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Doug Paul Case
Topological Memory

       â€œHow modern we are here with outfits like strings of light and no future.”
        — T Fleischmann,
Syzygy, Beauty

How incredibly deceived

How fluorescent

How we lean against moss-covered cement

Against shriveling vines

Against this very construction

This is some performance curve

Some impediment to what some would call progress

On what some would call the intent of dual rhythms

How like a bubbling flute of cheap champagne

Drowning against this very construction

This glass house set against some harvested field

Set against a sun that has never been red

Set against the blue that is not the blue of his eyes

The blue brighter than that sun on that spring

In the center of the forest in winter

Or one being smashed

Liquid flowing

The snow here aglow as freed champagne tumbling through stalks

Through slowly the bones of our ancestors

Of whatever creatures once padded through this land

Where now stands this glass house

Set against some harvested field and the champagne tumbling through it

Us cowering against moss-covered cement

Against what had started as a metaphor

Us against what had started as a metaphor

Us aligned as we once were

Against what had started as a metaphor

This has been happening in our own backyards forever

How incredibly wonderful

How sparkling

How just like two men to lean against some impediment

Against this very construction

How masculine

How incredibly naked they are

To the elements

To each other

To know that this is what they had built

These are the bodies that built this glass house

It required no trees

No destruction

No memorization of advanced mathematical formulas not found in nature

There are thousands of definitions of nature

How like two men leaning against the glass house they built without mathematical formulas to ignore these definitions of nature and do what is natural

Their leaning is due to exhaustion

Due to their building a glass house set against a sun that has never been red

They will not let it

They are in charge of the sun

And they are leaning

Resting and thus the sun will lean there

Being yellow and orange and green in certain light

How incredibly incredible

How unlikely

How just like two leaning men to lean into each other

To claim the sun green

To have built a glass house against a field where the green sun can shine upon them

For years and years and years and years

Or until the death of either one man or one man or the sun

When it explodes

The glass house set against the field glowing green will have approximately eight hours

Before it is incinerated with the field

With the atmosphere

With the planet

How incredibly tiresome the galaxy will be

How incredibly lonely

One man leaning against the cement of his glass house watching a green sun

Or one man leaning against the cement of his glass house watching a green sun

Or an absence of men and champagne and glass houses

There are thousands of definitions of nature and then there will be one


Doug Paul Case lives in Bloomington, where he recently earned an MFA at Indiana University. He is the poetry editor of Word Riot and of Gabby, a new journal dedicated to the talky poem. His work has appeared in Salt Hill, Court Green, Washington Square, and Redivider.