Laura Goode

I Can Disagree with You Over & Over

For E.W.

There were earwigs on the walls,

omnivorous & finned,

dirty sandwiches in the car,

servicemen lurking on the

lawn: you rose so early I could hardly

see the lake. Mummers & swale: Amen

in a striped jacket. These disparate fictions. Bisect

the hornet freeze & hear me when I tell you

I have been the worst kind of


I know it from the dreams,


it in the somnium animale, in the skeletal memories, in the waking shakes

t h r o w n a g a i n

s t t h e w a l l

I distrust

blondes, but

relish a skeptic



are my tawny

heart of down,

my sweet jack of


The lake is the place,

Emily. Delirium

appeals &

We are only rehearsing the future.

I’ve never had

what one might call

a contractual relation-

ship with reality.

Once I made a museum

out of a Jameson

bottle & seven

green-blue beads:


pitched through

the sugar cycle,

spinning out the winnow.

The gloaming sheens there, on the romance of crime,

undeterred by maturity.

What valence can

we possibly contain?

Emily sleeps.

Emily sleeps on him.

& a reduction,

puckish as luxury:

Emily sleeps on him

in the antechamber.

Transitivity is a wind-

fall, & copulae complicate.

(There is a house in Wisconsin, Wolahan;

it moves me. Halfway down the dirt road

the half-shadow of a yellow bus

coaxes through the forest. I spin honeys

& aestivate on the shore, & never wake

before ten.

It is geometric in its woods,

the Goodes, & the ransom math of family.

The black bears are happy collaborators

but I sympathize little with the deer.

Kingfishers expire in

the chimney as quiet wires

striate the lake, provincial & mystic

all the same. My mother slept there

summers. My father never


These italics mine, November.

Drop a poinsettia into the pot

for tea &

never fight a citation.


Laura in dove grey.

Laura in dove grey, melted

into ash. Laura steals

an imitation tuna sandwich & liberates

two scarves & a cardigan. Laura emblazoned for

hours on a great A train.

Zeppelin coldlights anoint

the lakes of Minneapolis,

lost as bonfires & old

Swede towns: freshwater baptismals &

peregrine strays.

I have some things to tell you too, sage—

I’ve spent all this time trying

to steal the way home hurts.

Family names trailing

the sturm und drang of tin-can

teleologies, a shared saint’s name & lake-limericks

thickened by myth —

Forensic senses,

trapped in amber,

botched genealogies & the claw of knowledge:

the yunk of intrepid geese

to Canada, or


5 May 2007
With language taken from the Epistle Dedicatory to the King James Version (KJV)

Dear Ethan,

It looks like I’m writing a letter. It looks like a lot of these days are epistolary
these days, Occidental, harrowed
along the western edge of time. Perforated, most dread Sovereign,
is what I’m trying to say: buncoed in supposed & surmised mists,
bewildered. Be wilder, Ethan; among all our joys,
there was no one that more filled our hearts than the Craw
herself, the Craw who tore herself open like an axe-wound
& smiled like buffoons, the gaped stooge-pledge who saved ailing iguanas from
certain death & struck ululation in six Original Sacred Tongues, as it did
in many worthy men who went before us, who rampaged not to suffer
this to fall to the ground, but rather to take it up, swaggering manly
in that upward motion all men fear to lose. I am not a man. It cannot be ignored.
Ethan, you know lady zookeepers disport the zeal of Majesty
a Saturday in the beerlight here and there. I’ll take ego,
my bunglehearted id, but do know that among a throng
Your name is very precious, & they bless You in their hearts, as that sanctified body
who, under God, is the immediate Author of their true happiness.

Hell is Real,


P.S. Please write soon. There should be one more exact
Translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English Tongue.

As an Intensifier

How you are fallen from heaven

O Day Star, son of Dawn!

Isaiah 14:12

The queerest How, the way

God sometimes listened, to know

a silence Who has conceded

no intensity, none more than

You are named

naked & beautiful

the tender member’s


our emissary

& I have forsaken You

in order to What

in order to

write this, to stew denuded

over the side of the bed,

to depart from Your arms

to write how

I have forsaken

You my sensical desiderata

my cautious opera

my positive

I have forsaken You

to act the cannibal

make one last dumb crack

at reviewing the ruins

with whom I thought he knew

what smoldered in me

my vitriolic hinges

my Leviathan

my hide



the pitch of it now, its shift

one undulating shadow

of a breast

on the dark wall


Wild grapes




Astonishing calm

A palm

the Tarot of us

Nine of Christ

Five of Blinds

Lay of Names

the clement Self of Death:

Life of Poetry

but poetry isn’t Life

chase it West

My Dress Hangs There


A mandolin’s voice disconnected, faraway—

the empty dress & no more portraiture,

funicular borders


Banderole unfurled indistinct

from distance.

Ribbon on

the bomb,

not completion

nor complement.

Braver: change.


Sapphire knot

just above the knuckle,

murderously close.

A thing against which one

can be leveraged.

An inlet; the dog-

faced dog.

Saucy broad.

Rare view of island

from sea, man-made

land tear


No spare


New State wrought

on the fault


Second city a shunt,

thin-veined eyelid slit,

& dollar oysters ensconced

in fog (Pretty

girl. Intimate triangle,

the doll of her,

the hispid persimmon.

She shimmies a trellis

on the balls of her feet,


the schism),


or a film

called after your favorite

pen, its dynamic

action. The soundtrack

emerges from behind

the retreat

into a familiar egotism,

smarter than, a pressure mounting

between fingers

& envelope.

Though causality eludes,

a witnessed history

in a particular series of cities (NY, SF, &etc)—

notes wracking calendars

numinous strewn in the streets



Just once I felt something not to abstract

o landscape how fall the diurnal

what persists the

bedlam of love & tempest seven

blessings, listening this time, & older now