An excerpt from
The Plurality Of Entrances
by Leigh Zaph
Copyright © 2020 by Leigh Zaphiropoulos All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
Author’s photo by Bryn McCornack
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system without the expressed permission of the author, c/o Soualiga Press, P.O. Box 416, South Beach, OR 97366
PUBLISHER’S CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Names: Zaphiropoulos, Leigh, author.
Title: The plurality of entrances / Leigh Zaph.
Description: South Beach, OR: Soualiga Press, 2020.
Identifiers: LCCN: 2020920097 | ISBN: 978-1-7359364–0-6
Subjects: LCSH American poetry--21st century.| BISAC POETRY / General.
Classification: LCC PS617 .Z37 2020 | DDC 811.6--dc23
Published in the USA by
South Beach, OR 97366
Chapter 1: Suspected Novelties
Mentee’s Lament 3
Senescence: To, And, From 4
Pontificating Ad Homonym -- Part 2, Or..., Johnny Snaps His Gum 5
Singing In The Drain 6
André Unperks The Coffee Klatch And Not Without Some Pounding 7
One Bridge, Two Views 8
Grist To Fodder 9
Ms. Lonelyheart’s Advice To The Forewarned 10
Chapter 2: A Nervous Splendor
Coming, Too, A Head, Near You 13
Affairs Proved Counterfactual 14
Playing It, Covalently 15
Some Ins And Outs Of Talk And Breathing 16
After Ides 17
Redux At 65 18
Accounting For A Change In Handwriting 19
“Ladies And Gentlemen...The Beetles” 20
Chapter 3: Some Danceable Boleros
Do Anti-Metaphors Imply? 23
Historicity and Morning’s Dream 24
Two Questions (from Ithaca, In Briefs) 25
Propped And Ready 26
Directing (every which way) 27
Downhill Racers 28
To His Bored Mistress 30
Chapter 4: Releasing The Reins
Revisiting The Watchtower 33
18° 2' 17.45" N, 63° 5' 51.18" W 34
Some Things To Be Avoided 35
What Comes As Best Should Have No Walls 36
Circumnavigation Finds The Origins Most Dear 37
Losing difference 38
Sharing In The Lunacy 39
Chapter 5: Dancing For Eels
Full And By 43
Teenage Musant Neo-Freudian -- Affected Type 44
Falling Out Of Range 46
Mausoleum: The Thirty-Eighth Ballad 47
Parodying With The Stars #2 48
I Got Her (Your Sister) Sick By Talkin’ ‘Bout Eating Some Purple Berries 49
Poetic Paranoia -- Part 2 50
Chapter 6: Riding Where the Tracks End
Nice Try 56
…And Another Thing: 57
Puntificting Ad Hominem 58
More Pungency Precedes Postmortem’s New Revival Part 1 59
A Whorfian Hypothesis 60
Better Get Them Appleseed In The Ground, Johnny 61
Speaking Of This Briefly 62
Chapter 7: Eight Petitions Sighed By One
Carpe Diem Misapplied 65
Releasing The Reins 66
Recycling Waste 67
À Père Lachaise 68
Words That Merely Point 69
Panoplies Un-Privatized 70
10 More Quatrains-The Apothecary’s Song-Translated Without Rhyme 71
Pablum Qua pablum 72
Conjunctive to this arid sense of normalcy,
the theme seen here is autobiographical:
segued from synaptic hide-a-ways,
papered fore Alzheimeresque dispersion,
hoping that some third dimension’s
pressed within the vellum,
brought to live beyond the shakeout.
This impossible child of conscious burdens
as if death’s whistle’s being heard
before its lips are pursed.
Both outweigh the rest
to advocate the cause of immobility—
something that’s immovable
whose consequence is only felt
by choosing to run into it.
Filled with visual reeking
to look in its direction is
to look no other way;
lost is north and south, east and west
when such displacements measure change,
and change defines the time,
the element of life, my life.
How am I to travel?
“Modify the sense of God,
and happiness will be achieved.”
Who said this? I said this,
a statement made to imitate
the rope that’s used to hang
the murderers of words.
And the lines, the lines of my digressions—
the lines of each regression—
merge the apple to the orange, to love
for anything that’s spherical.
To wake and hear this hypergraphic tome scares me,
and just to know where my youth was after all
posits all in hypertexed display.
