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I broke off the dangling shrub     and inserted it     above my ear.

Bent in at the belly     I sweated,     to fit     to try to fit.


The dangling shrub     was bruised

It moved a little move     and Lady Song-of-Jamestown

said in my hear: Why     is broken.


Spooked     I

leapt     a leafy thwart

into my thinking vessel     the aluminum canoe

and in my here said Lady Song-of-Jamestown:

"Why     its smelters long ago felled at The-Task-Is-

    Incomplete,     a falling

artist felling them     name of


who wears     crown of shells     partly concealing

a turban of layered light."


I stared straight ahead,     paddling

My canoe walls hung with barkcloth     a giant dentalium

and four figureheads in lignified paste     (We watching).

The ivory one, called     Tapping-Out-of-Time.

And the dark muscular one,     Below-the-Galleon-Decks.

And the remembered one named,     Palm-Thatch-Floor.

And the little one called,     Fruit-of-the-Distant-Weep

    (mothered black,     from sleeping).


Lady Song-of-Jamestown     mending her fishnets

pulled the water-hook     from my hand.

from Flagelliform 61: Tilted Away

Shane Book

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