Our Secular Rituals on Cubist Stairs

Wheelchair pageant, a circus of legs
Doctors peep inside and embrace her sand
flexing a plastic speculum to see the red deer inside her
If I were a bird I’d flee my search for truth
for a loner’s circus parfum
There are hidden rules that determine how to cross this city

Look, there’s Sharon Olds’ erection in the Illinois asylum for feeble-minded children
And at a zoo during Berlin’s happy hour
older submissive women show their cunts
The Circus Fat Lady said, “I feel like everything in my life was in preparation for this moment.  Everything I know I learned from this peepshow”

Spandex wearing disco monkeys in a vatic hum
where women juggle their own skeletons
Benjamin Bourlier is a fiddler on a carnival train to New Orleans
The difference between a private show and a peepshow
involves weeing in church, marrowing illustrated

Men with boners wear spandex in a dog’s circus
Catching his lover’s gaze, “I am all over the oblique ascension process of achieving
The meadow intentions of an octopus
The dystopia that shines a light ahead of cars
My search for truth has been totally harshed by carnival midway images

Hairy skinny, a suite grotesque on bitterness
A naked mermaid asked, “What do they call dildos?  Strangle monkeys?”
Squirting Teraoka Sarah and the dream octopus said, “Show me a big dildo”
A man in a wheelchair deprived of housewives
In the empty quarter, a fire eater
a violet racked starling

There is a boy on the ground in front of a woman
The woman, the knife, the circus: an illustrated torrent
Is there a poem called “Thinking of you when your cat is ill?”
The fat mermaid, “she floats as if she’s swimming in blood”
her mermaid muscles are hoodwinked going underwater

The orphan and its relations, a “counter rhythm” to the mermaid fortune teller
How to build a peepshow in Elizabeth, NJ?
Lose weight, focus, blur into circus couture
A knife thrower and the limbless lady form a wind sculpture
Human arms tattooed on an ugly circus figurine

If the pleiades were side show barkers
turning wind into elegy
then a scaffold of cannibal women and their mental issues, vaudeville animal acts
A terminal man’s right to peep
We stand in the shadows of the trapeze woman
who paints stillness into a mobile world

A polaroid of the human skeleton and a woman juggling his machinic gaze
The person outside a peepshow ushering people inside
using the human skeleton’s hand positions
Note the octopus’ sucking action
A regenerative rug rescue in New York
Octopus sucking lady

Float – float, flowing the sky  – What poem can’t be made out of circus legs?
A human skeleton reflection
A man with no eyes or cigarettes
A woman statue with no arms, broken
A fortune teller tensed dreamreading red rose

The human spontaneous involuntary invisibility in our dark carnivals

A circus school for dolls in an ocean sky soft green
The “sense of place that occurs then at the juncture between space and time”
Sign footings, a collection of vegetables
Let’s play the rock paper scissors game to exhibit patterns of art or other activity
Jill Magi’s Slot like an Annandale dream
A chorus interstice like a man ruffled in wind and motion
backwards and illumined
who doesn’t need the earth’s help with his suitcases
“A delicious tremor going wild with animalistic need”

Everyone everywhere
Everyone everywhere
Everyone everywhere

Skirt, wind

A woman’s legs describe being stretched and filled with:
a featheralphabet, cross-stitch, daguerrotype
They breathe oxygen in their inhabited nothingness chairs
They throw stones at her body to enjoy this film


His body did not want her body to be an activity for preschoolers

or a funeral shield
Her body once belonged to young giants
who colored in comfort
My body draws its own dresses
There is a salty smell, something fibrous in the air
like an educational exhibit
Fat percentages vibrate, she goes numb when she lies down
her hair hurts
She jerks awake when she falls asleep
Jittery, her joints fill with clear liquid as though she floats on the ocean
The pleasure in absorbing vitamin D
She is a spearfish
She is printable
She quivers and quotes
She is the shape of a song
She meditates like a valentine in an envelope
Her thyroid vibrates when she sleeps
“My boy, my love, my mangafox,” she said
The body burns toward its final architect in anatomy
a structural and functual unit, a photographic essay
The body disappears, diagrams, finds like a finding factory

The human as holiday heals itself

A Spanish temple made of water and bones
Close your eyes to the language of horses
A museum of muscle, magic
Her body a novella that never lies hidden and quantum
She remembered rituals of the nacirema
revealed, rampantly forgotten
a toxic talk system, tapwater temples
up brush from panache
Our shapes wrapped in worksheets
where language sleeps like a monument, an impotent display of knowledge
The body performs distances
paints, quotes, makes metaphors that sound oceany
like mistakes, vice scissors dangerously

The sun cracked open and kissed her

Language would like to be a movie
Language has been scientifically tested for interest
Broken and found in Hawaii, cobalt blue discussions of his body
as if it was a summary fallen to earth
His body in pieces and made out of swords
His body a genesis sedan
A forehead kiss tells a different story
Proof has been both canceled and renewed
If he shakes, he’s nervous, or decomposing in my locker
His body a Japanese toy
His body recovered from a church
and restored to a broken that makes us free
His body a playground for the Nazi elite
They lay down more fat and actually consume themselves
both cavity and calendar



[Anne Gorrick lives in West Park, New York, and is the author of I-Formation (Book 2) (Shearman Books, 2012), I-Formation (Book 1) (Shearsman Books, 2010), and Kyotologic (Shearsman Books, 2008). Collaborating with artist Cynthia Winika, she produced a limited edition artists’ book called “Swans, the ice,” she said with grants through the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  She curates the reading series, Cadmium Text, which focuses on innovative writing in and around the New York’s Hudson Valley. She co-curates, with poet Lynn Behrendt, the electronic poetry journal Peep/Show. Her visual work can be seen at: www.theropedanceraccompaniesherself.blogspot.com.]



Copyright © 2012 by Anne Gorick, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.