Friday, January 20, 2012

"First Transubstantial Terror Projection Poem" by Jeremy Hoevenaar

I want someone else’s terror. For instance
the Old man of the Mountain’s terror of inverted hospitals,
of empty bottles acting as sun-cataracts,
the pain in the back of a gust of wind.
His terror is also that his singing will be heard.
His terror is also that the Old Woman of the Mountain will turn
and metamorphose into a tree that is also a well.
His terror is also that this will not happen.
His terror is that what he thinks is always
the opposite of what will happen.
His terror is also the opposite of this.
His terror of loops. Loops
found in water, air, wood, dirt, and the entrails
of animals which terror dictates it is necessary to eat.
These terrors are his wizened and subdued brand of professionalism.

But these are not the terrors I want.
These terrors are too mythopoetic.
These terrors were present at the first twinning in
the dark of the first recognizably infinite thing.
These terrors are like a baby
who is also an eternal wizard of terror.
These terrors are too like the word
terror singing itself into a mythology only it
wants to hear about. These terrors play the moon
backwards and delight
to watch it grow cold cloven feet.
Feet that light upon the earth without a sound.

Terror is its own treatise.
Terror cannot conceive of itself
played backwards. Terror can however turn
the volume on itself way down and become

There is a story about terror I would rather not relate.

Terror is genuinely interested in the idea of a radical acceptance.
Terror knows there is a gap between an idea and an action.
Terror wants to catch everything in the river and bake it into a soufflé
and trade it to the Old Man of the Mountain for some of that good
soul-edifying moonshine.
Terror struggles with whether to multiply itself into a committee
or to sit quietly under a tree.
Terror is secretly a great admirer of respiration.
If terror had a treatise other than itself it would be a treatise pertaining
to the respiration of all things including ice, limestone, and osteoplasts.
Terror suspects the world is one long breath,
but is uncertain whether it’s in or out.

The Old Man of the Mountain has trouble breathing.
The Old Woman of the Mountain records her breathing on
a crude wooden device and plays it back to help her breathing sleep.

Terror writes proverbs with water on the big hot stones by the river
and waits for them to evaporate.

Terror wrote this: What hasn’t happened yet can’t fail.
Terror wrote this: Everything is full of chemicals.
Terror wrote this: Everything repeats if you hit the button that makes it repeat.
Terror wrote this: Not everything can be a birth or a death. Or can it?
Then terror wrote this: Not everything has to be a birth or a death.
Terror also wrote this: When the world is like a tent, it is a good world.
Then terror added: Keep the tent swept or chaos will move in and become
a second-rate action painter with irritable bowels and a never-ending
series of inconvenient erections.

Terror wrote this about chaos on the hot stones by the river:
Chaos is only depression when severely over-caffeinated.
Terror pondered chaos and then wrote this:
If everything could see everything then the world would be a swept tent.

Terror wrote this: everything sees everything.
Terror wrote this: love is a symptom of watching what happens.

Jeremy will be performing his work at WORMS on January 24.


  1. This is an excellent poem. I enjoy this poem.

  2. Yeah! And the length of it (kind of rare today, no?) gives it a certain monumentality.