The Poetry Project

Toxicology in Appalachia

Rachelle Rahmé


With compliments
the watercolor and house endure
palette dried in all colors one uses for art
viridian network dream-end, as neighbors wake from wiki
xxxxxxxslumber, laugh
mundane and warming grog is what one wants to drink with
the old friend you loved
because that means it is Christmas – they’ve returned sweatered
xxxxxxxto be rosied
the best movie is on
not just us sitting here strangers, soon to be radii as abstraction
time is not a bullshit circle, each song we love to hear again a
instrumental as a motivating factor in bereavement
she was a good woman
pieced together between tones on the sun


Sound is many words – to sound my weapon, to make my home sound
across the sound you sail, she who is sound in her instrument
After the gentle storm your friend departs, the clouds less
xxxxxxxxburdened, made ready
It is still the gentle storm
Bound to gravity in narrow bands
never intersecting, even in high winds could not spare a sou
xxxxxxxxor bone with its marrow reed
It is still the gentle storm
Sound versus life
Sound teaches me something I actually want to know
but I am at the parade, and it is not by chance


Expand your consciousness beyond your animal fear
sound is due to vibration
noise envelopes leisure in the spherical gloaming
to carry us through evictions, will love
outlast prejudice, even dull sound
takes time, space, traversal, this is life
at times, if I had a penny for each day spent
a day’s work, will spend
all light sources appear at once


Distinguished from artisans and philosophers
not a lover but a body for bodies
there are civic platforms upon which to stand
seeking love and wisdom, barely, blinded
the internet and sophists despair of knowledge
as immoral and unsocial
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx(though I am certain of
there’s no hiding from the streetlight’s cusp
everything else made darker by its projection
to be avoided by those who wish to remain unseen
as Heraclitus was obliged to admit
I see and don’t see you, if you are your thoughts
‘one and one’ in a nod to science
truth for no one, a sphere in sections
spherical anatomy impressive to builders
inverted and shredded at event horizon
tomorrow administered differently, less of a come-on
weeping willow curves
the daisy gatherer’s soft chains
more of the promises found in faith
set to time


dark matter
dogmatic and gloomy
pours its ardent and anguished ink
below the staff
teaching trees to uproot in wind
bending the arch light and time bent
flattening all sounds into Lissajous figures
stark lines of cascading contrast
our first dance, Lissajous
instruments prepare elegant but meager planes
in my life’s blankness before semicolon
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxon one the hand;
as purse and reputation coalesce
crow in bloodstream


In a room the quiet voices sweep, too encumbered by epistême, too ripe
for that ancient snapshot
I couldn’t live through another innocence
art made childhood superfluous


Everyone learns to play the lyre together
in a room
war orphans, so many taut strings
work into the full open city
tuning one string turning
over another
broken city
heaping light falls freely, rides
so many taut
strings statue expense
bent knee to fullness
their pleasure armory
calls, this swell


Suspended above virtue and disaster
a night off in good taste
did increase in strength, no sooner shook off
So is there anything slightly tarnished here to indicate
the heart’s custom feast
no stigma in echo’s circulation
parallax star speechless burning
responsive grace dusted off
we are all aqueducts in fortune
placards catching the sun unbuttoned
to say with space
to work the eyes
to recreate the first instrument
because tomorrow’s memory, wheel on wheel

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