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August 5, 2008 The Arsenal, Central Park, New York City From the Academy Audio Archive

Maroon Canoe

o canoe, maroon canoe 	
over mesmeric waves we row
over an azure ionian sea
over mariners' mum communion
over icarus's un-ascension
over men-o'-war + runner missions
over ice-run ruins, over anxious cruises
over seismic omens + vesuvian ooze 
we row, we row
ravenous sea, reassure me 
reserve me an amnesia, caesura, 
a serene unconscious ease

o canoe, maroon canoe
we row in seven rains + six monsoons
we row in summer snows
seven seasons wax + wane
we row near sorceress circe's manor 
(six + seven swine nurse acorns, en masse aware)			
we row near sirens + swoon severe
(voices immerse us, caress our ears in razor arias), 
we row near mermen, oceanic emissaries on a wave
our oars announce us in murmur, in susurrous music
sonorous sea, connoisseur in snare: un-accuse, excuse me
aeonic erosion, receive me, examine + rewire 
cure me + rename

a carmine sun commences an aurora, an amorous soiree
one moon arc answers in romance
orion rises + canis minor carves noir
a near aroma—some essence, some evanescence—
arouses in me remorse + reminiscence: 
some once omission, some non-reunion, some
mirror version, some overcome 
evasion, a misnomer, a woe, a sorrow—  o canoe, 
maroon canoe, o sea swerve, o
ceremonious casanova, 
o crimson sea serene, 
unweave our sinuous maze, our nexus
renew me, new—no 
secrecies, evasion—
a sum immersion in a now

o raw maria on moon, o unison sun, 
o universe worn in unconcern,
issue a summons, convene + reconvene
+ answer me
is a souvenir a sorrow sewn
are cocoons meaner secrecies
is erasure a crime
is reverence so rare
is an error ever overcome

soon, maroon canoe; soon, reservoir severe: 
a missive scriven in cruor, in rime

From Spring, published by University of Illinois Press. Copyright © 2008 by Oni Buchanan. Used with permission.

From Spring, published by University of Illinois Press. Copyright © 2008 by Oni Buchanan. Used with permission.

Oni Buchanan

by this poet

I'm writing to you from the loneliest, most
secluded island in the world. I mean, 
the farthest away place from anything else.

There are so many fruits here growing on trees
or on vines that wrap and wrap. Fruits
like I've never seen except the bananas.

All night the abandoned dogs howled.
I wonder if one dog

Today Mr. Rufo died. During a game of bocce ball, 
he leaned on his friend's shoulder and died.
Just five minutes before we found out, Jon and I 
had been walking with our dumb, bourgeois fruit smoothies,
and we stopped by a bush that had all these purple flowers
bursting out of it

oni, u rancorous scam, u  r  no rare ace.
no common sense. no sure win.
no amour. no sex. no career.
no suave swimwear, size six.
no amazonian eminence.
no renaissance in consciousness.
mere ire over asinine nuance.
u  r  so mesozoic era.

u rinse romaine +