesies, seeing the quiddity a five-headed eagle brings to light, in a touch...

A late run at respectability about to come up short

Mellow radiation lulls with rosemary

T’aint

The window so far behind the what

...drums in the bleep, four savory flavors in mind, forgeries bloody coming after me...

It was indeed a terrible idea to lend a valuable book to a painter

Soon I must go to sleep and simulate someone at rest

Trilobite death wish to replace beer funnels downstairs with

She pours herself into recognition as if every moment is a new one

Should I hide the ointment from the truth

The industry of analyzing that which may

String straps suck

Should I gnaw on everything with my five pesky teeth

To sit back down still high amidst the aggro-squirrel set under amber street light, kid
asleep, paper catching drizzle, phone lurking in pocket

Standards, such as yours, don’t exist

...risers tracking reliquaries, gradations of skill at filling a thirty-second spot...

At some point it became spontaneous to have a plan

A daydream that everyone speaks only in acronyms
 
Copyright © 2013 by Anselm Berrigan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on April 4, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Poems by This Author

Zero Star Hotel [At the Smith and Jones] by Anselm Berrigan
At the Smith and Jones
April frigging 6 by Anselm Berrigan
Meat pies delivered daily from
Poem for circulation by Anselm Berrigan
Things surrounding things


Further Reading

Poems about Language
Anxieties
by Donna Masini
Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views
by Sharon Dolin
Etymological Dirge
by Heather McHugh
Having Words
by Alfred Corn
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
Lines on Nonsense
by Eliza Lee Follen
Making It Up as You Go Along
by Bin Ramke
Onomatomania
by Thomas Lux
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
please advise stop [I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop]
by Rusty Morrison
Poem
by James Schuyler
Reduction
by Page Starzinger
Series
by Geoffrey G. O'Brien
The Composition of the Text
by Adriano Spatola
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart
by Jack Gilbert
The Long Hand Wishes It Was Used
by Jackie Clark
The Translator's Dilemma
by Ann Lauterbach
The World Seems…
by Gregory Orr
Time Study
by Marvin Bell
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve
by Adrienne Rich
Water Music
by Robert Creeley
What Is an Epigram?
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Yes
by Denise Duhamel
Poems about Living
"I'm afraid of death"
by Kathleen Ossip
A Toast
by Ilya Kaminsky
Another Elegy
by Jericho Brown
Ashes of Life
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
August, 1953
by David Wojahn
bonne chance de lycée
by Buck Downs
C'est La Guerre
by Danniel Schoonebeek
Characteristics of Life
by Camille T. Dungy
Corpse Flower, Luna Moth
by Daniel Tobin
Costumes Exchanging Glances
by Mary Jo Bang
Daily Life
by Susan Wood
Difficult Body
by Mark Wunderlich
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
En Route
by Darcie Dennigan
far memory
by Lucille Clifton
First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky
Flowers of Rad
by Sampson Starkweather
Forth Into View, Random Warriors
by Pattiann Rogers
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
from Two Inch Fables
by Marilyn Chin
Frozen
by Natasha Head
How to Uproot a Tree
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
I could suffice for Him, I knew (643)
by Emily Dickinson
I Have a Rendezvous With Life
by Countee Cullen
I Know A Few Things
by Stuart Dischell
In a Landscape: IV
by John Gallaher
In Betweenness
by Pierre Joris
Insomnia
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Life
by Joe Brainard
Life is Fine
by Langston Hughes
Little Night Prayer
by Péter Kántor
Living in Numbers
by Claire Lee
Lost and Found
by Ron Padgett
Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus [excerpt]
by Denise Levertov
Meaning
by Carl Dennis
Meditation 29
by Philip Pain
Montparnasse
by Ernest Hemingway
My Teacup
by Alli Warren
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
On Living
by Nazim Hikmet
On the Gallows Once
by Kofi Awoonor
One Train May Hide Another
by Kenneth Koch
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
Poem Excluding Fiction
by Noah Falck
Preparation
by Effie Waller Smith
Roar Shack
by Alice Fulton
Samurai Song
by Robert Pinsky
Song for Future Books
by Joanna Fuhrman
Songs of a Girl
by Mary Carolyn Davies
Sonnet
by Bill Knott
Spent
by Mark Doty
sugar is smoking
by Jason Schneiderman
Summer in Winter in Summer
by Noah Eli Gordon
Tear It Down
by Jack Gilbert
The Clouded Morning
by Jones Very
The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz
The Life So Short...
by Eamon Grennan
The Old Stoic
by Emily Brontë
The Pain
by Laura Kasischke
The Secret
by Denise Levertov
This is My Life
by William Stanley Braithwaite
Thoughts
by Walt Whitman
Thrown as if Fierce & Wild
by Dean Young
Variation on a Theme
by W. S. Merwin
Virgil's Hand
by Francesc Parcerisas
What the Living Do
by Marie Howe
What Wild-Eyed Murderer
by Peter Meinke
What's Left (Al-Mutanabbi Street)
by Katrina Roberts
Where I Live
by Maxine Kumin
won't you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton
Yellow Beak
by Stephen Dobyns
[I'm not with my]
by Joshua Beckman