Two Poems — John Latta


         We make up a different language for poetry
         And for the heart—ungrammatical.

                           “Transformations II”

Ungrammatical heart, singalong
Thump of the intertwinable out, what

Makes you make music is the sheer ordinary

And welcome
Textual welter and ingress,
                                         the unstoppable ahoy!

The word the text sings out setting down its small heap
Of baggage.

Only to be getting along out of there shortly.

A tiny French policeman of the heart
                                                        barks Circulez!
And the text does so—
Hoisting its own endless journey-
Scuff of a trunk

Stuck all over with the stickers of whatever real
The heart puts its name to—
                                             Gino & Carlo’s,
The John Dee Spa & Cafeteria,


A little allegory of the heart
And its furtive list is nothing more than a listing

Toward the charming expedient
Of our own proper names,
Our own improper expediting and delivery—as self—

Of a self not to be had.

How did I get that inside inside and the answer is I didn’t:
I went into the heart not knowing

And out of the heart I sang,
                                           out in a slow arc over sun-
Scuffed wilderness,
Out over the there

Where real lemons fire the immediate

Syllables of light

And poetry ain’t never mistook for no money,
No scripture,
No light.
            Out of the heart I sang
Not knowing, not listing to know.


A different language. True to itself untrue.
Language noises
Stoking the machine of the heart.

The heart
A machine running all about all over, discoursing
The American field.
                             Two words in unfriendly footrace.
                             Two words teaming up for a three-legged race.
Words in a burlap sack.
Two hearts in a burlap sack.

Language noises
In a grove of lemons.


Spicer, what language says it says with a warning.
It says I am sober enough to know
                                                      I am drunk
We 86 it and it 86’s us.
We lean it home.
We fix it
               a gin and tonic with a twist.

That tumbler we set down before it is the poem

We knock over in our rapturous hurry
To get it set down.
Only days later, carrying to the sink that endless cloud-

Smudge of a tumbler, do we read the words.

The words read Spicer,
What language says it says
With a warning



A Rebell it mought be,

And lookit that silver Sun,

A Cold cumbrous column, it

Go down like a shoe

Into mud. Regret is a

Seam in the day, bunch’d

Up surly, a mugging Cross

Alignment and gerrymander. A Plight

Wroth-scumbled and sky-scald’d.

Skullduggery and scambling, Rift in

The pitkin, liturgical Spitting in

Unsanctifiable Dirt. Fear not my

Little fleck and haemorrhage, fear

Not my gospell Squall, my

Arch and holler, my sacerdotal

Imperium, my squawk, my Gun.

typo magazine — issue three