Compression at center

Compression at center


less like a house, than a house

condensed, excavate layers in rooms

to grab at pieces, where they pinned

with last rites, tie ends together

in tether. And we rift through papers

and wan fabrics, and we sigh


and we are drawn uncomforting close

by a house pulled close in gravity

and unmerciful thoughts, the way

a house responds in a dense way

that maddens us, as a way

impossible to let go


the dense way a house responds

to conspiracies of sic and non, some in tune,

some with words bring crescendo

at table. In a place, cradled, “my heart

the shape of a begging bowl”,

where the founder’s catalog

of these objects is an alm—


less like a house, than a house

that now shrinks, or in caveat,

retreats, from caverns of ourselves

visible as cloth on the table—

as porcelain figures, cookbook

of inedible appetizers, cigar boxes,

rubber bands indexed by color

and weight, the ends

of garden hoses; no longer utilized

of their worth


and we compute story lines

in our minds, and we are drawn together

by compression at center. Convinced as we are

of value, collected to objects, as if the objects

were stories within ourselves. With them, we retell

a portion of ourselves that we have always told well,

human as we are


a mattress with the impression that I slept here, or

a wooden salad bowl into which knowledge

of outlier planets spills in gravity, for the center

of the house draws down, under the weight

of perceived value


and the lines a story trail—

couch cushion compacted to hold

in service of bodies that fell

from near heights, suggests

that we slept here, human as we are.

Inside the slept pattern

of gravity, we ourselves convinced

of the storyline, drawn together

by compression at center


as if the house were a depth, and we can no longer

expand here, having misplaced pressure. This excavation

suggests we slept and ate here, gathered in a bowl

into which we spill toward center, as much

as the storyline of the waiting at table

for prayer to arrive; and the clap of domino,

the wine barrel cataract, the maddening

impression, the sole owner

waiting for the prayer to arrive


digs a trench into center; we are visible there

in polaroid layers, red eyed and alive,

knew then that we were alive but in comfortable,

constellated positions, less like a house,

than a house in compression,

extreme excavation method

in being human as we are


where death is requisite, and convinced

as we are, we deconstellate beings

spill in to porcelain figures; the empty

cigar box we carry like waited prayer, the grave

plaque granted to no one who can hold it,

heavy as it is, and no room

in layers at center, gravity

spilling in as compressed

as we are now



4 thoughts on “Compression at center”

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