Sunday, December 11, 2011


Five Poems by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

from As Water Sounds

(some of these poems were previously printed in Amerarcana and Big Bell)

           for Sarah Cain

there are no rocks or stones here
iron and a sixpence pool
of golden trembling
eight days into autumn
one hundred ninety-two hours
and the streets are all
busted with the aggressive hum
of progress. make music
with these chords, but
not with your hands
           a thousand specs of dust
           trapped in the light of a window
           travelling outward to meet you
           past four planets and twenty-nine
           stars overspread with worth white
           from the outside the heart beats
           saluting the generations of gods to come
           murky in a distance
           their dimlit eyes are fixed
           but not so much on you
           not so much on me. the frontispiece
           of tired horses has been done
           the amulet was a gift from a blind man
I am passing boulevards
to place this in your hands
a fig tree has the deepest roots
and saturn is more than worth its rings

Kings River Casting

Waiting for the strong to take them
elsewhere, the romanticized version
of canals & barroom conversations is absorbed
in a biography of those unaccounted for
I am no bohemian, just modest
in remarkably unremarkable moments
The reserve is in the dialect of answers
to which route he took off Napoleon
we have often fared better from the lesser
ranks with magic as second nature
unconnected details whose gaps speak
loudly. This is a good town for dreaming
knowing Erik Weisz was the son of a rabbi

Libra in the Irish Channel

Everything that is placed here
all adds up to one
we got a letter stating a change in service
all specs in light & shadow
can drift too long in the escape
these strings are organized
into riverbeds & visible laughs
           six thirteen has housed many
           and homed those that won’t move on
flash brilliant flash greenward
Lillian Russell in Vaudeville
but really it was 1953
glamour sealed inside
a descendant of voyagers
attack with love, respect outward measures
go ahead, ask the concierge

Open the Floodgates, There’s More

This happens all the time, a crucial point
bring forward the absolute, absolutely
speaking of the receivers
the depth is unpredictable
but the Corps can guesstimate
                      an anxious guilt
                      from a few years back
language of vandal symbolism
Melville & Butte La Rose
Obeying is not freedom
We can’t wash away this fear
It’s a subculture of power
subculture of protest
a silence that is rigorously functional

Whilst the Commons Come Tomorrow

They were talking
geographies and dimensions
counting on fingers the hook-ups made
My water story has been told
to strangers by someone else
The mirror reflecting the grid
reprinted, redirected light
mythologizing the shock value
Hand me a line and I will
wash it out clean and good
He isn’t walking the halls
he’s dropping China, waving flags
eternal company we keep true
with tall tales and bits of biography
This has nothing to do with the moon
and everything. You will change
the wording to get it straight
I will hide behind the first version.
Did you get it down? Are we live yet?


Sunnylyn Thibodeaux is the author of Palm to Pine (Bootstrap Press, 2011). She lives in San Francisco with her husband, poet Micah Ballard. Together they print books under Auguste Press and Lew Gallery Editions and have a baby daughter, Lorca Manale.

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