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Emily Pettit

We are not devout logicians. / We are logicians nevertheless.


How to Avoid Confronting Most Large Animals

Most large animals are very small
if seen from very far away. If seen
from far away large problems
look like red and blue blinking
clusters, clashing against the lit
and littered dark sky, countless eyes
in the dark, blinking along the yellow
dashes lining the road, traffic two miles
long, stopped for a giant stag
not soon enough. Not enough time.
Not enough space. It makes it hard
to think about inventing new instruments.
and inventories. Wanting to disappear
is different from wanting to die.
I want us to be exposed to a very
pleasing and impressive risk.
You show your neck, you show
your neck. You are saying, Look
at my neck
. Can you love me?
Replicate a vocal pattern. You know
you know you know. It’s all uncertainty
and your neck. You walk slowly
in a calm voice.

Haul and Pull

Things here are galling. We are tumbling over and between
the ice cap and the timberline. Who said you were brave?
And what do they know? You can wake up to more than one step
down or to urgent elevation. It looks like a scale drawing
of any side of a building. A call for immediate attention.
For now I think you’d better haul and pull.
Sitting next to a chemist, I need a cryptographer.
I’m not allowed to talk about it. Like the part of a parallelogram
that is left when a smaller similar parallelogram has been taken
from its corner. People are flocking to these small green areas.
Later we’ll try to remove them, the tangles.
Later we’ll try to provide access to something
previously unavailable. There are a couple of places
in which human activity is generally missing.
It’s hard to fit in a hummingbird’s bill. Clouds refuse to carry us.
There are quiet parts of our brains. We are not devout logicians.
We are logicians nevertheless. Strangely we ignore the detailed
part of the document that is printed in small characters.
We stand holding a suspended pivoting pole with a bucket
on one end and a counterweight on the other.
We do not cover our faces to become linked or united.
We thought we were constrained to obey certain masters.
This declaration was a lie. Reverse the circle. Boil it. Stir it.
Make it too good to be true. Involuntary trembling may ensue and
on these occasions where do we run? We do run.


Emily Pettit is the author of Goat In the Snow (Birds LLC), and two chapbooks How (Octopus Books) and What Happened to Limbo (Pilot Books). She is an editor for notnostrums and Factory Hollow Press, as well as the publisher of jubilat. She teaches at Flying Object.