Robyn Art >

Because Light Itself is a Nutrient
Testimonial, Marshal Creek Revival, Texas 1997





In one of the rooms a woman ascends
the long tread toward night. As is its want
the body inclines
on its slow and ferriferous hinge.

In the shade of fulgurant elms. It is neither early nor late.

The embryotic moon so new it appears
not to be there; she can’t recall
how this bodes for her newly-planted peas.

Through the sough of her brush, she contemplates
life on other planets. Do they have anything like waffles
beyond that field of nullified stars. And suppose
they figured a way to combine all the lakes

of the world. Now that would surely be

one monster body of water.

The window streaked with God-light. It is neither early nor late.

Some nights, she’s taken it into her head
to re-pot all the ferns
but cannot be unburdened
from her dream of falling rocks.

In one version she’s laying aloe
on the lacerated hordes. In another

she slips through the breezeway,
lets the kettle burn dry.


Because Light Itself is a Nutrient

Because light itself is a nutrient she’s out
each day at noon,
trekking from the overpass
to the poke of stringy elms.
The bloom cannot be salvaged,

nor the roar of progress stopped.
How many times
she has pulled to the shoulder,
transmission shot to hell.
Been the name de plume,

              the one in blue,

scribe at the shotgun wedding.
Had she the words she’d tell a daughter,
Go in fear of the nine-to-five.
Be familiar with love and cruelty
and apt to confuse the two,

              and always,

take pains to maintain the body’s
delicate balance of water.
Because distance cannot be measured
between this world and the next
from some blighted holler the dead

call out, blotto with childbed fever.
She will measure the nearing hour
by the tulips’ genuflection toward night
and the traffic slowed on the off-ramp,
potholes glutted with rain.

Now is when she’d tell her girl, Fall far,

stumble freely.

Fashion a staunch and unswerving hunger
for the integrated life.
And should the spate of disbeliveers
sound their ballyhoos of doubt
stay low,
strike early,
take the long way home.


Testimonial, Marshal Creek Revival, Texas 1997

Because I had been granted the power to see great things 

             There would never be any rest,

Nor an end to the unseemly stirring bent

On following me to the grave. I was all

For driving the hard-line: recall my opportunistic forays into the tile scam; 

                                  The baths I took at the track. 

Prior to my Deliverance I was prey to all

The stock transgressions, as vulnerable as any to the wiles

              Of pay-per-view and stud.

                           By turns unctuous and uncouth

And afflicted since birth with tremors,

But nothing a few rounds can’t handle.

                                   Back then, it was called a “condition.”

              One day I wasn’t so young,

Just another one of the soft-muscled hacks

Marking time at the O.T.B.

                           Oh, I guess you could say

 I’ve learned a few things in my time: no good

               Can come of a squeaky wheel;

                          Pretty girls make graves.

I have slept past hope or reason and woken

               In places you wouldn’t believe,

               And I,	               I was one of the lucky somehow

                          Blind-drawn from the lot of all

That would sever, unfurl, drag out

                                               To the light and be broken.


Because they were starting to go funny
From living so long alone,
Being as they were bodies of impenetrable light,
Perchance a trick of the eye,
Perchance a spate of gaseous matter,
Because it was mighty cold up there on the Mount,
Being as they were luminous, winged,
Omniscient in that particular way of the Chosen,
Because they would not have us await the acquittal
All by our lonesome, charged as we were
With multiple counts of cluelessness,
Caught out in the fulminant glow of the Ubiqui-Cam,
Because they would forgive us our calamitous elections,
Redemptions-by-mail, In-boxes
And cheap thrills, because they would forgive us all
In our singular fulcrum of need,
Because all along the evacuation route they have never
Left our collective side,
Have followed us to the strip mines, skin flicks,
Places unrenowned for their verdancy,
Have climbed with onto the table
And endured the insertion of unheated metal,
Have cramped, have seen us through both our night sweats
And our dopaminergic afterglows,
Because they have pitied our fruitless bouts
In the Bliss-Simulation Chamber,
Because it always has been thus,
Their whispered analogs above our heads,
The all-abiding darkness,
The neonate taking seed