from As The World Falls Down

Jayme Russell

high quality advances
pre-echo warning
temporal smearing
played as frequently as possible fidelity
decays with playback
distant hollow tone in the trees

singing behind the curtain of plumage whip-bird bell-
bird golden whistler a flock inside one body tiny birds
faintest notes inside your shadow blurred by
movement descending scale elusive passing glimpses
snared alive voices of the forest appear at fixed points
with clockwork regularity

down through the clearing through the water

no other road the realm of the sea

fish        sing

plumes emerge from the spell a company of small
birds rises and spreads in one sweeping motion
ripples in a liquefied pattern until assuming a static

book               inside

glass               cage

pages             floating

forward and downward partially screening head from
sight among the decaying roots tinged with purple
space to flourish sloping private kingdom invaded by
each bird swimming in the atmosphere

fish were little birds never seen

the song a black sky swirls in this forest time opens
danger follows below the castle the earth is rising the
world will break open and swallow here bodies
crumble to grey ash the mind’s purple sparkling fades

your face comes into focus and so do the butterfly
wings they spread stick to glass and hang from the
ceiling they flock across walls coat our bodies crush
between the fingers out on the ledge I am crawling
you are tearing at your own wings

and the pins are stuck in bodies
and the pins hold us
you are already a corpse

with pouting lips                       and the butterflies
and birds flap and squeak                                like
you do

how can a bird sing when he is so run through

I play at spiraling the right tune the neverending circle
tune when my pins turn there will be music chromatic sequence
descending sequence
out of phase
can’t see anything but the descending past

spray of glitter in the spacetime curvature

.               .                       .                    .                          .
     .                           ..  .            .                      .......
                               ...              :           .   .:.:...        :     .
.......     ::                                          .                                .       .
                     .   .             .   .           .           ....
.                          .     .          .
.               .                     :                     .                     .
   .           .           ..              .                .                          .

horizontal lines threading down your frame in an ecstatic
interruption on your television screen ink and paper bleeding
fuzzy laced pixelated horizontal lines rolling down the sky

suggest movement on a static plane

and all you do is drive yourself into the ground
and continue to believe that you are moving              upwards

the world deteriorating at an increasingly rapid rate
film within the crystal footage within just before
forgetting crystal white candles masks a frantic choice
to leave the dream wake


I break

(          )

my dreams into falling glass and your body folds into
gauze and feathers folds under wing tape squeaking
(((((       )))))

suspend animation suspend gravity upend this castle
and make it broken escher receding bend me back

inverse image in the bubble which (p o p s)* with a

stiff wings beating to the chime of thirteen
stiff wings against a round white moon

: : : : :

JAYME RUSSELL received her M.A. in Poetry from Ohio University and her MFA in Poetry from The University of Notre Dame. Recently, she was named a finalist in Black Warrior Review’s Ninth Annual Poetry Contest. Excerpts from her long poem “As the World Falls Down” can be found in Black Warrior Review, PANK, and Columbia Poetry Review.