Poems (2) from Paul Legault


In my house, I remember
like a woman goes into her reason.

NINE LIVES: I pass in and out.
THE BOOKS: They pass in and out of me.
WANT: I went in.

enacts a change in itself.
We get along

with and for each other.
THE SEQUELS: One cannot live alone.

THE IMPOSSIBLE: But one wants to.
ONE: I can’t live

without being
without and don’t.



In it, the bird and his anti-bird
remained calm, it being the air.

CLOSE-UP: I’m dull,
but so is fog.
ARCH: You have to enter your own.
THE STARS: That we are eyes is a thing
as is that we eat corpses in the sea.
TRANQUIL PIGEON: I’m winking at you

to indicate collusion
and that the elliptical fire will augment its intensity

to become what all light will become.
ONE DAY: There it is.

GUILLAUME: Guillaume,
let’s get to know each other one day.
COGNITION: Parts can make a whole person
or thousands of them.

Stick out your tongue,
and hand me that little dog,

so I can describe to you
what they made of those cities with rivers in which they who are sensitive to the cold or not live.

and do it this way.
ALGAE GIANT: An island is a tower.
1,000 WHITE TRIBES: To invent a language, one must tell someone one has done so.
GUILLAUME AGAIN: People put me together

by myself
like a tower

huddled up from the human effort.
TIME: The gods are trespassing in it.

WIDE AVENUE: The past is rising up.
NOTHING: I won’t exist again

because everything does that
to itself.

Paul Legault’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Awl, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, and others. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010) and The Other Poems, which is forthcoming this fall from Fence Books. He co-edits the translation press Telephone Books and works at the Academy of American Poets.