Your voice on the phone against cloud-flung sky of blue, the blue of your mood.

Unearthly screams. This is the point where earth and air from one another rend. Fog drifts. Edge of the world, they say. Edge of the wyrd.

On the tracks stand waiting skeleton cars. One might imagine that they were bereft of cargo. Forms of emptiness, forms and their emptiness I put

my breath into their empty forms.



The moon splits into two moons, one brilliant against blue black sky, the other a print, a film, a kiss. What strange effect of light, I love you.

Mouthy clatter of eaves coursing excess, melt a warmcold rush in tingling air too suddenly bright. A ceramic goat wearing a red ribbon. My body absorbs changes in the degrees and types of air staleness. What we breathe circulates within us and without us, binds and unbinds us, a loose and impermanent loop. If we could see the air we share, see it in cords that make visible our interbreathing, what thickspun tapestry would pull us close. Stale the air I breathe

is not your air we

could share. Moon blue hair.

On a wintergreen verge where sleeping became an ongoing careen, parting spirit from body, mutually unmaking forever.



wintergreen verge] verge, worshipping




I don’t believe in “Satan” exactly, but when I reached for the towel in the bathroom, half asleep, dry crooked night fingers reached back.

In the nightmare, he made everyone dress up, stand in a row, and watch.

Death invades the skin, seeps in through rotting crevices.

Before the Biblical character of Satan was developed—mostly in accounts of Christ battling the Devil, but also in apocalyptic Jewish literature written before the New Testament—it was understood that God created both good and evil. Isaiah 45:7: I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Where worship slept and fell, on a verge between spirit and receding spirit.



worship] impossibly, you




From turbulence, what?

What emptiness.

Sometimes the visionary epiphany is a simple one: night.

And I saw cops taking photographs of all of the protestors.

O green vigor of the swinging gun.

O green vigor of the belt and the bullet proof vest, O vigor of the visor and O!

green vigor of the polycarbonate riot shield.

With each one who stops to read the sign, I fall in love.

You said, I’m high on you and it meant something.

The baby cries louder & louder. The witch in the trees.



witch] wing


Claire Marie Stancek is the author of Oil Spell and MOUTHS. With Jane Gregory and Lyn Hejinian, she co-edits Nion Editions, a chapbook press. She lives in Oakland, California. The selections included here are taken from her third book, wyrd] bird, which is forthcoming from Omnidawn this fall.

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