“Wilderness Machine: A Very Special Fuckwind Chime”


by Becca Barniskis

(part of the Wilderness Machine series)

 A beautiful anodized aluminum
arrangement of tubes. Dangling ‘round a hard
wooden clapper.
They catch the slightest breeze and respond
charmingly, diatonically.

Several male poets have immortalized the wind
and what they feel as they experience it,
naked, aroused by their own bodies,
and the Machine’s soft luminescent hum
in their ear—these poets would approve
of this mechanized riposte…its widening
gyre and the brute beauty, the plume,
oh, air!

Caught in the belly of the Machine
how can we know the scent of real freedom?
Its barest-skin caress?
Go hunker down in the iron stomach
you like to call “outside” or “nature.”
Study the worms and earth and skyscreen.
Or hike and climb and crawl
over its rigid swollen mass
at the specific coordinates
that feel especially special
to you—mountains? woods?
slipping streams of foam…
Far away sounds the alarm:
machine beats rock
rock chases scissors
windfuck fucks wind


*note: The line “windfuck fucks wind” is from Tom Pickard’s poem “May.”


Becca Barniskis has a chapbook of poems, Mimi and Xavier Star in a Museum That Fits Entirely in One’s Pocket ( Anomalous Press) that is available also as a collaboration with musician Nick Jaffe in both vinyl LP and in digital formats and as a three-part film. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals, among them Sporklet, Handsome, The Boiler, Mid-American Review, and Conduit. She performs her poetry to live audiences regularly as part of the bands Downrange Telemetrics and Pancake7. More at beccabarniskis.com