And though it’s not
what I was put here for,
and not my job or outward function,
it is the sum that pushes keys
to open up a box still stuffed
and in the making—
a porticoed romance
that keeps me on my toes,
“And tomorrow ends up no longer like tomorrow.”
—C. P. Cavafy
SENESCENCE: TO, AND, FROM
I don't know when it started:
this quiddity that moved from
passion to a passive longing,
still spruce, but redefined.
The loss of winking hard
once drawn within the body's glances,
the chimes of thought
whose churning spelled as if
from rough veneers...
when asked for cause (and simply put),
re-mined the mind with answers.
The allegory's real, for once
there is no rope to tow on other spheres;
truth is truth is truth refined
to yield what’s whitened, whispered—
seeking out mismanaged ears
despite that knowing sound, once found,
is not the same
Or then again,
perhaps this is a squall of sorts,
and through these many bids,
a last attempt to excavate
those jungles started years ago.
Some answers seem to question this
from values raised
by ceilings now in view:
can retrospects eclipse unwelcomed dotage?
These values, are they well informed for any
who ignore past days
and then assume some other ways
a newer self-involvement?
Even in these grayer times
these fascinations take that name.
Each restive need to chew some nail
of discontent is not of our own making,
but then, and yet,
marked as this night's guest,
we take the role of regulars
with hymns and yarns to spin.
For any unaware, or at a loss
when coming to right angles,
we are the fruit for analogic thinking—
whose hands are not for counting
but rather to be counted,
and made to aid these folds that sleep
beneath each false arrival.
I think I understand it now--—
the meaning of egress,
the how, and why, it came to be,
and when            to be            applied.
GRIST TO FODDER
to Rod Serling
“You’ve got some ‘Star-Spangled” nails in your coffin, kid. That’s what they’ve done for you, son.”--Richard Brautigan
The stares that empty history
are still thoughts unconceived.
A cloak (and shroud) of coarse design’s
made-up for easy seizing—
propelled by patent passions,
braced by growth’s momentum.
Choice is thought immobile;
the rush, a feeler working;
danger’s heat is misconstrued
as sparks where fires are racing—
shuttering a knowing scent
from so much blood in stasis.
War for war
is made for toys;
And also boys come play,
to go this way of elms.
A Nervous Splendor
“...my blood approves, and kisses are a better fate than wisdom”
—from since feeling is first by e. e. cummings
COMING; TOO; A HEAD; NEAR YOU
Rather than my lover,
It's my tête noire
That comes in the night.
Beside me, she (my lover),
—for sure alloyed by the slick pollution that rides
my constant words of questionable origins—
Must listen to me shuffle
Inside the tiny shack
That is my mind.
Beside her, me (myself and I)
—looking through the shack's only window—
Finds my self surrounded.
I swing its squeaky door
And charge out puns blazing.
Or, when it's not a shack,
My cabin's on a ketch
—my mind floating and wailing at sea—
But still, it's the same—
My sails find their lift (a drag for her).
I try to move, listening for
The homonymic, echolalic, fuckingly coprolalic
Foghorn that will guide me
To a bright lighthouse
(or rocks, she says).
It's a difference of opinion.
My hyperbolic ways carry me towards two axes;
She shouldn't be afraid—they're unreachable.
"It's not fear," she says, "it's boredom
And your inability to focus,
PLAYING IT, COVALENTLY
A cliche's plight
not unpracticed in the way of it
best describes her festooned motions—
those mast-propelled unevenings
that break from past's partitions.
What hangs for me from age (and left)
is seen and counter-fanciful,
whose endless use
turns florid scents to gravel.
And what is there to do? what to do:
she cannot know
my mind without a language,
without its latencies,
And yet she gives me license,
reality and other models,
a set to decorate,
another whirl at casting new cliches…
Some Danceable Boleros
“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”
HISTORICITY AND MORNING'S DREAM
Forget the typewriters,
these monkeys speak volumes!
Each on its own pedestal, remains,
jabbering sense-filled theorems.
The mirrors are surprised:
forgetting duller likenesses
they now reflect a present way,
un-awry, and clear.
need not be named
to find their source or meaning.
Each point can pierce a child’s mind,
pop out a laugh, or write a smile.
And what the older knowers know
is just the "term," if you insist;
and stay away from even that,
the anytimes you don't.
The greatest pleasure,
like the taste of orange,
flies among the label-less, revealed—
unriddled from the white that's borne
between the names, already struck,
and joys we’ve lost by naming them.
