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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 5: The Fire in Our Souls

Marcella Durand

From “60 interpretations of luminous citizens and color”

If you name colors and the city will escape

how does one/escape the—where? Area being

one or two, many breathing in corners behind
behind the door: what can we be fearing? Where in

the maze of tongues can we find words: work with me, where

is the route, I’m hungry/tired/sad. Alone. One.

When I thought buildings were empty and the river

came up to touch their edges. Water undermines

and if not convinced otherwise to flow around

things and the solidities of dry matter. If

you add me and many becomes more than structure.

Its apparent monotony, an ardent waste.

All the mountains, leveled, transition to plains

and the plains transition to desert. Here, no rain

or sound gathering of all the long sea. Of all

sight, of light, of the movement a circle makes in

construed silence. Place of mirage, vision, brighten,

languor as dolor, soft flatness of brown and hue.

Dolor of blue, subdued color that captures

what it has: tangle then mute. Color that mostly

is interested in blue. If crossing water

bends to asking, then waves flatten to mirrors, more

blue and sun never reflects as a whole. Circles

are delicate and shatter easily against

the complexity of senses coming all at

a time together at once in light and colors.

We breaks into I under tides pulled by super

moon close to earth this turn: takes time to understand

sun as moon doesn’t rise but fades in low over

us or me tracing the lines between feet and eye

and where points meet exactly middle. Sand startles

as rocks in water, colored iron, malachite,

plum, red, amber, green, glow, ray: blue as only shade

beyond lines of color and when separated

from water dries to spectrum of grays or sinks back

to vermilion under all, under we, I,

point of rock against tides pulled by slender moon.

When smooth, together as only one does amid

a greatness about solitude; all infinite

points create lines, which after time flame to appear.

Marcella Durand is the author of Deep Eco Pré (with Tina Darragh), AREA, Traffic & Weather and Western Capital Rhapsodies. She has written, taught and talked about the potential intersections of poetry and ecology in a number of venues, including the (eco(lang)(uage (reader), ecopoetics, and Jacket2. Her published translations from French include poems by Charles Baudelaire, Marcel Proust, Nicole Brossard and Michèle Métail. At present, she is working on a book length poem written in alexandrines, titled In this world previous to ours. She is a Black Earth Institute Fellow and she edited the Wall Street issue of About Place Journal.


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