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two new poems

By: Norman Fischer | 01/25/2015
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Two new poems by Norman Fischer, published in Talisman Magazine

Lets do some philosophy now to music
OK the first thing is to consider to reconsider
the obvious, say, love, or no, say the flat
of the palm of my hand that it is
plain or that there’s a plain plane
on which it rests, that is, the one whose
hand it is or by now was, the flat

of the palm of it

the palm of it

the plan of the plane or the plain palm of it

there’s a poem on this written somewhere
online I know there is why write it again when I
can simply google it, copy and paste it in here which might be
more trouble than just recreating it now
like Pierre Renard and Don Quixote
Striking with pure tone the correct high notes
And the subsequent problem of not enough energy
To push along the pencil stubs of scorn, the
Flattened pen nibs of vituperation
Necessary to configure a string of curses emphatic enough
To express my dismay (panic even)
At the basic ordinary state of things
That we all endure on a daily basis

As if it were normal.

Well it’s not!

I do not accept, refuse to define,
And that is my right as a poet temporarily

As for you, dear reader, I leave you to your
even supposing you are reading this poem
What do you know of me? Whatever it is
It is of necessity completely your own sorry problem

Thus we remain
Philosophically isolated
A typical a priori type of disaster
According to any theory you want to employ
Yet at the same time straining toward
Illusory satisfactory closure
We can only find supposedly

in words

the problem in trying to communicate
with another person by means of words

even admitting the use of grunts, cries, and other gestures
is that it’s all misleading, even misguided
since what anyone needs anyone to mean
By what anyone says isn’t what the

Sayer can say

the sayer can say

and so

with so much saying
and so much more saying
that’s like little puffy clouds
above their heads
as they hurl their heads to the floor
hoping for better results than they will get
they say then this and that vehemently, desperately
and the resultant umbrage taken
Is big enough to drive a Mack truck through

yet a truck

when dressed with the right spices

The proper spices

Is a marvelous thing …

A truck is a marvelous thing

The Last Thing to Go

I woke with the sound of waves
Some persistent hissing as if it were
The sound of waves which, on waking,
(Though not entirely) I identified as
The sound of waves. I was wearing
My heart on my sleeves. There was
Neither rhyme nor reason to it. That I
Woke (though not entirely) seemed to be the chief
And only point, it had me trembling
So that now, as I write to you about this,
I am still trembling though I don’t know why.
My brain was pounding – and here was I
A person who studies the brain
Being studied by my own brain!
It was too much. I woke and fixed
To drink.
I then paced the floor
Or what I took to be the floor
For several hours. The dragon whose traces
I’d been tracing all this time then
Stuck its head through the study window
And it was all I could do to get out of the way
Of the wave that inundated my copy of
Interpretation of Dreamswith its many revealed secrets.
Some kind of blossoms. My dear friend
Had previously written to me of her death
By airplane and said what was most
Difficult – if not impossible – to give up
Was her vagina. This struck me as both
Physiologically and psychologically apt.
Down the beach came a tiny gray dog
Its paws and legs the size of matchsticks
But with attitude, oh what attitude!
A sailboat sailed by so beautifully
I stopped, for once, paying attention to the words.
I agreed or disagreed, it did not matter,
And I stopped selling everyone short.
It seemed no less true to do so
And this way I could preserve the last
Shred of dignity left me. Because
When you collapse you collapse.
And that’s the end of the story.


Virtually anyone can whisper
but how many can shout
virtually no one can whimper
In the fact or face of virulent necessities
But how many can dissemble or disassemble
Their functionary parts which means
how adjudicate the past about festivals —
All the flowers in the world it takes
To simply fall all around them (I
mean at their feet) to speak
To them again in their own voices
Saying , “Oh boy I can see you I
mean me seeing you over there
possibly doing that.” Heart’s all
head all over again, all over the
head that’s growing weak the longer
Water drips on it, weeds grow, vines creep
Even the various trees (I do not
mean the actual trees out there
I refer to the poetic trees or
the word “trees” here in my head
not yet typed, oh, now typed now
appearing on page!) How attentive
can one be to being attentive
or is it, that is, everything, always
a matter of memory, remembering to
experience anything, such as this
the mythic moment of crossing a street
Two going east to west
Three going north to south
At intersection
Where there are large sacks of grain piled
full of peas, beans, rice, wheat, barley, spelt
Slit them open grain slumps out, mounds,
You sort them into their various categories
one of the first things anyone learns:
“one of these things doesn’t belong here”
And it turns out to be
one’s self!


The sun keeps following me wherever I go
That, and the yellow grasses, like hair upon a noble head,
Wind combing the hillsides,
Amounts merely to another sort of language
And talk is cheap
I mean boxes within boxes within
Boxes within boxes
This accounts for my immorality or immortality
Not much distinguishes
One from another
Anyone from any other one
These are the ties that bind
Rocks are scattered carelessly hereabouts
And dark green trees, like moles upon a back;
The physical seems more weighty than it is:
Thought, like a baby, never lies


Grains of sand or grain, a micro world,
Then you are here, at this scale, deciding on your choices
Next the air’s scattered all about, a suite of it
Not very carefully and if full of water it’s fog
Making everything again indistinct
This easing of the burden’s not presumptive
One or two of them can count on it, wax and wane
I don’t know why my trousers never fit
Organize a bevy of them and you’ve got a class
Or a klatch, a species or a nation, a whole
Cast of trousers covering up your legs
Look then at the shape of this mountain
Or that twelve square mile cloud
And tell me about what you think
Makes me tick


The trees exude
Long shadows
As athletes steam
With sweat
Then the hills’ curves stretch out
Like cats
All the tips of trembling tree-limbs
Hunched against the ocean’s edges
Seem to lurch lengthwise
When I shake my head yes or no
Or roll my eyes
From side to side
In astonishment
Indicating nemesis or paralysis,
The normal inability to speak
Anything other than my mind
The guy at the turnstile counting patrons
Has never been more wrong


Oh art – like those little pathways through the hills
Meandering here and there,
Going somewhere, never nowhere,
But always circling back,
Always connecting up
“Our time’s the best time” “the worst time”
So they say but it’s different now
And there are reasons for this
So much art, so much time, so important,
So not, high and low, low and high,
All flat, all endlessly reproduced
I can’t think straight without it yet with it
Can’t ever be
Without it or with it without me
Life and art used to be opposites
Opposites used to be mutually exclusive
Exclusion used to exclude
Those were the days
So are these