Don't stick to plans
or feel the heat that argumentum bring:
those double sides
that seem adhered,
when only one is needed.
Overthrow the rulers
of what's been left to measure,
they’re like some frayed barometer
that only shows one pressure.
Reject the wrappers and their Logos;
find the end where thought's not only catalyst
for deeper thought—
is this the truth? Or death as some would say?
life's stock in trade,
life's twofold existence,
are better left inconsequent
within this poly-folded world.
Fear not oblivion,
it's what's been here before,
and then forgotten.
Remember the monkeys
(they really are so cute),
forget the typewriters
and the lexiconic zombies
scratching at our door asking,
"WTF, are you surreal?"
For those of us who don't compute,
life's a fountain.
TO HIS BORED MISTRESS
Tonight, I find, the language is the land;
Its ancient belly's soul
Feels firm-like under foot—
Or so it seems.
But outskirts drop to find
A rising tide of contradicting sighs—
A luster in one's ears—
If truth be known.
What of this truth-like earthly tone
Of mental provocation?
And why such seasonality
When reasons come
To play upon
Our need for future's paradise
And facile fabulations?
Behold, I see a church of words
And other ghosts within our dreams.
How could they be as such,
When what once lived—their past—
Didn't come to us,
Nor did their death,
Or deathlike likeness,
There seems to be some foolery
And doubleness, again, I hear—
A surrogate for senselessness
Both here, and there, and more.
But saying it
Does drop me to a minorness
And onto life's most other quills
Of spine-ful fear and foible
(Embarrassments for me, (and you?)).
I'll grant, there is another way
But heavy with fake rectitude
And other fist-filled fantasies...;
So watch me dear,
Though chained to pillars left and right,
I'll stand and pull all down
To what there lies on up above
The whats you thought were tops; Or...
If you prefer,
We can just sleep together.
Releasing The Reins
“I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me.”
―from the Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes
WHAT COMES AS BEST SHOULD HAVE NO WALLS
to Roger Bacon
Once felt, death’s a sole demand.
Leeward bound, eyes make clear:
Devices have their say to self,
And mind’s the mind’s best leader.
The times that saw false ecstasies,
Opacities, that wrote all else,
Couldn’t edify confusion as
The source In need
of deep remission.
Whose fragments, tilled as tethered bits,
Spilled forth like organs from a dog,
Beside the road,     and dead;
Its horrors felt outside—
Since inner fears
Would be too clear.
Whose rousted spines—
Electrified from knowing such—
Did compromise with curtain calls;
Within the brain.
So still, the sake is plunged,
And like a jaw that’s opened,
Consumates post-birth, reheard,
to start the next new epilogue.
Why?! The epigraph was clear—
forged for finer circumstance:
a word before the words,
whose etiquette and manners shown,
and flowed out unfinessed!
What?! Apparently, the voice,
Without an accent to the ear
(since heard from birth),
Was easy to ignore—
A flaw within man’s nature:
To seem beyond his true address!
If life had eaves
To help us see
What lies beneath,
We’d know these tries
And not toward something
CIRCUMNAVIGATION FINDS THE ORIGINS MOST DEAR
for Sharon Olds
Why disguise the manner's aspiration,
to take the venture’s glide among
a pride of froth-filled frictions
is to be as one as two to peal
where frontal meets excursion.
And hammered tandem bliss repairs
to join a quantum need
for finding pleasure’s ancient ward
and life in living's bout against
all mindful interference.
(And wordless triggers shout aloud
in flush and fretless unison—
the world's at play,
its length till change
is like a mineral's life.)
