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Sarah Passino

Sarah Passino is a poet whose writing has been supported by fellowships from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Rona Jaffe Foundation, Poet’s House, The Center for Book Arts, and by the 92nd Street Y’s Rachel Wetzsteon Poetry Prize. She has most recently been experimenting with washes, intimate publishing, and the old notebook as unfamiliar source material.


Excerpt from NOTE BOOK

//April, May//

A hunch of time, red berries, the trumpet of color against winter’s white fields

A soft cloth, an unfurled slogan, interpretive decisions of the wind

An art in whetting the appetite for understanding, knowing this is inside too and still there must

be an outside

Back to alchemical

Back to bull, to bear, to the bare fear cupboard

Before learning to fly, the young bird swallows the entire night sky

Before meeting the painter, you wanted her to know you understood her scraping to be rhythm and historical rhyme and blur

Blur morning, but now this high noon insistence in the narrow law of the sun

Broad dawn brace cold verb then hands held over the duraflame

Call to say se cayó el techo, se cayó el piso feel upside down in words, the super sees it through

the phone, says si

Catching thought looking at figure, catching thought looking at the figure against the ground

Circling back to annotate days later you were watching the brown greens of spring, you were watching two swallows, you were taping pieces of language to time to the windows

Currents coming both ways though the cut, a high tide, the reflection off the water off the window off the wall, the stagnant water in the basement, the dead floating things

Dependent clauses

Depending on if this was heard as a story about the destruction of a corrupt political system or a description of the rapture

Depending on whether the forty percent of Americans who believe Jesus is definitely or probably returning to earth by 2050 are in the room

Depending on whether the wolf is at the door was at the door will be at the door

Edgework between prologue and prediction saying before things after, letting an ending and a beginning warp

Facing a color of mood you count up to three hundred then cannot count higher, pale, count back down to one

Fortune tell, four corners of the wind in Tennessee, four roofers holding on to the roof for their lives, four stacked thoughts to thicken political thought, we are so lucky to be alive

Going in, going out to edge, going back and forth between devotions upon emergent occasions and death’s duel

Gong sound, inside the waves, tremble tempo going and going from you into an outside absorption, it was Tuesday

How the character rises within the fallout of some catastrophe, fell

House flower, bug-eye, looking through your nectar

If choral

If the fern through the snow a category impulse, born, again, combinatory forest color, naming life mystery again

If you serve it up

Just watching the brown greens of spring change color

Just watching two swallows fly all day, precise, sure in their language

Letting be, non-verbally

Longhand sidestep

Moving through the figure to the emphasis in abstraction, pressing hard to fault lines of subjectivity

My every circuit prepositional even standing here alone at the sink

My fingers crossed

Night, slack sense, there is no refuge in the mind, hurtle, taught and ten-eyed, blind

On the black water

On the fierce other creatures, still afterwards

Once you sat here, not moving, all day counting. Two flying things over the water, so four

Once you say principal contradiction, it's not necessarily always your principal contradiction, making rooms

Outlined in sky

Provisional bloom thought: not notch known, last dropped petal woosh

Putting side by side any two things

Putting third things. Writing in to that new sense

Speech speaking on all of our houses

Staying with this thought, online, you were all listening in to the mid-century pools around your language, hearing the shakiness in the voice, roost roost

To come back home

Time-lapse math, snap back, staccato time zone, a rolling micro wave, this velocity

We decided we would stack sentences

We decided we would stack sentences of thought

We were thinking some kind of thickening of possible political formations by way of feeling in to it might arise, from the incredible, sunk

What have you done with your side table

What have you done with the spoon

What have you done with your speech bubble speech bubble

Whether the principle social contraction could be read on the banner in the wind

Whether therefore the matter would be open, weather left to its openings and to its shapes

Words in other words, broadening your vision

You light on it

You listen to sobbing in the other room until my ribs hurt

You mackerel sky

You tendered

You wait

You wait until night

Your own ways to see in between one line at a time



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