Rochelle Owens: from 'Solarpoetics' (continued), 8–11

[In the order of the letters of the alphabet I am making use in these poems of a system of mental relations which by the act of writing becomes the poem, a cosmic meditation. (R.O.)].


“Cerebral Cortex”




Begin to understand

the nature of the leavening process




The letter H

catches in the throat   then she steps

backwards and flings

a handful of earth beyond the edges


Of a page   you hear a hollow sound


The dry external covering

of an ear of corn   then stepping forwards

she scatters letters cut out from

the skull   spine bones


The form of a human body


When I in my youth

in a blue wool dress   I strolled

in a circle of blue 

sings the poet Maudite




The cerebral cortex   a sliver of brain

barely thicker than a credit card




The letter I vertical

under an occult sky once upon

a time I sat cross-legged

in the crotch of a tree


Grape    wine   grain   bread


From roots of plants

that bear the grain in darkness 

light   heat   cold   focus on

a common scene 


Chasms in the fissured earth


The story of the baker 

a set of skills in sequential order

the finished loaf   A to Z

in place and space




Recognize in some dozens of milliseconds

a written word




The letter J   the shape

of a hook and on the hook


the butcher’s coat

wind   heat  cold  drought


Blood and mud flows out

of the right sleeve 


One animal 

gut   head and tail   measure

body length   jaws  claws

diameters of holes


The zones of inclusion   exclusion


Salt for the stew   salt for the bread

once upon a time   my mother

was sold from me when I

could but crawl




Dispatches from the frontiers

of neuroscience




The letter K stands apart

like a barley plant

in three dimensional space

the dry external covering 


A snarl of fibrous hairs


Drifting in circles

wind   heat   cold  drought

and dead white the barley plant

cut down 


Deboned and buried


Then the reading brain

follows one letter after another

beyond the edges

of a page


One millionth one millionth of a second

an episode


[Earlier sections of “Solarpoetics” were published January 24, 2017 on Poems and Poetics.]