Documentary with sea, a weeping (Fukushima, 2011)


What the eye gathers.  

Constellation projected from under a reactor into space as belt of radiographic bodies. Antler chandeliers hung from metal girders. Surf behind.


What the eye gathers.

Plum dawn. Deer at swim, plimsolls up, a synchronicity of antlers in the
offing off a strait off Russia. One blinking

there may never be a snake, another,

                what on earth for dousing the sea?


What the eye gathers.

Green-glass bobber on on a shoreline.  A bottle.  Inside it, schema. Gingkos, cedars, a map of Nara.  A scrawled drawing, Sika deer wading through x-ray light. Inside them various shades of red: safflower, madder, vermillion, carmine, imperial, ruby, crimson, blood.  The inked character for brilliant, boom.


What the eye gathers.

Decay, exploded view: deer smacking heads, deer bodies, deer scavengers, deer bloat, deer autolysis, deer putrefaction, deer blow-flies, deer vapors, deer skeletons, deer carbon, deer particles, deer photons, deer axions, deer dark matter.  This translation error, a looping.


What the eye gathers.

Symphony of deer on a beach.
Moon jellies beyond, a bloom, the chemical blush
of bioluminescence.
Roils and rollers and gulls  
to rollover the changeover.
A drone flies in, another.
Another.  Disaster protocol.


Joni Wallace received an MFA from the University of Montana.  Her first full-length book of poems, Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, Four Way Books, 2011, was selected for the Levis Prize by Mary Jo Bang.  Her second book, Kingdom Come Radio Show, is forthcoming from Barrow Street in Fall, 2016, and was a finalist for the Colorado Prize, the Besmilr Brigham Award, the Washington Prize, and AROHO’s To the Lighthouse Award.  Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Boston Review, Conduit, Connotations Press, Gulf Coast, Crazyhorse, West Branch Wired, The Volta, and Sonora Review and has been included in Privacy Policy, The Poetry of Surveillance (ed. Andrew Ridker). She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and teaches through the University of Arizona Poetry Center.