Circle & then hollow circle leads to eternity

Which turns on its side & becomes grass


Again away from the sun a pointed shape

Made of shadows the way fronds turn diagonal & threshold


Could be a cloud from left to right a holding

So strewn & shadowed so silicate


A twisting tree is taken to mean the presence of

The commodity     The man smokes into a telephone    


The room too dim to see me in the convex mirror


Fog & glass flowers perched perhaps on a stone ledge

& light originating in their stems


The woman with eyes upon her eyes

Turns into tiny pleats or hair or water 






The slow application of metal to metal reveals

In torn-paper distance a body made of absorbing ink


The camera turned by hand      The brain

Charted in the shadow the wave makes curling over on itself


How the light at right appears as a smudge

Hovering above the rocking of silence


Leaves form a cage for the girl

Beside the telephone poles reflected in still water






The painting’s secrets lie down      In the

Hole in the hill where my finger intrudes


Her body ripples like a private ad-hoc    

Nocturnal ocean


All the men discarded 


A castle squares above these naive figurines

Panting with a concave tongue






The scrap metal the tossed-aside reaches the river

Which turns upright into a damp kind of sky


The woman is an instrument of the particular present     

Zeroes & typographic pearls      Quell across her breast


A pair of legs walks through that time 

& into her despair    The woman removes


Her dress & we enter her mouth      We touch the doorknob

& wave goodbye to the ship with all our


Triumphant tin flags       With all

Our sorrowful hands & eyes






Rain falling on the river & the beautiful girl

The cameraman visible in reflection      Her hair


A perfect thundercloud hanging in midair from

A stone wall of large boulders snugged


Wipe the sweat from her neck      A false city

Peopled with model trains grows seasick as a fish as a


School of fish in a shaken aquarium near the light

Moving toward us between crossed leaves


An invisible audience becomes trees her hair & her shoulders

Moving above ground towards the city center a globe crushed


Electric wire seen from a train      Tallest building

Pointing up & up to commemorate


The empire & how it shapes the water repeatedly






Moving forward the way light moves to be an opening in the

Dark field the way      Her guidebook & birthmark


Surpass the train     As the roadside shakes


In the night a fat cat descends a stair & outlines

Hammer the overgrown graves


Your hats swirl upon the dazzling Seine


The doors of Paris open & the awkward angel sits at a table

Changing size a bit under her bonnet


How she smiles at him mouth like a speckled machine


A bridge between rocks

A gate blurred & shut






A hand on her thigh     Not the first one but waiting

& there as the clock ticks itself apart


How to be a person on a park bench     To look at the arching

Darkening sky     Flocking as the tower opens


A row of movie screens flicker through a forest

A city of sorts contained by the room


As though in high wind the leaves refract & the deflated

Withers of a horse     Shift just a little against the edge


As he tries again she holds this cup aloft    

Water moving back into the old part of town






Dancers disrobe phantoms in a field of square boulders

Approach wet-footed & so French     Stroking her fur throat


Walking to the giant steps backward     How the scratched film echoes

So much light exhausted on the right half of her face






As the water leaches slowly into sand

& the mites from her chest      Polish a nonexistent window






            Flowers falling upward  as

            Her body appears from under water


            Naked in the camera’s stuttering eye

            The concealed eye of light      Is a motion you make occur


            Dream of ascending stairs into a cupola with walls

            Made of light where we remove


            Our clothes & adieu/ so beautiful!       We descend

            The stairs & the machine of uncertainty shifts slowly forward






            We enter the house of lace       She is walking

            Away from us & sun glows through


            Her dress      Face tilted away & I think

            Of the touch this shell left on the ground glistening


            A blurred hand in his hair & the arrival

            Of the train from the nearby village


            The ghost train arrives blending

            White steam with dark sky


            Is a lamp spinning a triangle rounding here

            Is the way light closes with the hands


            The sky giving & taking away        L’ascenseur & the knife

            Become walls of sanity & the sky a border


            Of the sincere woman who burns

            In a pit while singing La Marseillaise






            There are more of us wrestling perhaps

            In places worn so the light comes through


            Orbiting the words she makes a circle around herself    

            A door opens in a hidden room     her face


            Mounting from trees to a severe sky

            So much water waiting to receive her


            Descend the whale



MC Hyland is the author of Neveragainland and several poetry chapbooks. She is the founding editor of DoubleCross Press, a Printshop Steward at the New York Center for Book Arts, and is working on a dissertation about the commons in Romantic and postmodern poetry at NYU. She lives in Brooklyn.