Ariana Reines

  • slant December 29, 2020

    PURGATORY

    You didn’t ask, but since

    You didn’t, my body’s a brick

    Of longing & sorrow, pure red

    Blood beaming stars down

    Down down into the center of the Earth

    I said it WAS a brick, not that it is

    LIKE one.  This one calls me Miss

    Shaves his legs, shows me his cock in sheer

    Black stockings, explains his intuitive

    Desire to capitalize You when addressing

    Me.  I feel a growing desire to worship

    The Feminine, he says.  I do too

    I answer, with a ruefulness I know he

    Won’t detect.  I know its immensity

    But I also know the shit and blood

    Through which my body teaches

    Me the majesty of this burden

    Which I wonder if this new

  • slant November 30, 2020

    BAD EDUCATION

    “If I saw it

    I felt it

    If I felt it

    I learned from it.”

    —Peter Gizzi, “EVERYDAY I WANT TO FLY MY KITE,” from Now It’s Dark

    “Generalizing is part of what causes depression. The more we generalize, the more separate we become. The more we get specific with each other, and actually hang out, and actually try to solve the problems, the better life is.”

    —Taylor Mac

     

    In The Changing Light at Sandover

    The hierarchies of heaven

    Are revealed to James Merrill

    And his partner David Jackson

    By their familiar, a handsome

    Young Jew from 4th Century

    Greece named Ephraim, whom

    They contact via a Ouija

    Board, their fingers

  • slant October 31, 2020

    MOTHER OF GOD

    Snow is falling on the yellow leaves

    And blowing across the nodding yellowing

    And green leaves that have yet to fall. This

    Is the third day in a row the sun

    Has hidden as it rose if indeed it did rise

    & it must have risen though I know in the pit

    Of my guts with everything we’re doing here

    The earth’s rotation is bound, too, to change

    Not just the career of its seasons, the grief

    & outrage of our relations. I have

    Speculated before that certain enduring

    Traditions, many of them called hermetic

    Emerged specifically and only because a disciplined

    And determined few were forced in on themselves

    While being

  • slant September 17, 2020

    THE BOOK OF LIFE

    No actually the first word emerged

    Deep in the bowels of the human throat

    & forged in loathing & envy, has now attained majority

    & like a Christ is rising, gagging, pointing to its second wound

    The better to distract me

    All my life you’ve taught me to mourn the son

    Nevermind that this isn’t even my religion

    Then after stealing my children you hacked

    Away my reproductive organs

    You never believed me capable of grief

    On behalf of my own immensity

    And caused to orbit all about my head the mouths

    Of those white women rich enough to fatten

    Their lips with silicone.  And bade them shape

    Woken syllables on the

  • slant August 20, 2020

    HEAL HER

    Does all evil emanate from a single source?

    And do the hundred thousand elaborations of bad

    Over which puritans and pundits fight it out on the crust

    Of the earth correlate to the lack of spiritual and political

    Foundation that would make it easy to see the Marxist reality

    That the corporate and billionaire class is what’s really got to go?

    That my racism and yours, our failure to love, are masquerading

    As things that’re wrong with you & me when we’re just walking symptoms

    Of the structural reality into which trees, poems, tears & miracles

    Introduce a rending, streaming, higher truth, a better flow, the

  • slant July 20, 2020

    Poppy and Recollection

    “I didn’t think it was physically possible, but this both sucks AND blows.” —Bart Simpson

    THE VIRUS BROUGHT STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, but then again so did the uprising. You didn’t love the smell of your own breath behind your mask. Neither did you love certain things about yourself that had formerly been easier to escape.

    Confinement led to masses of people finally catching the thought: human beings should not be put in cages. Instagram became a pedagogical tool, rather than merely the matrix of DIY propaganda. Then it slid back. “For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer.” So it says in the Book

  • slant June 20, 2020

    THE MOTHER OF ALL SEASONS

    I’LL WRITE THE HYPOSTASIS OF BECKY AND KAREN, I thought, but then a stalker showed up at my house, and I was overworked, but I had to deal with that, and think on things I never think on, for example my own safety, for example my own protection. Zoom swelled like a buboe and popped. The stalker had driven from Michigan to deliver a mug to me, he said, to thank me for having written my last book, showed up on my back porch and wouldn’t leave. 

    I can’t write about the fact that the partner of a new student of mine was shot by white supremacists four days ago. I thought I might manage to write about

  • slant May 22, 2020

    School Spirit

    for Timea Szell

    “Jabès and Semprún both said that language was their only homeland [....] Why is it so difficult to be alive to what happens?” - Paul B. Preciado, An Apartment on Uranus

    //

    The first time I heard a mourning dove

    I thought it was an owl

    The first bunny I ever saw

    Was hidden in a bed

    I think it was a bed of “Impatiens

    A word shaped like my grandmother’s hands

    But is there such a thing as a bed of “Impatiens

    Or else it was it a bed of pansies

    The sound of the owl had a smell, I thought

    I mean I thought that what I smelled

    When the mourning dove moaned

    Which I thought was an owl

    Was the scent of

  • slant April 22, 2020

    Reborn AgaIn

    IT IS EARTH DAY, and at the New Moon in Taurus tonight, the Sun and Moon will be in a wide conjunction with Uranus, about whose tenure in Taurus I have written a lot, over the past few years, for this publication.

    I am thinking about the phrase “enriched Uranium” and about true wealth, true value. I am thinking about Venus, who rules Taurus, about Ferdinand the Bull, about the sensuality of moving slow and steady, and about the full moon in Scorpio May 7, a day I hope to write you more fully.

    I warned you last month that I would deprofessionalize and that the way I write was likely to change.

    Over

  • slant March 23, 2020

    Our Crown

    “ALL OF HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal, but it is the peculiar trick of his—will it do anymore to call it “Occidental”?—culture, whose principles and values have crept in everywhere, to make it seem as though it invented the idea that any of us belong in a room alone ever, for any reason. 

    Yet here we are, living out the apotheosis of that. And whether we’re in the room alone or not, the psychological task, the spiritual task has been universalized. In order to handle it, the luckiest among us—those of us who are staring down

  • slant February 14, 2020

    TRUE ROMANCE

    I WAS IN LOVE WITH TWO PEOPLE and I had traveled to their country to be near them. 

    I already had a lover, with whom I had been suffering a disappointment, and I had just completed a large and demanding work of art, so in many ways I no longer knew who or what I was, or what good I could possibly be to anybody. 

    I am only telling you these things, and in such a dispassionate way, because I want to tell you about a dream I had, in which my great-grandfather appeared, and his many progeny—

    But the dream won’t make sense unless you know I had traveled a great distance to be near these people, that

  • slant January 10, 2020

    THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

    Sometimes I think this entire culture five thousand years was just a rehearsal for the wrong apocalypse

    Our original owners siphoned up an energy from colonized doomsday preachers

    Whose own religion, a strange affair of a flame language incantations leather straps 

    Amulets camels & tents

    Must have seemed a bizarre perversion to the successful, to worshippers of gods

    Some will tell you the alphabet was a secret math

    Some will say our speech was a bovine eructation

    A kind of polluting fertilization

    Ferreting out of the air

    A weird palazzo of the air

    An edifice of clouds and hierarchies of heaven

    Down