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Anne Tardos From Luminous Clusters

At five I knew much more
                              than I was capable of saying.


                    my path unfolded
                              like a tree in the middle of Paradise.


Where I understood that life is the dancer and
                    I am the dance.

          That is why my life is not mine
                              but I am its.



Turns out
without viruses
the earth
          and everything on it would perish.

Apparently quickly
very quickly
          in a matter of days
          maybe even hours.


Could it be that
everything here is exactly as it should be?



Our Sun is said to
                    one day
                    have a spectacular grand finale.

Light is then a planet’s privilege
                    our light
                              poetic light.



                    Poe’s Raven is 108 lines long
divided into 18 six-line stanzas.

Many Buddhist temples have 108 steps
          while Penelope did have 108 lovers.


          In Japan
          a bell is chimed 108 times for
          the New Year.



                              Living in the present
                                        you’ll never be lovelier than you are



Clouds feel like art
                    bedroom feels like spaceship
                              desktop feels like stuff.

Rhyming feels like dictionary
                    fluidity feels like language
                              mirror feels like infinitude.

The hand feels like five places
          nostalgia feels like missing the point.

Words feel like change
          pockets feel like words
                    overcoats feel like envelopes.

Stairs feel like concepts
          moon feels like the sea
                    its gleam feels like silence.

Water feels like continuity
          movement feels like space
                    time feels like air.

Not writing feels like writing.


Swiss Alps
enormous mountain dogs
where stern innkeepers serve up hot soups.


Total attention being paid
          to demands
as expectations allow for human fragility.


Koala bear thought process
                                       later than you think.


Mangled disambiguation hiccup
Claire de lune flashlight personification
modest shrinkage
scandalous transliteration.

                    Textual surface
Lispector’s non narration
writing that eliminates the notion
of representation.

A text that’s alive
Meaning and non-meaning
mystery between the lines.

    “A text saying something
          is very different from
          what it’s supposed to say.”



Nobody said anything about
                    the extraordinary festivities ahead
                    sparkling blue invitations notwithstanding.


The open piano
a forest of language
relentless uncertainty.


Paying attention
          paying the price
                    paving the sidewalk
                              when it’s still dark.


Death would not exist
were it not for humans’
imaginary rapport to it.


     The mysterious experience
          of déjà vu
                    speaks to the simultaneity of time.


          like water
like pebbles
          gently rolls across my feet

reminds me of
a pencil on a chair
like air.

Chair reminds me of the color of air
                    unlike paper and despair.


Something written
          that is indirect
informal and unforeseen.

To be frank
to keep one’s hands clean
show one’s cards.

          Luminous days!

In the garden of paper and words.


Words that are quotations of themselves
tend to avoid
the poetic edifice.






Jigsaw Jeremy significant discharge.

Voluntary epigraph secretive palm tree.

Various worried men.

Jaunty music

          situational banter

semigloss Ricola

          starving starships.


Dingo visibility do not forget
                    just yet
                              do not forget.





The musicality of a text offers
          rare pleasures of sound’s falling cadence.

a shadow of complex images
          from the fragments of a mind.


Bunny rabbit
          apricot pit
                    selenium consumption
                              buffalo vandalism
                                        secretive habitat
                                                  boomerang singsong.


Victimized booksellers wearing turquoise satin bathrobes
          enjoy singing
                    perfectly composed Pindaric odes.



Your smile
reminds me
of the stillness
behind you.


Where to from here?
                    I ask myself
                    quietly realizing that I’m already there.


                    The figure of the road
the imagery along the way
are fictional.

The beast is imaginary
beauty is imaginary
imagination itself is imaginary.


And here
                    life wants to be formed
                    thoroughly loved
                    and illuminated.


On occasion
                              I pick up the crumbs
                              that great minds leave behind.
                    very humbly
          with such modesty and trepidation
that is almost euphoric.

Anne Tardos, French-born American poet, is the author of eleven books of poetry and several performance works. Her writing is renowned for its fluid use of multiple languages and its innovative forms. Among her recent books of poetry are The Exploding Nothingness of Never Define; The Camel's Pedestal; I Am You; NINE; Both Poems.
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