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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 10, 2018.
About this Poem 

“I wanted condensed color in places then color degraded and bleeding out into other spots. In order to perform this poem successfully, I try to concentrate on skating only its silences. I break the line quickly to make it fall tall and thin, like the Watts Towers. This way I can identify the silences streaming through a little easier as I'm reading. My partner recently asked me to read this poem as I was preparing to perform, but he couldn't remember the title. When I asked him to describe it, he said, ‘You know, the poem where you describe all the colored gasses.’”
—Cedar Sigo

Arsenal 4

Cinders 
in clotted 
smoke
stone of 
the war 
and its gleaming
battle plans 
reduced to 
perfection
the floors reappear 
in silent 
symphonic gestures,
a folded paper
calico window 
hung with tiger 
skins, knocking twice
at night 
Jerusalem red 
lamps
worn more 
as a garland 
than her smear turning 
trampled door
breaking the fall 
scribbles
under square jars, 
giants
in long fits
in hieroglyphics 
the painters 
weaned on
bent reed pens 
drilled holes, blood 
ink of gorgons 
(violet)
sample of 
the sirens
hooked
in delay over
and underwater
approaches
replete
faint
bluish grey 

Copyright © 2018 by Cedar sigo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 10, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Cedar sigo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 10, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Cedar Sigo

Cedar Sigo

Cedar Sigo is the author of Royals (Wave Books, 2017). He lives in San Francisco, California.

by this poet

poem

Hung up on
my hearing
and deep in whose
playbook
one too many
nights and never
a black-out
Doing the best
I can, only a man
It hurts me too
Blues in the night
Verlaine Blues
sitting here thinking
a blues for Anne
(all nerves)
and mine

poem
I cut out the "Heart with Snowflake"
Myself but it is not mine, Forget
This bloody coat bloody shirt, I
Think it is the writing that makes
Me sick, The scores and scores of
Incidental music, this nosebleed all
Spring all wet, I'm positively angry
with the Impertinence of it! I'm
Sewing up the kinks in this film
poem

We will live forever misaligning the changes
into further time stinted tricks
giving up post kickflip failures
scribbling prepared remarks to notebooks
unlocked over dry spells flooded with demand
salt crystals crushed, the past flashed
and I was a working writer, nursing the pools