Procedural | Tchaikovsky Sings the Morning


poems by David Dodd Lee




. . . the object must be eliminated from the picture.
—Piet Mondrian


The thing is, I don’t want to explain it to you, nor should we
celebrate our great representational failures: You’re just

so obviously
not Kazimir Malevich . . . Here in deep space, I’m wearing

a robe that opens in back. That’s when my face seems
most to misrepresent me. Go on, I relent, I’ve

got insurance,
and soon I’m inhabited. My theory about explication

being reductive requires no further defense. Someone’s
delighted. The questioning swarm beats a path through the

back yards
of decency. Just look at these marks. Your three-dimensionality

should begin to reverberate. The red and blue bars don’t lock us out.
The viewer has become the figure. The doctor hands the man a bright

color printout.
Overlaid arrows indicate the presence of diverticulum . . .



Tchaikovsky Sings the Morning

(December, 15, 2012)

Winter’s not arrived this December . . . In The Nutcracker
Clara’s prince leads her to snow, and maybe the nightmare of

a squarer
face, a guillotine, her muscles tingling in her legs . . . the shooter looks

through all the school’s windows the night before. He bleeds back to his
awful birth. Why is there something instead of nothing? I notice this in the

pond ice,
a web of cracks, a walleye pushing through the front of my face so that

all I can see from the shore is my breath in small bursts. There’s veganism,
my father’s stroke; my refusals, my newfound flexibility;

drizzle rising
into the sky until it doesn’t freeze, steam rising off the one bald

head visible on CNN in the December heat of the press conference.
The nutcracker is an expert at cracking nuts. His eyes spiral until the shooter’s

gun clatters
to the floor. Clara takes the little hero-prince to bed before embarking on

an acid trip . . . I was six once. From my closet, a man with a walrus mustache,
smoke coming out of his mouth due to the hot meat he was chewing,

kept smiling
at me until I closed the door. It snowed for eight days without stopping.



David Dodd Lee