Three Poems by Norman Fischer

by: Norman Fischer

Whether it’s “a case of graphomania” or “Thoughts in brain & a dream or three,” Norman Fischer’s poetry engages through association. World, dream, self, other, all commingle in the pre-logic of disjunction. What can we know for sure other than “Once something distinctly occurred?” because for poetry “It’s trying all day long.” 

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The Urgency

That would be a failure of nerve

Umm….. can’t see above the dunes contrary

If there’s no ruling or prevailing idea

It’s just a case of graphomania

I’ll cut up a few more for dinner

At long last just anything at all satisfies

So how choose — relax

About it there can be a crack or even

More than one. Don’t

Pester her any more than you have to

The two of us talking over the transom

 

Where I Draw the Line

My heavenly half yearns for yours

The stones around here must have been baked

Centuries ago that palm tree’s trunk’s preposterous

As are the turquoise eyes of the slender girl

Who says she knows

How to break things

From the inside

But I’m too hard of hearing

To have screamed when she said, Mister can you shred a crime

It’s a great shame that no one can read at speed any more

They’re all funding a creepy definition all crafted

By Big Data to explain them

I’m not buying any more supplements

I draw the line just about here

 

Poem on reading the news while looking out the window November 2006

Fog pours over hilltop bedsheets jumbled hair shocked

Staples stacked in boxes eggs in cartons butter on bread cheese on cracker

Thoughts in brain & a dream or three today’s syllogism built neat square

Built up toward sky till crate that holds them’s tipped – eggs break hair snarls sheets flap days weeks upend

Fog pours over hilltop

 

The wooden fish is cracked KGB agent poisoned sushi who’s killing who? I’m killing you’re they’re

we’re he she killing us in song colorful mutual eating

Killing & killing’s killing

Killing so kill kill merrily

If kill you must & kill with trust

That when the killing’s done

There’ll always be just only one

Final killing’s kill

 

I’m seeing as if for the first time a pot hung from a hook

Seeing for the second time a dish as yet uncracked

But when at last the day is done and time hangs heavy on my head

I’ll see a brush perhaps a broom watertap burner’s flame veined leaf

As if for the last time

 

What’s that sound? A tread upon the step a saw sawing fly flying rain raining? In the desert there’s

seldom rain but always music, desert’s quiet music rustle of a lonely little breeze –

 

Look at them long enough and objects in the rearview mirror

Disappear

Objects do not depart

Look at their edges & you’ll see outlines dissolve in reverie a bird falls from a tree joys

in movement we call flight but a bird can’t fly & there’s no joy in grass for birds – see how still the tree

is still while the rose bush twitches

Spread the visual world ignites as you would a match in the candle of your eye

Pour forth like butter

Into your dark ear

 

Something happened to me once but I forgot or something happened

Where or how and to whom I cannot say

Is it good?

Once something distinctly occurred

I was this pain and it ended

 

When I came to the last page of the book I did not know what color it was

In doubt I looked at my shoe something fundamental & true the ground I walk on

If it had not been my shoe it would have been my foot-skin and if not that then something else

If there was a color I couldn’t describe it

If I’m doubtful it’s not for lack of trying

It’s trying all day long

 

When I came to the last page of the book I did not know what color it was

In doubt I looked at my shoe something fundamental & true the ground I walk on

If it had not been my shoe it would have been my foot-skin and if not that then something else

If there was a color I couldn’t describe it

If I’m doubtful it’s not for lack of trying

It’s trying all day long

 

Norman Fischer’s latest collections are “Conflict” (Chax, 2012), “The Strugglers” (Singing Horse, 2013), and “Escape This Crazy Life of Tears: Japan 2010” (Tinfish, 2014). He is a Zen priest, founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation, who lives in Muir Beach, CA.

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