Sunday, February 26, 2017


from Animals of Dawn
Murat Nemet-Nejat

"Not a mouse's stirring"      

the crumbs of the clock spilled from
curtains, as the night
ended, light in smithereens                               
slowly in the eyelashes of my cat dispersing
over the rug.
Who’ll pick them up
now, the leftovers
from the shuttle worriless humming on.    

Morning streamed from the hair
of the widow,
sprinkles of the clock and light.
opened my hands, but as I opened them       
they still kept streaming streaming streaming.

wall. ghost. mirror. bird. arras.           
window. wind. widow. tree.
dew. water. tears. river.
painting. panting.
death. hearth,


Infinite possibility doesn't mean freedom, but that it may happen infinitely
but of maybes

Infinite possibility, within finality

that is the pharosrhythm perception of freedom     
as gestures of maybes    


object ivities in a mirror existing

in continuum.

            The Garden of Love        

While simultaneously in your heart you were discarding me, scanning with your eyes you wanted to etch (yes, that's what you said!) in your mind a virtual image of my room. 

Calling me a parasite! When my mind couldn't quite absorb the word and misheard it as virus (someone already part of one's being), you corrected me—not virus, parasite (of course, I was grabbing at straws, virus is lodged, parasite can be discharged). Just an eaon of a week ago I was your liberator, Paris to your Helen...

Yet, yet wasn't I already anticipating in the whispers of your fury, and in its miracular caresses, the upcoming calamity?       

Wasn't I, the inconceivable interior of your open wound[2]?      

            Poems As Commentary

A commentary on a word or a phrase in a holy text can only be an ideogram. An illumination. Fragments in things, real or unreal, objects, living or un-living[3] are instant ideograms. Each a clear image made of recalcitrant parts, a mosaic of discrete moments of light—as stars in the night sky—that light the place in visible darkness, and disappear.

            A Poetics of Motion

                        Gentleman: ... You have seen
                        Sunshine and rain at once—her smiles and tears
                        Were like a better way. Those happy smilets
                        That played on her ripe lip seemed not to know
                        What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence
                        As pearls from diamonds dropped....
                        (King Lear, Act 4, Scene 3)

    I am in the middle of ruminating on an essay on the idea of the horizontality of time—that time is not defined by memory (therefore vertical—memory is deceptive); but by attention, therefore horizontal. All experience exists on a field possessing colorations collapsed onto a flat field. They—star-like— flash at different times, captured by a solipsism of the mind's attention. That discontinuous capture by the mind of a point in a continuum—that is chaos—is what consciousness, a.k.a. time, is.   

Attention has no depth. Only intensity. And d u r a t i o . . .


Duration is the elastic, subjective face of time, short, long, it may smile or forget you.

In the music of time there're no bars.   
The time, that is within time, is chaos.           
In the heart of chaos, in the chaos within chaos, motion d i s a p p e a r s      


a hippo's anus                         

a                u p
                n                N  I            Z E D              
b             a                 O     O     I    O 
              i                   I         N         N  E
s           h i s t O          s
           p        r         l  u
c        o         e         l
         s          e  o f  i
e      o
s   p
s h

of seduction

duration of an instant of love: leaves, surrounded by forgetfulness

I left water behind, with its shadow.      

I wrote my name on a tree                     carved
as it slept.

then I extricated myself from it
and left.

[1] Mayflies, primitive aquatic creatures, wondrous and comical in shape, grazing, caressing the darkness of  water.
[2] " the inconceivable interior of an open wound": a line from Alan Sondheim's poetry.
[3] things, real or unreal, objects, living or un-living is a longer serial poem of which Animals of Dawn is a part.


Poet, translator from Turkish and essayist, Murat Nemet-Nejat's recent work includes the poems Animals of Dawn (Talisman House, 2016), The Spiritual Life of Replicants (Talisman House, 2011), the collaboration with the poet Standard Schaefer "Alphabet Dialogues/Penis Monologues"; the translations Seyhan Erözçelik's Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds (Talisman House, 2010), the republication by Green Integer Press of Ece Ayhan's A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies (2015); and the essays "A Dialogue with Olga" (Olga Chernysheva/ Vague Accent, The Drawing Center, 2016), "Dear Charles, Letters from a Turk: Mayan Letters, Herman Melville and Eda" (Letters for Olson, edited by Benjamin Hollander, Spuyten Duyvil, 2016), "Holiness and Jewish Rebellion: 'Questions of Accent' Twenty Years Afterward" (Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, edited by Joshua L. Miller and Anita Norich (University of Michigan Press, 2016), "Istanbul Noir" (Istanbul: Metamorphoses In an Imperial City, edited by M. Akif Kirecci and Edward Foster (Talisman House, 2011). He is the editor of Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry, edited by Murat Nemet-Nejat (Talisman House, 2004). He is presently working on the poem Camels and Weasels, and a collection of translations from the Turkish poet Sami Baydar.

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