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My Daughter Among the Names

Farid Matuk

Difficult once I've said things 

to know them this morning

the lights above the tollway all off 

at exactly 7:36

all "we took our yellow from the pewter sky."

But we have so many 

things!   Stories

about our diction, the leather couch

some trees and our ages.

What about all the rooms the sky makes—

she tried several 

spaces today, under a desk, a nook

bent to her.

I thought of picking a fight

with dead Bachelard.

Her small body a new host for

waters, spaces brought round

for viruses, their articulations, their ranges.  

Think of all the products 

left behind by a shift in design—

iPod cases, dancers called spirit rappers

sites where "women, negroes, natives were acted out" 

for Rev. Hiram Mattison "vehicles of impurity."

"My children too have learned

a barbarous tongue, though it's not so sure

they will rise to high command"— Tu Fu or

Bernadette Mayer on Hawthorne's American Notebooks

a boy tried to hang a dog in a playground, she said.

O structural inequalities!  O explanations!

The owner of the desert house we rented

plants butterfly bushes, cenizo, and columns 

of dark leaves where birds go. 

Sharp sweet dung smell off the horse trailer 

after it pulls away.  

What about all the rooms the sky makes?  

Faint blue expanse

a long far line of electric poles

a mountain I can see.  Dog yelps almost digital

maybe from inside a car at the Dollar General.  

She made her first marks today

on this page      

rain    hand      here

Copyright © 2011 by Farid Matuk. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2011 by Farid Matuk. Used with permission of the author.

Farid Matuk

by this poet


will she be closer to the falling away of the gaze of things than others?
hands on the water she calls scene setting
hands on the table water over the houses and hills swimming
not the ocean or the sea but the frame of time she'll tell of
wild happy yeses in her hands
she bites through in