Signal Rhythm 1

What do I read? How do I read it? Sammelband: There is no master book. Books come together, intuitively. Thread and needle bind memory. Reading as saying and marking. Reading as a pledge to who? Or plague, rag paper could be a vector for this. “They performed a regular circuit of the local mills, destroying machinery, cutting sacks, and carrying away grain and meal.” I don’t do much. Art in no pure medium. Art saved for when? I forget. To remember I am breaking books. Send me a letter on a page from a book you consider yours. I will turn a page in a book I’ve been forgetting to read for ten years. I will respond to you on that page. Don’t keep it.


Joe Hall
226 Linwood Ave, Apt #8
Buffalo, NY 14209


✜ came to drink, how could jelly drink, rinsing

ambergris, ✜ touched, walking along the shore

looking back to the tipped tree to know how long

¢ might take to find w: are you afraid

of the ocean? no, cross-currents of ice in

antifreeze burning wakes of stadiums drifting

are you afraid of flood? ¢ asked questions like this

as if ✜ was mostly a stutter, ✜ thought of Ÿ

sticking Ÿ’s foot into a huge catfish’s gills, through its

mouth, the mounted camera and a deer on its trembling stilts on a

raft corkscrewing down the rooftop high water

✜ thought of stupid men holding shotguns against

one side of a bridge, against what they saw as a monstrous wave of vaseline

✜ thought of the inner surface of a long intestine crowded with

singing human heads like the seeds on the dry nonflesh against

the sticky flesh of a papaya, no ✜ said, ✜’s car on ramps

the oil pouring out of the block, no ✜ said, are you afraid

of time ¢ asked, ✜ knew the tide would rise, ✜ looked

back to the tipped pine, its green in the river

✜ knew the tide would rise to the line of the muscles

they would drink, ✜ knew how long the steps

would take ✜ to her or for ¢ to come to ✜ but was

✜ turning back and was ¢ coming, the flood

was coming—are you afraid of me, ¢ asked,

✜ thought of you walking down Barnhust

✜’s father pulling a hat on his head or leaning a chainsaw’s

spinning into the shins of a tree or holding w upside

down by his knees, ✜’s mother passing the welding

flame over the bars until they were soft

and joining, of n in all the silent tenderness

of n’s things, ✜ thought of how the screen melted

in the orange floor, like a candle, radioactive, waking

up in wet shoes how you can’t breathe heavy

elements and that’s what the air was when n died north

of Thurmont—mud—the spray of feathers—✜ is afraid of losing

you, your questions, loosing this red signal

to what ✜ don’t know is ✜, you, ¤, this signal, what

it turns around itself like cement in a mixer—

Joe Hall is the author of three books of poetry: Pigafetta Is My Wife (Black Ocean, 2010), The Devotional Poems (Black Ocean, 2013), and, in collaboration with Chad Hardy, The Container Store Vols I & II (SpringGun, 2012). He lives with fellow poet Cheryl Quimba in Buffalo, New York.