Black Spring Online

Issue 1                Featured Poet: Stephen Ellis                   December 2003      ©




About Current Issue: New writing from Stephen Ellis' Opulence; poems by kari edwards; poems by Jim McCrary; poems by Steve Tills; poems by Brent Bechtel; poems by Catherine Daly; poems by Chris Murray; poems by Layne Russell.
Upcoming Spring Issue: Poetry, Reviews, Essays, Writing for UPCOMING LAWRENCE Issue being accepted now.

Stephen Ellis

from Opulence

Amherst, Massachusetts


You can think in the 90s about listening in the 80s to the Stones
in the 70s singing songs from the 60s in response to life in
the 50s until your limbs go numb, and they will, as common
sentience runs the gamut, snow up to the windowsill one minute,
grass grown over your head the next to accompany the silent
increments of mortality separating one by one, fiber from
fiber, drowning in an absence gone too slow to notice but for
an increasuing tightness in the torso, the selfsame insult to the brain
splintering into the flower of the first light remembered now
forever casting shards of shadow inwardly like little arrows
drawn out on the map of one's being to show a way neither
forward nor back, right nor left, up nor down but more to a kind of
pollen of mourning spilled from within, bright and all too brief,
that follows no consciously set pattern, adheres to no belief


Chester, Vermont


      for Carol Thompson

Whose name's attached to the face of common feeling, specifically said, like a study,
Carol, dim. Caroline, fem. of Charles, freeman, or man of the common people,
who is the Hay Wain Ursa Majoris, wagon driven by the "residue" or dwarf left
of feeling deeply, the whole enterprise kept in motion entropically as a whirlpool
no one can get to the bottom of, but for performing the three perfecting steps of
sequential understanding toward which no single instance or divine pair can lead
but for beginning at the beginning, where one is, in this life, however disproportionate
these first blurts be, or how (mis)understood, the Freudian anal, oral, genital stages
nesting in the daily guts, heart and head of belief, thought and action that take place
analogically as the completing comprehension of the triadic underworld, earth and
heaven in their turn, so that only the leap from hesitation into feeling made clear as
the actuality of the wagon itself, once you're in it, will do to complete the girdling of
life's substance by expanding the heart's core that rises to the beautiful crown of brains
that closes the circuit, putting you in your own path as yourself, coming the other way

Blue Creek, Ohio


Having fire, man was able to live wherever he found subsistence, appropriating new environments to his use, becoming a member of new ecosystems, and beginning to alter them.
- Carl Sauer, Man's Dominance by Use of Fire

Space - the basis of everything enduring - time - the basis of everything changeable. Space is the schema - time the concept - the action (genesis) of this schema. For every moment my thinking must add a moment before and after.
- Novalis, Philosophical Writings

Criticism must attack the form, never the content of your ideas, of your language. Settle it among yourselves.
- Lautreamont, Poesies

Church house, Gin house
Schoolhouse, Outhouse
On Highway number 19
People keep the city clean
- Tina Turner, Nut Bush City Limits

As long as the world has content and humans have bodies, I've got money
to burn
, which is to say I have a self writhing between dream and somatic
life, torn apart in the pull between the desire and reason expressed in the
ancillary proportion of the relationship of Saturn to Jupiter turned constantly
inside out, each borne of the other in ways mutable enough that there's never
a Switzerland safe-haven Side of the Fuck, but only a humidity coming over
the left shoulder and up the neck, discharged in a downward strike that
momently reveals a pointillist genital wet, the dewdrops at one's eye,
flood of content that constitutes the literal health that is a very real ethoi
resulting of pure theology, a human response to the fact that we are all
animated by each our imagination of the organic, the blackness of being
inside the self, who knows therein the literal colors of the samadhi end of
receiving the lightning of being instructed by the simple brightnesse of the
Atmospheric Character of one's Electrical Pinball sense of Efficacious Truth

Chauncey, Ohio


Beginning with a wound gone far past the point of no return are voices
out of Mars broadcast through the present to the end of establishing just
such theoretical colonies rising from the elemental heat of low and sexual
things to Bronze Age dark Parvati Ava Gardner's ethical reciprocity settled
into a widening empire of dictatorial hedonism, against which image
there's only a pair of blue and white striped pyjamas high in the treetops
masquerading as a Vietcong sniper in 1971, speaking in turn through
the mouthpiece of a ravaged daughter of Metacom out of indian maiden
Yassir Arafat Algonquin girlhood bringing forth the hematoma to the
head from a 90 mph Bobby Parent beanball thrown in 1963 that put blood
completely around the edge of every treeleaf in the county, to the two eyes
looking down the past through a stereoscopic viewfinder to discover how
the body that is love and its image made of armor are interlocked to define
the mark at the forebrain seen with forever yet never completely seen