H.V. Cramond

Featured poet H.V. Cramond, a Chicago-based writer and educator, is the Poetry Editor for Requited Journal (www.requitedjournal.com). She has recent work in Keep Going, Wunderkammer and Ignavia.


Breath/Fall

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breath_fall

I.

suppose disposal                                                          Middle English, from Anglo French desposer,

from Latin disponere to arrange

weakly response recycle women

is the bathroom this way

to put in place

carpet trim recycling lock                                              set in readiness

think before you throw think                                          arrange

to transfer to the control of another

a basket of print                                                            to deal with the matter conclusively

may include

weight gain or certain cancers

increase or decrease in acne

vomiting  depression

take them out of their original containers

headaches                                                                    mix them with an undesirable substance mix

vaginal infections

high blood pressure

such as kitty litter

blood clots in legs lungs heart or brain

stroke  loss of libido                                                      make them less appealing

liver tumors (rare)

dizziness  heart attacks                                                  people  may intentionally

gallstones                                                                      go through your trash

cup with this is this a sponge                                          Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards

or refuses to hold as true

cal, I saw you hanging crooked and I knew                   anxiety aroused by its obscurity

you understood recycling

only with approval from sun                                          cancer cancer cancer

a little pester composted

reserved towing enforced                                              if deliberately cultivated,

signs side left skin illegible                                             doubt can lead to spiritual

loss of libido blood clot

caw caw caw

i’m trying to caw ca

every mother is a working caw compost

and when he had opened the fourth seal

I heard the voice of the fourth beast say

flat irons and waves permanent                          come and see   and I looked and

behold a pale horse

excuse me are you doing the parking

Is your cabinet filled with expired drugs

or medication you no longer use

I don’t have the caw                                                      And power was given unto them over the                                                                                                          fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword,                                                                                                         and with hunger, and with death, and with

animal mother bike fleet

the beasts of the earth

beached on a bench in the

sunday there’s a bee over here composting

but then again the question is

you know what I mean and also bless you

difficulty and avert your eyes                                         definitely a good mourning experience

and why is my left heel

read your book stop looking at me

limping limping throw away

can I spit in those plants

her prettiness marks her

let me ask you

no Buddhist stepped forward to take her place  the signs of female aging as diseased

and who shall be able to stand

II.  When any of us here speak by the power of the Spirit we say better what he would say if he were here in person.

    1. Lines and Wrinkles

    lines trace her thought in a precise calligraphy a lifetime of kissing even as a fig tree casteth

    her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

    2.  Uneven Skin Texture

      and the kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the chief captains and the        mighty men and every bondman and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the            rocks of the mountain

      3. Uneven Skin Tone

        throughout  the ages there have been so-called private revelations some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church they do not belong however to the deposit of faith

        4.  Appearance of Pores

          Decreta Dogmatica Councilii Tridentini: Sess VI

          Bellarmine, De Justificatione

          Judicium de Libro Concordantia Lutheranorum

          Liguori, The History of Heresies

          5.  Blotches and Age Spots

            and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair

            6.  Dry Skin

              at best this is a false prophecy at worst it is an out and out lie Gospel Jesus does not lie because he is the Truth neither is he mistaken

              7.   Dullness

                I have sought and do now seek  that my words will be true and wise and proper

                III.

                and when he had opened the third seal I heard the third beast say come and see and I behold and lo to a black horse and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand

                below hollow is  a root

                straight lines in dirt

                between spaces

                fingered and sticking                                                     and I heard a voice in the midst of the four

                beasts say

                dark bass through trees

                pillow pulsing

                an invading drone of structure                            a measure of wheat for a penny                                                                                                                         and three measures of barley for a penny                                                                                                           and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine

                flat board thin mattress racked

                skeleton and moths beating                                           the word Lepidoptera                                                                                                                           from the Latin word for scaly wing

                themselves against a tin roof                                          Lepidos meaning scale pteron meaning wing                                                                                        shingles on roof

