Jamais Vu

One tenseless moment liquifies to be lost
into the stream of static's gray light.

A lapse develops him the tape but
reveals the reels degaussed, emptied of ghosts.

He sifts through the tissue of noise
for accusative objects he could once recall

as the magnetic arrows of the tape
seethe out from their mound to forage.

His perfect past a glacier's gray retreat
looped back out of phase with itself.

It's low-decibel hiss resonates in throbbing waves
that mimic the present seen from behind.

This present bends into an empty crease
where the next phoneme fails to arrive.

There, books helped him recover the echo
and filter on a model of speech

that crashed into twelve thousand darts roaming
the field her face turns in shadow.

Her face it blurs with gauzy silt
of words that used to comprehend her.

Their river spools through an oxbow bend
above a bird's black wings smooth air.

John Tipton, "Jamais Vu" from Paramnesia. Copyright © 2016 by John Tipton. Reprinted by permission of Flood Editions..
Source: Paramnesia (Flood Editions., 2016)
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