Ray Osborn

Excerpts from an Untitled Manuscript


ISSUE 38 | SCRIPTIO DEFECTIVA | MAR 2014

On Memory

A light smile as though a joke were cast:
 
her hair is on a hook which is on a reel,
 
backed onto reality and its interminable light
 
peeling back the back of her head and hair
 
which is layering the presently undone world
 
with something like the spasm of a word made
 
for me slowly untwisting her braid up into her brain:
 
this word for shining light wiped across her mouth.
 
I’d do this with the energy if I myself, the sun,
 
could unwind and undo another moment:
 
for a bathed eternity I sat here with myself
 
twiddling my half-opened pride:
 
it might seem like the light would keep her tied to me.

 

 

On Life

I am insatiate
 
for the sunfish
 
laid out on
 
the beach
 
for us to eat.
 
How could it
 
have gotten
 
here?
 
None
 
know
 
but
 
its scales un-
 
done by the,
 
the slightest
 
mince by hand
 
working its form
 
into these two:
 
a wide-eyed
 
pulp and a
 
chrysalis. The
 
scales are fit,
 
so perfectly fit,
 
to shoe
 
or purse
 
or left on
 
like a lit-up
 
hearse.
 
I let a pieceful
 
near my mouth.
 
A bit of light
 
in that.

 

 

On Chopin’s Nocturnes

Try something light,,,, he said,,
 
it’ll never turn out in a good way
 
if you don’t add a hint of lightness,,
 
He meant light but I said “Good”
 
and said,, I’ll try,,,, but still slivers
 
caught themselves in and around
 
my corpus like a banal shadow,,,,
 
and make sure not to use moonlight,
 
he said,, standing there all clean.
 

 

 

On Aphasia

And still the matter of a firefly
 
afloat with its upright memory
 
in this staunch room of mishap.
 
Misapprehension flits through
 
adding a tint of penchant for light.
 

 

 

On Being Lost

Have you seen
 
the other side
 
of a lake
 
in your
 
mind’s eye
 
when stretched
 
through the fog?
 
I have.
 
The fog,
 
risen, rode,
 
cold, permanent,
 
and groundless,
 
but not so;
 
it is still
 
in my wonder,
 
now, finding
 
my maw
 
too shallow
 
for its stretch
 
about my body.