                baking illumination                                                         semi-arid areas where breeding seasons are short

                looming womb demystified                                            a proboscis is used to drink nectar

                tide submission to mission permission

                to leave to grieve to feel something

                to be wrong

                Perhaps its origins are related to Old English

                darkness like light fighting light                           “maða” meaning maggot or from the root of midge

                tight brightness group

                which until the 16th century was used

                vision sounds sour                                                         mostly to indicate the larva

                ours not mine no mining                                                 usually in reference to devouring clothes

                dancing on fancy

                clothes and holy trinkets                                                to identify you will need to look at all the colors

                IV.

                Katie, breathing steadily Rebecca Nina, breathing erratically
                (in) (out)
                mine is a terror of breath (in)(out)
                breath tearing at mind (in)(out) mine is a terror of breath (in) (in) (ouuut)
                mine inspired spirals of (in)(out) respiration spiraling mind (in)(out)
                respiration spiraling mind (in)(out) of terror of mind my terror (in)(out)
                of terror of mind my terror (in)(out) (in)(out)
                tearing my mind breathing breath (in)(out) mining my mind spirals terror (in)(out)
                mining terror my mind spirals (in)(out) timing blindness blinding (in)(out)
                inside of blindess timing mind (in)(out) terrorist
                terrorist ist mein ist dein ist sein (in)(out) (in)(out)(in)(out)
                ist ein ist kein  ist kind ist (in)(out) ist mein ist dein ist sein (in) (in) (ouuut)
                kindling ser sind and int-eruption (in)(out) ist ein ist kein is kind
                of terror of fervor of devotion (in)(out) is grinding is feel is finding (in) (ouuuuuuut)(in)(in)
                of kind of spirals and spirals (in)(out) finding time feeling fine
                of mind breathing breath (in)(out) really really I’m fine
                breeding death and in-sects in sex (in)(out) it’s just that I
                I breathe I breathe I breathe (in)(out) keep breathing and breathing in) (ouuuuuuut)(in)(in)
                to fear is weakness weep weakness (in)(out) weep weakness weep breathing
                pique weakness pique peaking (in)(out) (in)(out)(in)(out)
                weak breath I breathe I breathe (in)(out) (in) (in) (ouuut)
                (in) out) (in) (in) (ouuut)
                I breathe (in)(sigh) (in) (in) (ouuut)

                this is false

                utterly totally and completely

                there is not one sliver of truth in it

                V.

                that is not it’s primary intended infectiondefect detect rejection deny resource limitsbusiness and religion

                the business of religion

                a pill, as Clomid. injections, such as Repronex, Follistim, Pergonal, Repronex, and Gonal-F. In general, the injectible reject detection scientists mount the public stage and identify
                the risk of multiple birthsmultiple births and multiple pregnancies

                multiple inherent risks

                should be disused discussed multiple

                should be disgusting

                to feed 6.3 billion persons,increasing at close to 90 million per year,

                it is not their role to improve or complete

                definitive revelation

                hostile cervical mucousuterine bleeding

                ovulation that are not interrupted

                God nor greedintolerant of dissent
                intolerant
                in somewhere around half of casesin around 10 to 14 percent

                less than two percent

                these are the most common

                how to discernA Text Book of the History of Doctrines

                and I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal and lo there was a great earthquake and the moon became as blood and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth and the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together and every mountain and island were moved out of their places

                fall on us for the great day of wrath is come

                fall on The Wanderings of the Human Intellect

                fall on A Survey of the Spiritual Antichrist

                fall on A Text Book of the History of Doctrines

                fall

                fall

                fall

                a conversation between HV Cramon and our guest editor:

                [note: ideas here introduced do not necessarily reflect that of Soundless Poetry]

                SP:  Your poem is so amazing, thanks so much for sending that- how long have you been working on it?