Dancing For Eels
TEENAGE MUSANT NEO-FREUDIAN -- AFFECTED TYPE
In 1961, I read Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin's Lisa and David. A few months later the movie came to town, its title transposed for phonetic reasons I suppose, or pour les raisons anciennes (if you get my meaning). In the movie, Kier Dullea wrestles his demons for over an hour, (seven years later he'll wrestle HAL the computer, but for much less time, and in a much longer movie)... But I digress. On this particular afternoon I enter, with stealth, my father's office; he's absent, "how more not, than often" (je pense, cleverly). I take his place behind the couch, sit in his chair, grab his pad and with less guilt the Montblanc pen I gave him for Christmas. I lean back, pen to mouth, eyes to ceiling, still too young to have a beard (or jaw cancer), but ready, yes, ready to begin, vraiment prêt. I hear (i.e. “imagine”, if this helps you), a knock at the door; it's my dear aforementioned colleague, Dr. Rubin. "Why Ted, do come in, please have a seat," I say, "and allow me to illuminate... here's what you may have missed: [allegrissimo] I've thought about Lisa and must say it's my opinion that the main basis of her behavior is due to a lack in ego development and the secondary process associated with it. The images in her mind cannot be applied faithfully and accurately to the objects found in the external world. She's psychologically undeveloped and unable to identify, with any degree of stability, her images with an appropriate external object. Being unable to proceed normally, she has regressed to an infantile stage and the inadequate primary process which offers no effective method for forming accurate mental representations of the real world. She has, for all practical purposes, lost all sense of reality. For example, the lack of ego development and therefore of an ability to produce concrete object relationships is apparent in Lisa's attempts to create external objects out of internal ones such as parts of herself: the splitting of her personality--Lisa and Muriel--and the separation of her hand from the rest of her body--with the hand moving autonomously--and even these as objects can only be maintained temporarily. I see Lisa's regression as being easily observed in her self-cuddling, jumping, rhyming and sing-song behavior. I would even go so far as to say her hiding in closets represents an obvious attempt at complete regression to the prenatal state. Though I see other examples I'm not sure why her ego development has not taken place but I can suggest a few theoretical answers such as the possible instability or unavailability of objects around her in her early childhood, or even a diminishing ability for object-cathexes.
As for David, the problem seems to be due to the development of a poor psycho-sexual identification. Because of the apparent lack of sexual discrimination between his parents who do not sufficiently display the characteristics typical of their respective sexes and social roles, David's Oedipus complex has remained unsolved and his castration fear practically reversed. At the same time I feel his ego has been unable to cope with the complexities this situation has produced in the resolution of his bisexuality conflict. In essence, he doesn't know if he is a male or female (as expressed in his reaction to the sideshow hermaphrodite). This confusion is accompanied by anxiety, causing within him a fear of his own body and a wish to become separate from it. This wish is reflected in his excessive intellectualization which he uses in an attempted to become a disembodied brain and can partially explain his phobic reactions, too. By being touched, he is made aware of the existence of his body and thus his confusion and anxiety. This fear of touch is also due to a parallel set of difficulties arising, again, from poor psycho-sexual identification. It is probable that early in his life David's sexual and aggressive impulses fused, and his young and immature ego was unable to cope with these combined impulses except in a repressive or suppressive manner. Since the ego was incapable of doing this indefinitely, it became necessary for the punitive superego to take over. It's this development of the superego that accounts for David's obsessive and paranoic traits. As applied to his phobia: if he is touched, it arouses within him his sexual-aggressive impulses and the superego must intervene in a punitive manner. Paranoia, whether it is directed towards a person or a concept such as time, is similarly explained by the presence of the superego, which unlike the ego, appears to the person to be a force outside of his mind. I could go on but you get the picture. [andante] "You're right of course," Dr. Rubin utters, standing up to leave, "and please do say hello to your Dad for me, you smart and worthy son, you; and my best to Mom and Sis." (he's clever, too). After he leaves I grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and turn on the TV. I see George Burns turn on his TV, saying, "Let's see what Gracie's doing..."
Parodying with the Stars #2 (of Stevie Smith's Not Waving but Drowning )
NOT MOANING BUT YAWNING
Nobody heard her, the woman wanting,
But still she lay sighing:
I was much further from what you thought
And not moaning but yawning.
Poor lady, she always loved coming
And now she's just lying
It must have been cold for her so her heart gave up
Oh, no, no, no, it was this cold always
(still wanting, still lying)
I was tired with desire all my life
And not moaning but yawning.
Riding Where The Tracks End
”Philosophy ought really to be written only as a poetic compression.”
to L. J. J. W.
These robber words,
the rooms they flock and fabricate
(as exitless, no less),
these false reported prophesies,
hollow as a feather's bone
infest the slowing sphere—
a world of spinning tops,
cocked and thrown but once,
their string a chanced divinity
for having been at all.
The point of movement is
to miss the point of fear,
and phrasing's vision—
to gyrate in a shadow
brighter than its caster,
to see the brownest beauty in
a leaf that's deaf to sun;
to "See the world aright"
(or disciplines capsized),
to roll the faux components called expression—
the digital lie
whose ring deprives the feeling of its soul
and flags the death of real,
the birth of corpses,
the minions drawn behind.
