mark ducharme

think in order

                           Sonnet for Jeff Chester

In order to be a subject
Try to be a thought experiment
In order to be nuzzled
Think of the hazy summer moon objectively
In order to be wakeful
Drink samba rhythms through the lungs
In order to be scholarly
Just be scholarly
In order to drive
Stop saying whatever you don’t mean
In order to thrive
Say just what you mean, but no more, until
The naked world burns your eyes with its mortal
Solidity, & everything else rolls away


sometimes, i have this intense yearning

To awake in the sun
When the wind is laden
With fruit
In the space of the heft of the weather
Which breaks, breaks there
In tufts of color

If you dream textures
In a blue rhythm
The sky will fail
& Harmonic sea life
Gather in your hair

Don’t spill the letters
In clouds of summers
Weaving to depart— breathe
Abundant life & be
When the wind comes & opens
Your bones like a face

Let light scatter
Let silence ring there
Let everything bear
The scars of your name

mark ducharme is the author most recently of We, the Monstrous: Script for an Unrealizable Film (The Operating System, 2018), Counter Fluencies 1-20 (The Lune, 2017) and The Unfinished: Books I-VI (BlazeVOX Books, 2013). His poetry has appeared in numerous journals, both in print and online, among them Big Bridge, Bombay Gin, Caliban Online, Colorado Review, Mantis, New American Writing, OR, Pallaksch Pallaksch, Shiny, Talisman, and Vanitas. A recipient of the Neodata Endowment in Literature and the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.