Olyver Currant: January by G.M. Palmer

Airplanes rip bright white wounds across the sky,
heartless, drained of color, silent and cold,
rending the frozen air miles above me
shivering below lying on the ground,
praying for the rains that I know will not come,
snow or rain or something to change this land,
mark these dry trees, and remake this new year
beautiful with crystal white rose ice
hanging immobile off of everything,
reigning in clear white silence over all,
covering every door that our hands will touch;
blinding the world so I can not see you.

Soaring at five hundred miles an hour, you
tear the air and disappear into sky
bleeding white mist drawn by your airplane’s awl
while brilliant clearness consumes everything,
turning all my exhalations to ice,
breaking at the slightest mistaken touch
like everything that has belonged to me,
shattered at my feet by this bitter cold
bemoaning the death of the passing year,
announcing the birth of the one to come;
amidst these wonders I am here, at ground
zero, waiting for the airplanes to land

or crash, and burn this bitter, barren land,
erasing every memory of you,
frozen Earth smiling as the fires come,
white hot and burning, burning for a year,
shining flames never letting in the cold
memories; but there are no sparks on the ground;
frozen hard, it will never burn at all,
mountains will become rivers, rivers sky
before the first memory of you leaves me,
freeing my heart to free itself from ice.
No, these things will pass on, and everything
will fall away crying with time’s rough touch



before I will again allow a touch
to tie me to a face like yours; like this land
I will remain frozen; I will be ice
to the fires of life surrounding me
and will not melt like the clouds in the sky,
that drift from their lines into everything;
I will not let melted tears of rain come
down from the empty sky that conceals you;
blinded, I will cover the Earth with all
the hail and blizzard of a soul grown cold
and I will bury myself for a year,
spreading my frost deep within the hard ground;

I will remain deep within the hard ground,
ignoring the cries of any soft touch
offering me something that is not cold
crying that is not what I meant at all;
I will especially not think of you,
walking through the sounds of this ruined year,
my ears cut off, like my eyes, with white ice,
betraying my senses in the swampland
marshes of my home; but snow will not come,
dropping down from this lonely vacant sky,
bright with the clear white sun and mocking me,
laughing with the harsh voice of everything.

A bright glare watches over everything,
keeping the frost from the leaves and the ground,
keeping the snow that won’t come from the sky,
locked away; only the sun’s rays can come,
warming this feebly frozen winterland;
but the sun will not shine its rays on me,
trapped here in your warm memories, now cold,
unmelting in the reaches of my mind’s touch;
every word you said, like me, is made ice
by my refusal to relinquish you;
I think I will not let you go at all,
but live in the lies of this longest year.



I am looking at the birth of a new year,
resolutions covering everything
and I know now that this means one with you
gone.  Florida’s not cold enough for ice;
the frost melts away with the slightest touch,
the sun, shining hard and high over all
the Earth, the animals, the plants, the sky,
distant rays burning me into the ground;
slowly I become like stone; I am cold,
my heart is hungry, I long for this land
to pass away, for some children to come
play in the fields and hang ribbons on me

petrified; climb on the stones that make me,
laughing and running throughout the whole year;
I would receive them joyfully; this land
would cease its frost and give away its cold;
flowers would spring like children from the ground,
bees and birds and butterflies would all come,
just the sort of beauty that became you,
pure palimpsest covering everything
and bright white clouds hanging high in the sky,
the whole world in wonder by beauty’s touch;
but nothing will melt this thick stony ice;
and no one ever comes here, no one at all.

In the fields where I stand, frozen, where all
the children are not playing games on me,
where I am not aware of any touch,
where I am only aware of the sky,
its white backgrounds enfolding everything,
its now appearing cirrus clouds of ice
miles and miles above this unfrozen land,
caught up in the still birth of this new year,
confused by the new changes, just like you,
running away from your home on the ground,
wrapped up in the revolution of cold
and hot and when you can go, stay, or come.



In these fields I watch the changing weather come,
the snow that I crave that will blanket us all,
not drift away like false frost on the ground,
rising with the rising sun, or like you,
flying away after just one brief year,
burying me without grief, watching cold
from your window as I, without your warm touch,
fall into the hard ground that swallows me
whole and alive, my heart starving this land,
taking bloom and life from everything;
as the white crystals grow in the bright sky
I stand in these fields turning into ice.

As the skies fill with brilliant weightless ice
I wait for the changes that do not come,
sweeping away the thoughts of everything,
nothing in the air, the wind, or the land
will give the image of a sign to me;
only distant featherings in the sky
gather in silence; no shades on the ground
of their arrival, they do not at all
break the light; it passes through their soft touch
with no shadows, no mark for a strange year;
I only wish I could do this with you,
unlike the clouds above, I am too cold

for you to pass unchanged; I am too cold
to not leave a mark as you burn the ice
cracked and piled by us in this one year;
it is all crushed by the absence of your touch.
The sun’s rays cannot pass through me at all
and everywhere I leave shadows of you,
dark and staining the heart of everything.
I am only illusion; night will come
to take your shadows deep into the ground,
away from the air and away from me.
Night will come, to cover this land
and with it will come the storms of the sky.

The sky now reigns in blackness and in cold,
freezing me, remaining here on the ground;
the airplanes no longer come in to land;
this New Year’s Day quickly fills up with ice,
white covers everything, white covers all
things, reaching out far from me to touch you.


About G.M. Palmer