"The unsatisfactory state of science,"Francis Bacon writes this: [M]en's
fair meditations, speculations and reasoning are a kind of insanity, only
there is no one standing by to notice it.
are a Kind of Insanity. There, Knowledge is a Hysteria of Order and Language
is a Melancholic rivet of Border & Line. To stand By and Notice might
Loosen, might Rust one Madness but only for the Crazy Steel of another.
This is Mine.
of the Tribe:
These phantoms are birds in the measure of your sedation. Birds
in gladness of your astonishment. Birds in-aviary, perpendicular.
Wheeling high and east, they branch, they dive—full-purple: mental
Phantoms of the Cave:
These phantoms are each other. Not neither. Not opposition in
which is isn’t in matter. So sensation. Not volition but excretion
Phantoms of the Market Place:
These phantoms well from intercourse. Inculcating the walls of
the jugular against equality, we give them their names: We say,
mingle, we say, um-human, um-kindness um flock-collateral. Teaching
the confusion of adore and the deep cuts of possible, these phantoms
secrete milky and litigious tones. Just as the medieval axiom will
besiege the mind, they command. Not minding, they abandoning.
Phantoms of the Theatre:
These phantoms are fragrant. Carefully observed. Seeing, not
see. Frozen where nothing was nothing was never born, these phantoms
are born in ten. Phantom three, were you ever among these? Even
such a question probes the dark roses of my dark-lipped balconyyou
know that trellis and ache. As if your letters were different.
As if you float there floating there in some moaning shiftair
or wind. Drunken & homeless. Wading homeless. But you are
sharp blue edge under the fragments of translucent sleep. You beat
against my manner of sleep. Falling always to the other side of
tower, my phantoms you must move with any speed you please.
starves. So sub. So bred in preposition. This is frenzy &
its inch across golden object & dune. (Silence nips
noun-brain like thunder).
organ player, familia is flute. Dirt in reed, it
poem sulphur and whim. Tight like the lined skin around
eye of a bird, it is essential: the colour matter in word. Free
See Sugar Purpose; see pulpits
fatten and wax. Press edge, throat dulse, dog rail.
Its Range is sum. Soft and thin. Chief
extension. Occasion western. Genus is
Hector cock of the modern splurge. A cross to axe, a chapter
dizzy feather—one by one. There are feathers: blood-tube
bone. Brutish and fragrant pity. Fragrant and
pity. State & resinous. Error or fur. Ash or ash. And
is not an indication nor these slim & silver fluting trees.
din. A strange and shiny pin, not
equipment and tight. Sensual and metal, penal and ribbed,
the trembling air. It is turgid: the vegetable must not
animal path. It is febrile: the mineral must avert its magazine
To defy its earnest wrap is to melt into open chromatic skies‑‑blood
and yellow hair. Like a medium‑sized tent tumultuous
with luxury and
with resistance, species is the inverted bird in an anarchy
suction of luck thought hill‑like. The
suction of acanthus thought
breathing excursion garden. The suction of type
thought strike (our
palms like flint). The suction of time thought
light (our arms like flight) Sudden
and published, spawning and sheer. Kind is its
sharp and silver aspic—pelagic, all dark-pointed, high-polished
To divide is
It is brain fever.
Just as twins are a classical ignorance, class is its own
its own anxious fiction. Happy we are sucking. Happy we
are Thatchers in our hasty pledge—ruddy meat cheeks, and round
fruit. Yet, so girded it turns in victory. Dicked & spotted
thick. Wander stray. Shout advance in ancient rhyme.
Bowel. Class works in scape & shank.
Cold rock. A linguistic membrane of
It registers wound as production, breeze as ignorant, cadence
It shot‑puts with heavy balls into the meniscus of the
shouts burglar and then Father, Father, Father. It is
fine hysteria & comes to
with cause. Once more. Like Paulus, as if in sea, as if at sleep,
the eye & nose.
Christine Stewart lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with Fenn,
Haeden and Ruby. Sections from Taxonomy have been published in
Raddle Moon, Exact Change, The Gig and a chapbook
is forthcoming from West House Books.