Bedtime story & Blended space: riddles with bondage
by Lauri Ramey
[ poetry - june 04 ]
Someone asks for similarities, wakes me up.
I'm guessing wooden steps, a farmhouse,
it tends to fade. Dried-out stuff under the steps,
a clue, like purple fringe in a gallery.
I walk up the steps, don't jump or stumble,
but gravity in my head swings me off the boards.
The first instinct, before pain: distrust
when the head's not upright, as if it remembered
its soft skull vertebra, vibration
we're controlled by fragile spines. After the dark
curl we're born in, all we want: to unwind,
build three kinds of columns, crush snails underfoot.
But in sleep, several factors: sleep alone?
How old's this mattress?
Sleep a long time, short time? What about
the little girl and her creature of straw?
For the first few years she would scream
in her sleep. She grew up, he was an old friend.
Now they often fall asleep together, walk up
narrow wooden steps moving from the hip.
Along the way, they ask for a likeness.
A voice says Leviticus, shh, sleep.
Blended space: riddles with bondage
This poem is written in quatrains alternating with couplets. Please adjust the line length.
The horse with its two riders disappears. Pennies and kilts, tongues
and toenails, woodpile cinders. There is some confusion now
among the people of Somerset. The ashes go from door to door
in the shape of a raft, looking for a noose.
That's why we have no windows big enough for an arm
to enter, or burn a candle near the letter Q.
The mercenary grinds her milk. Spread open, for a big cod to put
its tail in the space below. Relatively passive. Turn the soul
upside down. Now cut X's silver repose. Five ways to spell the creature's
name. Buckets of bread, crusts of rowan. Chew as a reward.
And to this very day, we still have our fire in the corner, carry an open
knife, and the golden weathercock remains bent.
Learned Hand's formula: Provide three variables: (1) she will break away;
(2) the gravity of the resulting injury; (3) the burden of adequate precautions.
Possibly a relief if the cage be called H; the treasure, L; and the water-horse, P;
liability depends upon the fish at sea.
He returned with a burnt ring around the left wrist, staring into thin air.
Past Belford Moor, the cave hums at night. My limbs are moved
in the direction that I intend, my limbs are anaesthetized
and cannot move. Descending like a spark, I place my foot
in your palm. Bones like consent. A scaffold for the butternut's lining.
Without being seen as inert.
Rinse away by morning. Composition by biceps and beads. Sweep
the light before you drink your fist. The thirteenth door, where twelve
will open. The outer there of a different stop, the way thralled
objects in the fingerscope recede.
Now they go everywhere where they are wanted, and nowhere
where they are not. The answer is I agree.