rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


The rain has stopped. Strewn, battered rose petals fleck the lawn, which they share with bright water beads that reflect the moon, lately emerged. Day was gray and blustery, night is cold and still. The quiet is broken only by the croaking frogs. Earlier there were crickets, but the chill has silenced them, as night has silenced the birds who sang the veiled sun down.

Something probably moves in the woods, but too quietly for me to hear. A bat might fly, but would remain night's secret. My shrunken world is the porch light's domain, and the dark masses of trees barely distinguishable from the dark sky except where the moon's light lends damp needles a slight shimmer. Even though the rain has stopped, the world feels drowned, engulfed in this damp darkness. I close my eyes and float.

Sunday Verse


by Mark Doty

The jellyfish
float in the bay shallows
like schools of clouds,

a dozen identical—is it right
to call them creatures,
these elaborate sacks

of nothing? All they seem
is shape, and shifting,
and though a whole troop

of undulant cousins
go about their business
within a single wave's span,

every one does something unlike:
this one a balloon
open on both ends

but swollen to its full expanse,
this one a breathing heart,
this a pulsing flower.

This one a rolled condom,
or a plastic purse swallowing itself,
that one a Tiffany shade,

this a troubled parasol.
This submarine opera's
all subterfuge and disguise,

its plot a fabulous tangle
of hiding and recognition:
nothing but trope,

nothing but something
forming itself into figures
then refiguring,

sheer ectoplasm
recognizable only as the stuff
of metaphor. What can words do

but link what we know
to what we don't,
and so form a shape?

Which shrinks or swells,
configures or collapses, blooms
even as it is described

into some unlikely
marine chiffon:
a gown for Isadora?

Nothing but style.
What binds
one shape to another

also sets them apart
—but what's lovelier
than the shapeshifting

transparence of like and as:
clear, undulant words?
We look at alien grace,

by any determined form,
and we say: balloon, flower,

heart, condom, opera,
lampshade, parasol, ballet.
Hear how the mouth,

so full
of longing for the world,
changes its shape?

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