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A Riff Off Preface

Lina ramona Vitkauskas

                                for Huidobro

I was born at the age of 8 on the cut of no Christ;
gin and tonic the equator of my hairless pain
under the geraniums of my Lugan piano, a cuddy
beneath bergs. I had the blank stare of a victim,
a relentless bicycle. I breathed in the next blind
father upon a trapeze bar, I loved the daylight,
the veil of every hat. My mother spoke with larks
coming from her mouth, she embroidered buttons
to my breast. On the first day, I asked the larks
to unbeak these buttons, to look upon the nudes
of the gallery, to collect the broken shells
of rational hearts. Then I created my tongue and
braided my grave. A poem is something that
never is, but ought to be. A poem is something that
never has been, that never can be.
I constructed
my development from my grandmother's slips and Russian
stars upon the tombs of sublime retinal failure.
Speeding gold chessboards of sight, perhaps they
preferred disconnection so as not to see the
disconnected language sculpted from it; perhaps
when disengaged, the last sigh of vision delivered
untangled tropes. One should write in a language
that is not the mother tongue. If I didn't do
something crazy at least once a year I'd go crazy.

I looked at my fists, angled as accordions, a horse
upon each virgin extracted for the stain of sleep,
the illusion of hair. Where the blood of my vain
tongue slipped into my father's glass and burned
my skin an effigy; of phone cords and moons
of bound light; each end of summer a blister
of stone; I, a soldier of children. All of my
throats the planets, money wired to each snowy
renewal of skin, more skin, all the skin I could
grow. I drank the hunters, the waterfalls of bile,
each hammer of my selves a bitter astronomy. There
is a secret to my vertigo, my only fishscales in the
sea of hankerchiefs. I was born at the age of 8
on the cut of no Christ; gin and tonic the equator
of my hairless pain; True poems are fires; its conquests
lit with shivers of pleasure or pain.

Lina ramona Vitkauskas

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Author Discusses Poems