r2hox via Flickr




Tractatus Californicus

Simple games, like ones of memory, the conversation
swaying back and forth across the assortment, in times
visited as with a lavish density of trills, to bear up
in correction, to hold, to find one’s field of concern,
the decision run like fat in it; not to say it was
an alkaline lull trenched in your mouth but that
you did live in a kind of accumulation, constant deliveries
of utterly incommensurable arithmetics, fears
and potions, before your withdrawal from the long stroke
of the earth across our chests. It’s like everything else here
has been a punishment, every tactical clause of
the memorandum, every arrangement of the ready-to-hand,
spinning a single fine thread to cast for the telos,
which must be the quotient of these hoary nomials, which must
be this harbor cast in this succulent declension of light,
the flat evening a mere study of the guitar, a mere
amber in the redolence, the smallest thought, the blessed
poverty of thought.


Ryo Yamaguchi is the author of the collection of poems The Refusal of Suitors (Noemi Press, 2015). His poetry has appeared in journals such as The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, and The Journal, among others. He also regularly reviews books for outlets such as Bookslut, Michigan Quarterly Review, and NewPages. He lives in Chicago where he works at the University of Chicago Press. You can visit him at plotsandoaths.com.