Velocity Text

Flat seas, frozen axe.
The levelling force of vortex.


   Daughter, my laughter >

faster and faster.


   Stones blossoming,


      mammalling plants.

The man in my body com-
posing a poem > his fox-box.


     King bed.


         Velocity text.

Dreams demanding I give up sleep
that heaves me, harrowed, elsewhere—
Stoat approaching,       also crow, I’m



at the window

slipping into thinness of erasure;
nothing in the foreground
presses back.

Questions and Answers

What motivated you to write this poem? How does the poem reflect this inspiration?

This poem begins with a skewing of a line by Franz Kafka written in a letter to his friend Oskar Pollak: “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us,” and unfolds with a kind of automatic force, pulling in images and ideas from here and there like a tornado. The poem takes up Kafka’s “belief” and descends with it to the point of “erasure”—where the notion of presence is destabilized.

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