John Martone: A suite of poems from Molecular Lament

Cecilia Vicuña quipu menstrual 2006
Cecilia Vicuña quipu menstrual 2006

thread
bare

for Cecilia Vicuña

                Their books were loose bundles of string.
                                                -- Charles Mann

just
about
done

here

dressed in
rags


~


story
of

yr life
string

all
balled up


~


in
the end

telo
meres

&
spindle –
some

children’s
book


~


all those
cells

di
viding

there
you are


~


want
to ask

those
chromo
somes

                why

~


such a clever
molecule

making you
not so


~


-- all those
hy

drogen
bonds

& you’re
still
lonely?


~


there it
goes
again

that
codon


~


all those cells
dividing

& you never
feel a thing


~


get
ting
too

big
for
your

brit
ches
that

mo
le
cule


~


take
all
those

mo
le
cules

tie
your
shoe


~


still
lost in
that

tangle
of

inter
state

roads
last night’s

dream
a thread


~


some molecules
dream up pictures

that are nothing –
there you go


~


you pick
that knot
apart

& then
what? –
tie it

again?
study
its length

in sun
namely
nothing --

or just
the sun?
                                  -- john martone
                   summer 2012

[NOTE. Both John Martone and Cecilia Vicuña have appeared several times on Poems & Poetics. With Martone my fullest accounting of his work & achievement as a poet was in the posting of his poem geometry on August 18, 2009. I describe him there as “our greatest living miniaturist,” an appraisal that holds for me into the present time. The new book from which this comes, Molecular Lament, is ready for publication from Martone’s own imprint (samuddo / ocean), along with an on-line version on his scribd page, http://www.scribd.com/john-martone-2968. (J.R.)]