Rochelle Owens: From 'Solarpoetics,' (concluded) 16–26

[The following is the conclusion of Rochelle Owens’s major new alphabetic work, earlier sections of which have appeared previously in Poems and Poetics.]



Reading a word does not depend on the number

of letters it contains




The letter P  periodic  orbital 

biological compulsion 

like taste and thirst

and in your


Mammalian brain 


Lovely the pastoral scene

a graphic design 

green the volcanic hills  

the story


Of the shepherdess


In elaborate lettering

heat  cold  wind  water

a flow of menstrual




The stereotype of a lone researcher

in a secluded lab — a science fiction trope




The letter Q  a quartet

in three dimensional space

the butcher  baker  shepherdess 

a solitary workwoman 


Ravenous her lidless eye


Counting letters  spelling

m e l l i f e r o u s  the animal flesh 

the flow of hormonal



Blood in  blood out


From A to Z  a set of skills 

body of data  data

of body  gut  head  tail 

o b l i t e r a t e d



An experiment designed to control the brain 

— movements of limbs with colored lights




                        The letter R  under a red

violet light  an unknown figure

crouches over the



Where the air smells of poisoned rain


An unknown figure digs rows

of small holes  the temperature

of human skin  folds

in the ground 


The root of love  


Blood in  blood out

folds in the ground from front

to back from back to




 Electrical pokes regulate balance  direction

 currents moving neuron to neuron




The letter S  serpentine

the organ of sight  a pair of spherical

bodies in an orbit of the skull 

the eyes 


Nomads  wanderers


Take one step after

the other  here where you walk 

bones push to the



A snarl of fibrous hairs drifting


In circles  chasms and fissures

in the earth   holes  gaps in a sequence

of events  laid down and eroded




Begin with a few humble ingredients  rice flour 

fruit and flowers




The letter T  near a tank

with a spigot stands the baker

collecting words  batter 



Black mold  burnt rolls


Dead white the bakers lips

on his tongue a metallic

taste  more water

in the loaf 


Less flour used 


The story of the baker

A set of skills in sequential order

from A to Z    O wicked




All words may be reproduced  stored in a retrieval system

or transmitted in any form or by any means




                        The letter U  numberless 

tree stumps mark a sequence

of events  rows of



Absence of a picture


A story of the solitary

workwoman long ago  an hour ago

only a minute  strolling in

autumnal leaves


Drifting in circles


And in your mammalian brain 

lovely the pastoral scene 

grain  grape  bread 




Colors  forms  movement  all together an astonishing

neurological image




The letter V  gouged

into a stone floor  blood pushing

to the surface  zones of

inclusion  exclusion


Here where archeologists


Observe dimensions  between

victim and executioner  a gap  a fissure 

a hole that engulfs and



Here where historians


Pouring coffee  organize

body of data  data of body  piles

of charred human and animal 




Evolution is smart  clean  clear and simple

hungry or thirsty  eat  or drink




The letter W  when your

eyes move  the reading brain   

the act of reading  how tightly

the letters hold you


Wind  heat  cold  drought


Hot  exuberant  the butcher’s

pleasure  cutting  deboning  grinding

salt for the stew  salt

for the bread


Sings the poet maudite


From point A to Z  a set of skills

in sequential order  blood

and mud  chemical




With sophisticated equipment scientists scrutinize

minutiae  gathering information




The letter X 

marks an unknown figure

behind an electric



Patterns of animus


A skeletal frame

crouches over the earth

fingers spreading apart across

t h e  r u i n s c a p e 


Hidden among geometric forms 

                         a single bloodstained feather 

long ago  an hour ago 

only a minute



The two cortex regions operate independently

of each other  independent yet intertwined




The letter Y  yellow 

sulfurous  a plume of smoke 

work is a binding



Looking to earn extra cash


Take one step after

the other  under an occult sky 

the hand of the butcher

lops off


Diseased parts   


Slapping flying insects  insects

far and near  hair and nails in the feces 

vulnerable flesh-eater  spiritual




Ever-pinging networks  twenty-six letters of the alphabet 

asterik to zero hour




The letter Z  a sound

of a buzz saw  strange scars

on the sea bed  patterns

of animus


Written words lit up 


Hidden zigzags 

burned  buried  premonitions 

take one step after

the other 


Out of the hole of Baudelaire


When I in my youth

strolled in a blue wool dress

I strolled in a circle

of blue