TRIAL SUBSCRIPTION TO FORMLAND
Others at the Porches and entries of their Buildings
set their Armes; I, my picture; if any colours can deliver
a minde so plaine, and flat, and through-light as mine.
A green simple life. That’s what I wanted.
Stowing down and clearing up the decanted
inheritance, turning over the sprouted ghosts.
And, in a sense, I suppose we got it—
shuffling along the four-walled deepdream,
turning to catch the ordinary pareidolia
of cloudcouches and gangplank halls—
l’appel du vide of kept animals.
GOOD DAY, DEAREST. IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE THAT YOU MAY BE A BIT
APPREHENSIVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW ME. I WOULD LOVE TO EMPLOY
But all learning is re-collection
a sort of shell game, hermit crabs occupy
the empty and the scavenged…
$$You…need money, and you need it quickly. We’ve all been there…$$
two roads diverged in the retail emporium isthmus
and neither were great (to sate the obvious)
` ` `
Data shows us how Americans move: toward heat,
toward coastlines, toward drought, regardless
of evidence of disaster
learn about your destiny----#mhx*
all learning is but recollection
at the union meeting, everyone drank
margaritas. a little on the nose: we were
in the quasi-desert, I was abstinent,
thirsty for the anxiolytic humidity of home
the watch rang it said Political Call
said Location Unknown
vapor figments in lex terrae I closed
my eyes to its morphological echo
from a low flat landform surrounded on three sides by water
to a low flat landform surrounded on three sides by heights
downsizing newcomers talk a lot about tradeoffs,
debate the two-party system of DEUS and MACHINA
the city and the wilderness
colors on maps
enter query into the text box: anachoresis,
` ` `
*I look it up: Manihiki Islands, Cook Island, South Pacific
if all you care about is here, this a good place to be
a canoe carried ashore holds at most four people
to evacuate a future cyclone martin, Manihiki
would need 70 such canoes
vacancy chain, shell competition
elsewhere the criminal advises
Real Elites Invest
` ` `
if you’re serious about animals,
oysters work best. Zinc holds
the empty orbital, a messenger for plastic
synapses. The ring-shaped atoll encircles
the sea partly or completely, fragile and
abundant in Pinctada margaritifera
naked nacre of its interior shell
rare as 1 in 10,000
a learning that occurs via collection
and my free soul longed for its natural state
I remembered the pearl
` ` `
but escape isn’t all-or-nothing
solitary confinement or “cage free” living
and drowning people sometimes die fighting
their rescuers (from ex- “out” + cutere “to shake”)
your all-access trial
to the equatorial try-works content
will end in mere days
to renew, simply authorize this line of credit
at the new interest rate of flood-fire-policy-premium
we understand that logic may be unshakable
but it cannot withstand a man who is willing
` ` `
FINAL MESSAGE: PAYOUT!!! IS READY TO BE ADDRESSED IN YOUR NAME
We were snowed under by the timing of things.
Forgot the secret society keyword, locked out.
A green simple life, a little yard a little house
everywhere I looked I lost that while ago amethyst
hundreds of images scattered to the four winds,
a sea of oil swimming in them. I began to understand:
how like the ocean is a mountain, how much a mountain
is like the depths. Not far from here is a town
called Tranquillity [sic], which used to teem
with creatures in a shallow seabed. At present,
annual rainfall averages six inches: hospitable
for unearthing skeletal fragments. The record states
that those early humans ate mostly flesh, quote
there is plenty of evidence that
their lives were strenuous.
“Others at the Porches and entries of their Buildings...,” John Donne, Metempsycosis, 1633.
“stowing down and clearing up” and “equatorial try-works,” Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 1851.
DeepDream, codenamed “Inception,” a computer vision program created in 2015.
“two roads diverged,” Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,” 1916.
“Data shows us how Americans move,” Abrahm Lustgarten, “How Climate Migration Will Reshape America,” 2020.
“all learning is but recollection,” Plato, Meno, 380 BCE.
lex terrae, aka “the law of the land,” see the 1787 Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme Law of the land....”
“Morphological Echo,” two paintings by Salvador Dalí, 1934-36, on display at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, FL.
“newcomers talk a lot about tradeoffs,” James J. Parsons, “A Geographer Looks at the San Joaquin Valley.”
“if all you care about is here, this a good place to be,” South Pacific (1958).
Tropical Cyclone Martin, 1997, was the deadliest cyclone to impact the Cook Islands in over a century, causing 19 deaths and devastating Manihiki.
“and my free soul longed for its natural state / I remembered the pearl,” “The Hymn of the Pearl,” from the apocryphal Acts of Thomas, c. 3rd century.
“drowning people sometimes die fighting their rescuers,” Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower, 1993.
“we understand that logic may be unshakable, but it cannot withstand a man who is willing to live,” Franz Kafka, The Trial, 1914.
“We were snowed under by the timing of things” and “hundreds of images scattered to the four winds,” Annie Ernaux, The Years, 2019.
“while ago amethyst,” James Joyce, Ulysses, 1922.
“a sea of oil swimming in them,” Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State, 1640.
re: Tranquillity, see J. Lawrence Angel, “Early Skeletons from Tranquillity, California,” Smithsonian Press, 1966.
E.G. Cunningham is the author of Ex Domestica (C&R Press). Her work has appeared in Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Fugue, The Nation, The Poetry Review, Puerto del Sol, The Shore, and other publications. She teaches at the University of California, Merced.