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POEM: The Smell of the Tangerine


Never look hungry – Tibian’s Eighth Rule of Conduct.

          The fruits;
     incidental fruits and
          I am not
     in this room,
was not, ever is not, will not be, not is, in this pale pale room.

          sophisticated eater,
     lounging flat in your room now, your
hot pound coffee tornado creaming in your cocoa cup,
          tenderly whirling,
                      of lubrication;

                            electrify that tangerine
                odor, (which at this very
                                         I could be
                            burning on my
            wicker table) tangerine.


             Adroit finger nimbly dimple
                        the skin of the smooth triple

            tangerine. Odor so potently tart
            I can smell it through sun; beyond sun /
                                        is sun,
                               cratered surface of
the tangerine; you digging your
                                                      into it,
             the speed in sun, in year
                           (no rings on your

                                          Orange scene,
                          ripping shingle of orange peel
               cracking surface template, no thunder
crack, no earthquake pulling
back, white stringy epidermis

                                           Hello! You
                                           orange plunge fuzz
                                           naked with
                                           your cup of coffee and

     tangerine, alone.

Singly stated, what fourth
dimension apparition
am I picking here? This
transparency delay…? The
image in word that doesn’t.

                     One shaky shard of tangerine slip –
pops out of your hand, skimming surface
                      of beam
                      dropping to toenail, bouncing to rest.
    You pluck it up. Crust of the coy
sun. Suspend it eye level; recline
    your pale arm behind you. Cracking chair.

                                           Discard the shard into your
                     shredded pile. Clutch it. Two handed –

      one hand on skinned tangerine
                                                    (bulbous, circular, globular)
      one hand on the ribbons of skin.

                  Jigsaw, which is real?


                 Because this of this scene not really
                 is not really happening is, focus,
                 your eyes well up.
                 A thin drift slice of sun invades
                 your skin, careening solar gashes.

Crying, over dry slips of sun from an inconsequential shade. You naked, I’m substantially not
      in the room. I’m in this one here
      pale, sniffing tangerine.

                 In 1925 my grandmother laughs. Hands slender, tender,
                 splattered noisily by tangential drops.

                          Brushing aside,
                                    navigating, winding
                          through white buds,
                                    hairy stems
                          ticking, carefully,
                                    selecting frail wood
                          basketfuls of plump
                                    citrus treats.

                    In 1975.
                    Not within a photograph. I was going to tear off your
hue bearing clothes, lights about now, though
I’m only smelling the rings (The rings on the fingers or
the rings of the tangerine?), but no, it looks like I’m just
                           smelling the odor
                           the odor of the fruit.
                           Let’s consider the color
                           of the fruit because
                           the smell
Narrow spectrums of human vision-
the ability to perceive sunlight simultaneously
with olfactory perception –
imagine only color corona, the only color that be;
do not forget ultraviolet radiation)
this too colors your scene, only by exposing
delicate spots of spectrum

                            in 1991,
                            7 in the morning,
                            sun clicking still.
                            In the living room
                            poetry by folded napkin,
                            I wait
                            breakfast table.

Incidental sparrows,
incidental birds

                     navigate tree limbs
                     fluttering zig zag,
                     pittering pantry, pounding seed.

Grandmother brings
the bowl of grapefruit.
Sugar bowl lies in drawer.
Grapefruit: dirty yellow, though
freshly washed, bead of
tap water streaming down the
circumference of the half hull.
Seems like a dirty sunspot, but it’s clean.

                                  Sugar’s necessary only sprinkle lightly. Half
                                  end of grapefruit up,
                                  plunging spoon into division
                                  dislodging slice for mouth.

                     Sour chunk made sweet
                     nay only by manual process. Somewhere
                     in sun, all grapefruits amongst all others in existence,
                     RARE. Exceedingly,

am I eating the fruit? Am I eating the woman? That
is a fruit? The fruit
that is a woman

my grandmother finds under the sun, contemplating. Light
solidly on the back of her hand.

