They loved these things. They loved the trees
the sheep the windows of the sun. They loved the sun
and called the sun the sun. They called the sun the birds
and then the sheep and then it rained and then they ate.
They ate the sheep, the birds, the sun, and then the rain.
The rain came and they loved it and they loved the little
trees. They loved the trees and also ships and little
windows of the sun. They loved the thing called sun, the trees,
the birds, the sheep, the windows of the ship and also rain.
They asked about the sheep and also birds and then the sun.
They told the stories of the birds they knew and then they ate.
They ate the birds in stories that had sheep and ships and birds.
They told the stories of the birds to add it to the birds.
They added to the birds to then subtract it from the little
sheep. They fell asleep, the birds in films that fell asleep and ate.
They asked, as birds, to be the birds, in stories that had trees,
in the windows of the ships that rocked beneath the sun.
They built the ships that were the ships in stories with the rain.
They ate the rain, the birds, the sheep, the ships beneath the rain.
The rain came and they loved it like they loved the little birds.
They looked like birds, the birds they were, of keyholes and the sun,
far from the ships, the rain, the burning sheep, the little
windows of themselves with teeth like tiny trees
that from the trees looked out of rain storms where they ate.
They sat in shadow of the dawn with sheep that ate
the trees with birds that starred in films and stared up at the rain,
collectively and alone, and with the sheep in trees
that were the doorways of the sun, dangerous, unlike the birds,
where the sheep were, having flown away, in little
hearts of song, the song of the sheep which was the doorway of the sun,
and from the doorway of the sun they were all there beneath the sun
the birds in films, the sheep with trees, the doorways where they ate,
having fallen asleep, beside the sun, up to the sides of the ships,
little, tired, being animals and trees, gesticulating wildly, in the rain
that came inside the film beside the trees, before the birds
arrived as birds, graceful, tired, burned down like the burning little
trees that had always been the trees, that had been there near the sun,
that had harbored all the birds, having eaten what was ate,
inside the rain near little ships with sheep in shadows of the sun.
O beef, you are troubling yourself unnecessarily,
trying to stay awake, beeflike, beside the
highway, with the biggest spikes of grass, by the
truck stop, in Idaho, with its gasoline and oil,
with its circuits in a well, the blood of all
the beef, troubled, friendly beef you are,
unnecessary, on fire in the fields, and not as
smart as mice or all the gasoline and wheat,
or by the tables of the gods with chesnuts that
adorn you, and if you are adored, singing folksongs,
beside the barber shop, unexpected, everywhere,
universally, that I love that you can burn, wildly,
with the beer cars, inside of several stadia,
through holes up in the sky, worshipped and
so worshipful, at war inside yourself, the troubled
lengths of hide and hair that make you what you are,
the beef beneath the amber waves of sky.
Lisa Jarnot is the author of Some Other Kind of Mission
and she is currently writing a biography of Robert Duncan. She was editor of the St Marks' in the Bowery Poetry Project newsletter in New York City until 1997 and was also an editor of An Anthology of New American Poets, 1997. Her other books include Phonetic Introductions, The Fall of Orpheus, and the chapbook Sea Lyrics. Her forthcoming book is Ring of Fire, to be published by Zoland Books (Boston).