Rotation by Anthony Mariani

The nubs of the gears lick one another,

a succession interlocking into

pure momentum, drive, and the world revolves

Around which runes will we trace our fingers?

Days of wheels, hours of patient waking

forgetfulness, of cruel un-mindfulness

betray the black energy that pulses

without discretion in the stern actions:

the sweeping of floors, the eating of foods,

the activations of sex projects, of reports

The big architecture is globular

Fragments flake off, revealing clouds and sky

and the forged splines of the architecture,

a matrix of rust, curvilinear,

intersecting beams, a skeleton globe

trapped in sky, heaving, circular, bowing

The architecture is circumferential

Beneath the fragments are assorted dirts

Beneath the stars are birds, nightwings in flight

White geometric planes waver and fold,

cultivating some semblance of time

What will we say after our earths have fallen?

Facing the globe has become expensive

and chancy; gossamer looks falling in

and out of earshot, the sonority

resurfaces as a marble façade,

a statement writ in fab-ulous! angles,

leaving soundlessly a cold sweep of air,

a kiss of the weather, a single drop

of rain, alone, bound, and indeterminate

always, never to be again solved

Purchased and sold, invested and measured,

the stream of days forces remembrances

of hands folded in prayer, of the office,

of shorties in autumn, and of hooch

The night unfolds luminously,

a succession of light rays pushing out

to the outer boundaries of vision

A snake carves a book into sand and waits

Are we down for cataract surgery?

Time has a cracked face from which we’ve divined

glyphs, oxen, cross-hatchings, stars, lions’ heads

The start of time is necessitated

by the vacuum at the end of the world,

where the eagle and sun dance The Watusi

and from which we depart on the last day

The moon curves into a gray memory

The leaves have begun to turn reddish brown,

and filtering through our layers of skin

are millions of rolled eyeballs, crashing through

What have become of our stolen phrases?

A thousand nights atop the gold mountain

have led to absolute blindness, nearly

Anthony Mariani has just completed his first work of long-form fiction, The Bloomfield Diaries, a hybrid novel excerpted in Smallwork, Ben Marcus’ literary magazine, and in No Record Press’ annual Red Anthology. Anthony’s fiction and poetry have also appeared in Calamari Press’ literary magazine,Sleepingfish, and in The Foliate Oak. A Columbia University grad (J’98), Anthony makes his living as a journalist, whose arts criticism and reportage have been published in The Village VoiceThe Oxford American, and Paste magazine, among other publications. He lives with his lovely wife Dana in Fort Worth, where he is associate editor of Fort Worth Weekly, one of the last remaining independently owned alt-weeklies in the country.

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