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A The Is The The Is The A

by Lila Zemborain*

Travis Macdonald

And so when her hands
push back the alphabet, the algae

only stamps and turns towards
the green depths. And the marine sky
just waves. Only the flexion advances

the two palms that penetrate her
approach. But if the vegetal reach extends in
the fleeting rhythmic filaments

towards a horizon that sifts
itself in the wake of the sky

(like a puddle without the water
to limit its gaze becomes
the clouds) then again the universe

submerges in her
hand while the heights advance.

With arms to the skies like plants, the compact
fixity expelling a celestial distance
offers much to that golden green secretion.

A gaze separates the body from the surface
and that symmetrical nothingness. But she
is the blue air extinguished in
the colors she’d finish.

*from Mauve Sea Orchids, Page 93

A Note on the Process: Despite the potentially deceptive title, this poem solely the “original” work of the poet Travis Macdonald. It was composed by rearranging the words of another poet into an entirely new order and form.

Travis Macdonald is the author of two full-length books of procedural poetry – The O Mission Repo [vol.1] (an erasure of The 9/11 Commission Report) and N7ostradamus (an Oulipian treatment of Nostradamus’ quatrains) as well as several chapbooks. He co-edits Fact-Simile Editions (www.fact-simile.com) with his wife JenMarie. In 2014, Travis was the recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

ISSUE FOURTEEN: La Mer Systyle | next poem →













ISSUE FOURTEEN: La Mer Systyle

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Emma Bolden
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   Bathemetry

Shankar Naryan
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   Oppenheimer

Heikki Huotari
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   Autonomic

Vivian Wagner
   Notes for a Poem about News

Jesi Bender
   The Wedding of Psyche

John Ebersole
   The Vine of the Dead

Lana Bella
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   Cocaine Sunset

Nadia Eugene Jo
   When I Was Korean

Travis Macdonald
   A The Is The The Is The A
      by Lila Zemborain

KJ Hannah Greenberg
   Gators Packed Like Multinationals
       in Excelsior

Terry Wright
   Inside the Roche Limit

Donald Illich
   Because an Island is Encouragement