                HVC: oh, no problem. I actually wrote most of it while at Naropa in a pretty concentrated effort and then spent a few days when I got home.  I don’t usually work that way– I usually write for an hour or two and then come back to a project later, but this was 3 hours a day, 5 days in a row, with nothing else really going on besides reading and talking about writing.

                SP: Wow, that’s intense. So would you say that the poem is partially a description of a certain type of headspace? I’d like to hear more about how that connects with the issues that you are dealing with in this piece.

                HVC: I think intense is a good word–I’d just come out of a weekend meditation retreat in the Rockies, and I was staying in a hut that had no electricity or water, and I got a migraine and had to miss a lot of the activities. So I was thinking about women’s embodiment, and how academic feminists tend to shy away from body issues, and how some of my writing has tended to come from an intellectual place. With this poem, I was trying to explore the breath as a fundamental unit of sound.  Then I wound up thinking about the medicalization of women’s aging and fertility.Anne Waldman wrote an essay that’s in her book Vow to Poetry about “hag consciousness.”  I was thinking that we should celebrate women’s release from all of the bullshit that comes with being attractive and having babies.

                SP: I really enjoyed how each section is in a different format, and I think that is much like how we move through different stages in our lives… and women have particular biological stages that they go through, but these have been complicated and exploited by social perceptions of what women should be.

                HVC: Right– that was another issue that came up. In the workshop we were reading Blake and talking about –what’s the name–in the garden of love.

                SP: I think that by taking the initiative to create a kind of counter-exploitation with language turns that kind of repressive framework back on itself.

                HVC: And I was thinking of perceptions of women as a kind of dogma similar to that of churches, of pharmaceutical companies holding court in our minds.

                SP: (Which you do by making very obvious section breaks and choosing very different ways of using language to explore this idea.)  Wow, absolutely. I like how we are writing at the same time on gchat.

                HVC: I was looking a lot of websites for fertility drugs and contraception, and the side effects lists are AMAZING, and they’re so blasé about rattling them off.  Some of the other place I found language were sites that explained how to compost, some catholic anti-heresy websites and the king james bible (revelations).

                SP:  I’m working with a nursing student right now (ESL) who wrote a paper on induction of labor. Apparently there has been a dangerous rise in the instances of induced labor. It makes me think that the control that society expects to have over women’s lives and bodies has infiltrated women’s own conceptions of their own control.

                HVC: There’s also been a rise in C sections.  My friend who’s a doula could tell you about how women (but more importantly their doctors) want to schedule births. They are uncomfortable with anything spontaneous and messy.

                SP: This is sort of a speculation, but I think that the whole process of giving birth is one of the messiest things (besides war) that evolution has currently left us with and in our desire to live in a safe society we’ve decided that we have to control everything

                HVC: Right.

                SP: And pain is a really hard thing for people to deal with.

                HVC: C-sections are lower risk for the doctor, higher risk for the mother.

                SP: I’m very suspicious of this whole “due date” thing.

                HVC: I got off the pill about 2 years ago, after being on since I was 16, and I had a violent reaction. Puking, periods every two weeks, etc. But when I had cleared it out, wow, did I feel great. A little bit like having the emotions of a 17 year old, but the pill I was on was designed to help you be Mr. Roboto.

                SP: Oh damn.  To maybe bring this conversation full circle, how do you think that all of these personal feelings contributed to the form and use of langauge in “breath_fall”?

                HVC: I think that the use of language came from the impulse to be free of intrusion, both mentally and physically, but even in a pretty clear state, you’re made of your environment. I don’t own a TV, but yet I know who each Kardashian sister is because of the people around me. You can’t help absorbing the culture, the language, the seven signs of aging.  The language too really developed some of the ideational content. I’d play with something that sounded like what I had just written and create something new. I’m not sure what that has to do with birth.  The section that involves breathing (4 columns) has more to do with pranayama and my insane ideas about suffocation, but it could be viewed as a birth, certainly.

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