Refraction (The Nerve Meter) / Aaron Boothby

Then they will see the joints of the stones steam, and arborescent bouquets of mental eyes will be crystallized in glossaries…

 An inhale cannot solve the eye’s curious breath. Someone asked for the terms of seeing. They received oakmoss like a cloud of ink. They received flowers who rains crushed grandiose enough to stifle a mouth. A bird bathes in growth’s decomposit shreds fallen through fingers. It’s imagined one way but seeing’s a doubled event. The wing’s coal reverberates doubt. When it tenses the nerves tremble.

Transmission’s noise ejects between objects. Stone takes sun releases heat to night. Stone takes night releases cool to day. Immemorial exhalations. It’s an animal palm flattening on grass on clover on dandelion that’s breathing. There’s a sense capable of dreaming forest here. From the sleeping head’s perspective all the being of world’s beyond seeing. Caught in wing’s lightness blueing a joy of itself.

Erratics and eddies of thoughts currents. As if between river’s flow were gaps where water ceased and stone stared. There is no definition reaching out to teeth. To serrate. To ice and a binding stasis. There is the mind’s cruelty when witnessing itself. This harsh endeavour of alone. To see. To see itself. To witness. To witness itself. The soul’s breath it’s own mirror. Already calling the image a lie.

Someone has asked for terms. A taste beckons. An inhaling delves into the ink of skin. In a garden of shells poured into earth. On a page where notations gather. With a mythic intelligibility ordained by the legitimacy of tragedy. They know nothing crystal of themselves hold no lightning in solidity. An agenda groans and throws nerves into confusion. The meter corrodes visibly behind a fern screen.

Passing through hail with a shriek of what’s real. Before the stone’s sutures steam a revision. Bypassing tonal frequencies of a familiar reality. With eye’s nerves severed retied to possibility. With the ear’s nerves severed and the tongue unable to reach. Glimpsing behind mechanics. Witness who is an exterior of mirrors an interior of abyssal thoughts in relation caught between flight and caress.

Bliss a green honey of borders. A motion of one thought engendering another. Interspersed with shadow. To hold still in a turmoil of interior motion witnessed by no other. Speaking out crying out not from a thought’s furred warmth but from a gap that word has voided. How are you not held in glossaries of music with eyes fixed on a stream’s slide over cracking blocks of stone.

Within a room within a city crushed by harmonies a mind effloresces its own boundaries.

Aaron Boothby is a poet from California now living in Montréal. Work has been published in PRISM, Axolotl, Liminality, and other journals while a chapbook titled Reperspirations, Exhalations, Wrapt Inflections was published in 2016 with Anstruther Press. Tweets appear @ellipticalnight and a website can be found at

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