Sleight-of-Hand

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March 14, 2012 by The Citron Review

by José Luis Gutiérrez

 

It’s the reason that poem
about a bonobo aspiring
toward celibacy doesn’t work.
Sense being made to
stretch like skin
for narrative’s surgical fit.
The word for rain
should fall like rain
and fire leap off
the page like a cat.
So claimed Hanshan
or his distant relative Wu-Shoe.
Remember one sublime articulation
is all it takes to derange the moon.
Let metaphor uncage
you into errancy.
Time to reshuffle the deck:
make eye the heir
to song’s lost currency.
Feed certainty to the groundlings.
For once and all acknowledge:
flesh was the first simile
we were given,
to feel, conjure,
never truly inhabit.

 

José Luis Gutiérrez is a San Francisco poet. He is also the host of the BookShop West Portal PoetrySeries. His work has appeared in Spillway, Eratio, 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, San Francisco Poets 11, Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts, Margie, Letterbox,DMQ, Apropos Literary Journal and is forthcoming in Scythe Literary Journal, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Symmetry Pebbles and the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Anthology due out 2012 through PM Press.

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