Four of Anything is a Frame – Theresa Smith

Whether or not the sad clean breath of a new house resists human life (books pots photographs living and dying plants) balks at being used for living rejects all offerings flowers quilts other offenses cut-glass vases shrouded dim lamps rich heartwood bookcases glassfronted cabinets containing porcelain and metal artifacts pried from the hot loins of interstate antique malls these offerings to the domestic altar go unheeded my house stands alone out of human time refusing to scale itself to the dimensions of human life new bright oak staircases sharply grooved cabinets fresh plastered walls hung with mossy greengray paper born in a state of entropy my house has developed a certain dumb cunning with which it frees itself from the desperate embrace of the human owner and if the human mind does not decrease in capacity and functionality it will continue to require the same from language compression and simplification in one area is theoretically balanced out by increasing enrichment or complexity in another.

Out of nowhere a solution in the world a bolus of reason so perfect round and intact that it must have been dissolving there since the advent of time hidden able to silence the world coaxing sober maxims forward on rails of bright iron from old letters in the brain’s brass-lidded boxes the shattered waveform of truth on a rill of unwelcome spring certainly the world of possibility has disappeared leaving in its wake a fossil of the young mind to be examined critically by this new older shapeless conscience a cool lozenge that floats within a young body which is no more than a strong chitinous vehicle a taker of dictation.

These sentences reel around like a dowager trying to hide her drunkenness they lose themselves misremember their origins perform fatal reconnaissance on beginnings now diffused subject matter indistinguishable from the dozens of other precious problems plucked from drollery and deposited into the realm of seriousness the micromechanics of nonfarm living the weather inside the past. 

Draped across the mouth of a black jar folded carefully like an old bandage starched strong delicately across the vessel gape Iowa is vast tracts of farmland like the brown shadows of clouds on the ground drifting over dark branchings of forest shuddering to fields and run through with 10 milky rivers containing bright green islets these rivers are bright dark healthy vegetation and shocks of bright grass the algal quality of the forests a green ribbon twists itself inquisitively across the country fraying across its length a glittering small hamlet on grounds scored by white chalk lines soft trees stilled by the plane many antlered streams Nebraska is polite Rauschenberg the various colors of Spanish olives scattered enclaves have the look of annelid nests slivers of almond in a glass of cocoa trays of ice spotted behind a first-floor bar bulletholes in the side of a helicopter Colorado is a system of neat graphs and pie charts dark standing out sharply from dawn soft velvet crotches of the mountains fingers pilling under rich tapestry one singular red-faced mountain exposes the pulp of its muscle where its gaping wound faces the sun a lattice of electrodes climbing across a green mesa.