Thom Donovan


Wild Horses of Fire

In 1966, after an absence of twenty years, I returned to Tbilisi where I had been born in 1924.
                  The mountains were still the same size… they’d stopped growing…
                  I went to Staro-Veriisky cemetery in search of coffins I’d seen being born.
                  The cemetery is closed for good. They were turning it into a park for culture and rest.
~ Sergei Paradjanov, from The Confession



The light thru the trees this camera tracks

Their faces the trees of their youth say

Naked my earth is virtuous the capillary lights

The shot tracking their youth thru the trees

Light faces a sky their bodies say







They who sing each other’s names
To marry the capillary contact of starlight
Too close and bright too loaded by
This blood of ages since their names sing
Across vast pastures futures of sleeping
Stars a sheep they slap presages that art
Of parting say my name once more
Recall for me how our bodies turned once.



The noise in what wake
Sex changes the pink
Sky a color for their blood
Like two titles beat.

Blowing rings around gongs
The ring of coffin nails
Upon new hooves.                 



Bloodletting a word
sinks from roofs.

Beads in a netting of frank lace.

Hands dyed if our fortune

For what collections will we weep?

What multitudes keepers
Of sheep "The truth

may be sad," after all. "We were searching
for ourselves in each other."



Going by a roadside
Noontide with wide
Hips my daughter –
My disastered Armenia
By way of Georgia

Transported by rain
Through the names of these
Hills to shepherd
Our deaths each instant
Of us needs shepherding

Going by fire by black
Fire and swaying
Pages and shadow the door
Swings open for what
Wind turning

What profounder tears were yours
Mocked by torchlight.




In a courtyard the distant
Hills of these years the heads of babes
Almost touching the good

Forgo warmth fire fir down
Forgo “goodness” for more immanent rain earth truth drowns

Fallen from the sky we arrive wind
Wounds the bodies of our beloved
Documented by ice

Mocked by life floes don't forget
To absent what this light singularly veils.



Hiding in our dress of more
In our half-waking work the dove's vanished
The blind still bejeweled

In our dress of more the white of doves
Unripens cloaks
                                          What veils nights clock us with
Shade tucks us into shape unremittingly

The white unripening of groves nights
Orgasm postpones the fact that we are

Gone and ambivalent hiding in our dress
Gardens unripened
                                           To blinding rice.



Brighter travel travesty what says you
Your face escapes to tell our lines
To trade in visions signs of our mutual 
Bodies beaded pink so darkly pinned

Blindfolded the face escapes this too
Is good traveling these hills to emote
A sound of whips a lonesome
Sound at that opens to tell our lives

To tellingly align this too is good
With cameras we work up to the earth
Down to the sky I believe this music
Of the deaf the fruits of the undead

Traveling these hills to trade in visions
With cameras we work to repeat is not
To reproduce but to remember to burn
Each instance otherwise for each other.

Pictures from Paradise

Pictures from Paradise

Sharing no space branches for awhile
In tangles of aspect imminent in this green
Her green for so long gives for so long this
Breath her leaves as songs ranging

Showers shoots chutes cued by a sun
For so long and for us perhaps drink with love
And drink no longer with longing Eschaton
Of this stillness begin gray to the eyes where it was

Green beginning for the eyes to begin
In watching as extension sprouts this way a sudden
Appearance of tall oaks by aversion frame
A composition frames range in this company

Your seeing more literal than mine to hold
This world in esteem who will love sprouts this way
The sudden appearance of love
Born to a line an eye who sees letters

Love letters see letters with love
Exposit these buds to their form rain
Beads of rainwater taint your picture
Suddenly any aspect leaps into view.



Cape Codder
for William J. Donovan

Or branches cross salt marsh turbulent arch
Then only then do we come to this clearing
To see such a horizon line so thin in these
Pictures cutting parabola dunes and the sky

Crossing a turbulence in the photograph ramble
To a bone all those views open to what
A wide lens may make a difference in our memory
Heavenly the day teems with pictures

With frames always being ready to begin
A dry wind queen’s lace apertures of these
Twigs shimmering the wings of a flicker
Bird to look at people looking across the harbor

From here preserve these twigs follow us
Alternate praise inform the eye equilibrating
Heavenly views what will jump from your
Jungle next my love my next love help me

To see cells leap repeat paradise insist
On joy follow first this tern follow this turn
Opening to turbulence wild variance a brief 
Wind makes a difference on the reeds.



A / Pastoral
for John Taggart

Of corrugated bark or bark like chocolate
Shavings or paper we will eventually agree
To these things that they are right
Each having its wild place for turbulence

Paths we will eventually agree to wilder
Variance to nothing willed in their growth
Such care as that for jewels which are
A technology so heavenly we refine eyes

We find eyes whereof a technology’s so thin
In these pictures startling in their definition
That imagining is important to our survival
None will doubt these trees in their turning

Winding little lines winds shadowy directions
In the sun being ready to begin rain is a burden 
Each bud equates so often we seem a burden
On the earth but each beam must be sung

Each cell a long shot leaping sequentially as
Song shedding their last version of this dubbed
Tune “nature” or “second nature” trash is also
A techne sculpted there on that hill of shale.



Thom Donovan lives in Manhattan and curates the weblog Wild Horses of Fire and the events series Peace On A. His books include Tears are These Veils (w/ Abby Walton; Wild Horses of Fire Press, 2004) and Mantle (w/ Kyle Schlesinger; Atticus / Finch Press, 2005). Recent work has appeared in 2nd Avenue Poetry, flim forum, P-Queue, The Fanzine, and Readings Between A and B. Work is forthcoming with Crayon, Cuneiform Press, O Books' War & Poetry vol. 3, EOAGH, Jacket, and Gam. He is also a PhD candidate in English at SUNY-Buffalo and likes to study comparative angelology in his spare time.