In 1975 and in 1995
turns of youth, punctuated by clusters
of plastic fruit in opaque glass bowls.

Sandy damp bathing suit bearing fruit stripes,
you bathing suit in sun.

Since I have never seen you in a bikini, I am using colors in the fruit bowl
in 1975 to project

           your image in 1995. Ultra violet rays are
           not required.
           Hold that stripe on the nape of your neck,
           yellow strike stripe on your waist GRAPE bare
           ORANGE stripe on your shoulder
           strap APPLE stripe on hip.

     Hot colors of the Bikini you are
     not wearing on the not beach, in the no sand,
     under no sun, in not 1995.

            In 1997,
            two things. Number 1.
            Grapes cannot be used as ben wa balls, don’t you know
            of flesh would crush them flat,
            squash them into runny juice.
            Get a solid object.

Why don’t you feed them to the animals
while your invulnerability is skinned?

     Litmus test of vulnerability to color, and hey (!)
     I’m not in the room while you feed the grapes
     to your new BOTANIST. He crushes the grape
     against the roof of his mouth with his chlorophyll tongue.

Who is this guy?

    Quicking, your arm shaking. C’mon, every
    grape you pluck, one moment I am not in
    the room, and this BOTANIST,
    this BOTANIST,
    this BOTANIST, he has a whole bag of barren stems.

Literally, I am no daughter’s father, I am
not there during sunrise, not there during noon, not there during death.

              Fiendish orchard of extrapolated lust,
              the BOTANIST can only dream of
              streams of milk and the taste of
              naught nipples the color of apples,
              crash cream over cornbread.

      Maybe you need a bagful of grapes, but
      I need to
      suffocate silk in apple blossom dreams. Plastic fruit dreams,
      fruit baskets, fruit bowls. Demote.

      In 1991.
      Never look a dream yellow pear,
      never examined that curve tapering that curve,
      never will, never did, never is.
      Want to bite your soft.

yellow blushed with green.
Don’t stand up straight.
Set it on it’s stem.
One pear,
the only object
on a hard dark oak table.
Locate shadow,
where sun projects on it.  Symmetry bears importance.
continuing to be dramatic,
frail suspended in light. Bland taste of the pear.
The color, the shape, the taste?
What defines the pear?

                Light. Your bare feet on the hardwood floor.
                Because of the pear.
                Because of the pear yellow or green,
                the curve of your elbow. In pear in yellow
                in different light green.
                When it’s steady behind
                your head,
                occasionally with a green leaf on a yellow stem.
                When given the green opportunity, I
                have never entirely yellow devoured one
                green yellow pear.

In 1975.
Cream Candied Cherries in
a cool Ball jar.
Stationed in the
blue hinged
butter door of the fridge. Poet know
the jar is there, poet generally ignore it.

                I could eat the whole jar
                if I could. If I could
                acknowledge that
                the whole Ball jar existed. Abstinence and
                temperance. Because the jar is in the fridge
                not in the sun.

                            On cherry per visit is all you get.
                            You can’t have more than one,
                            or you’ll get sick.
                            On the fruit.
                            In the fridge.

In 1997.
Finally consider ways, various ways of going at an apple.
Take an apple, several slices divided in
seconds. Seconds of time or seconds of space.

              by necessity, an
              apple must be cut or
              peeled successively in time, into pieces in space
              and you cannot reassemble separated parts, you can
              only remake them by digestion. And also, you cannot
              cut the core of the sun.

In 1925,
I am eating you across from me.
Me across from you eating.
Eating me across from you.
Of color of smell, of sensory perception
and click of sun
time you know
this I
pears you are on the beach, strawberries
beautiful focus, in apples pieced and separated,
peeling tangerine in kitchen, in beach.

             Cap the lid. Screw it ;
             I am only absolutely certain
             of the smell;
             the tangerine candle
             in room NOW, with
             65 to 70 hours of burning time;
             the odor of this candle not in light,
             selective of the elements you pick,
             assembling transparencies of tangerine
             in candle lit, candescent bowls.

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