(Do crystals match the one within?
Do meanings have their orders?
It's been suggested
work occurs outside the conscious,
that sharing's done through resonance,
and resonance, precessing.
Suggested, ...just not stated.)
MORE PUNGENCY PRECEDES POSTMORTEM'S NEW REVIVAL Part 1
With what I saw,
There was a certain potency
In not dreaming;
And with the table set
To praise the Dead (a metaphor),
What was bred
From in and shrouded selfishness,
Retained a rush to serve
Diurnal's black plate special.
Knowing the real kidnappers,
My manikin soul discerned
What danced before each grave (not on)
And ether's questioned run
On-ground through hill
And dale capacities,
And other such suppressions—
Seamed with strings,
And strings of string—
A double sensed in feast.
Subtle as torn muscle,
Such commotion made the sun seem slight
To what burns
Nearer's still in ghost-like
As man's distaste for ash,
And love for what it was...
(This ends part one's abruption
of older words from new;
let green and curtain drop
the lights down low—
above the masses—
for no one's here
to play the part of Lord
and the script to put it right
is clearly      undecipherable.)
Eight Petitions Sighed By One
“The piers are pummelled by the waves; In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train; Outlaws fill the mountain caves...”
—from The Fall Of Rome by W. H. Auden
“Everything not saved will be lost.”
—Nintendo “Quit Screen” message
CARPE DIEM MISAPPLIED
for Al Gore. Jr.
The tides reveal a signal here and there,
the air, a long but failing dynasty,
questions who or what is being nourished.
History, with rust from past excursions
is not the history that's faced again,
and this is new—a future set adrift.
Effusion from the shallows trumps concern;
earth's dexterity slows and freezes.
The new decors of day are tarnishing
a broken gift that cannot be returned.
Incapability, a false retort,
braces for the present past, alone.
An unclaimed ethic fosters poison's birth
and next return; and selves, wrapped up, just wear
the mask of otherwise and pursed excuse.
Our wending has a risk’s uniqueness to it.
The children of this current's child
will lose the sites, and sights of clean array—
earth and sky, sun and moon—
without an eye to see them.
À PÈRE LACHAISE
Each note assigns
a title to its berth;
each soul, re-plied by certain light,
resounds the dislocation—
the cleft from those
less mortal than ourselves.
The scene and breeze are constant,
unpressed but always pressing;
the soil that mounts
these bones in bins—
sarcophagi of older themes—
re-marks the separation.
One sees carved rhymes in search of cause;
but short of these,
the lilies sway
and speak with wordless motion,
their silence bends, then blends un-dinned
the lists of favored notions.
there is a certain growl within this hallowed hum,
a dry allure to help each notion cure
its taut convictions caught within the ear,
or still in full retreat,
...confused by such decay.
And not too few would have such secrets die
(now saids within the saying),
whose rubs are worth repeating,
whose truths could collate more within
the hinge of past to things which passed
from time, and by the living.
The sin of knowing less
than those who came before
may lead what’s left to low degrees
that live within the waiting:
a cold that haws and stacks, as last,
the span of cautious leapers.
WAITING FOR THE Q & A
Again, I'm sorry;
No travelogue for you is here; No re-
This scape has one,
but chosen, prefix: a lone
and soul-filled filament—
steeped in gray
and all that paints
a personal decor:
man's seen as broken
—redemptive options gone,
and earth, itself,
but free to go.
with stills despite,
in search of doors and borders,
I enter just with titles only,
stymied by each scalding which
and numbered less devotions.
(And all what’s felt
is all that can't be said,
like knowing shadows can't exist
without some bright behind them—
those long gray bands
as roads defined
by photons’ motions casting,
born from sun
or other light
but never seen beside them.)
And telomeres, once frayed, remind:
A private dusk is coming—
so recognize the sovereignty
of stones, and too,
as not enough to measure all
or even fright's contention—
to live to die
that more might tour
the earth by such successions...
my whispers seem so loud and lasting,
but not as trees would have us hear,
they, who will remain,
injured yes, but winners first
and last to see the sun and its flagration,
(beyond these woods where man once lived,
and failed to make a clearing).
Is it best for us to know and yield our softer parts
and welcome life's reprisal:
last words for days as brightly colored scars
(that are no matter, really)
echoing the us that grieve
but know it’s simply time to leave?