La Porte (The Door)*
Seeing the door hinged skyward,
sideways in a limestone wall,
suggests walking a wall.
Footsteps, horse shoes, wagon rims—
the wall a quay.
An ocean of resonances—
currents of a quadrivial thoroughfare
which show nothing.
A quibbling imagination
eavesdrops though a keyhole.
The door’s quiescent reverberance
does not allow itself
to remain closed.
Infinite deep of bleached stone.
Door a raft, adrift.
and a brass knob
to open the door and comb the beach
along the bottom of the sea.
contumacious as a fresh-quarried block,
about being sawn into its circumstances.
rooted in a tree’s diurnal querulousness,
land and sky where the balance of itself
A wall of quicksilver light—
whitewashed with quicklime,
The door’s dark oak
pulls all light in the room toward it
and through it
while remaining closed—
a quandary for the eye.
Knock on wood,
a tree that
it might be
heard. No more
or less green
than a brass
key. My great
key turned how
In which doors?
Does the door
make its surrounding blocks a wall
by never opening?
Its sparkling hinges coffin pulls?
How many hands
have polished that doorknob?
This is the only Magritte doorway
which remains closed,
Other Magritte doors are shown open,
This door queries
a viewer’s gaze under lock and key.
Unseen shoes and steel
wear down cobbles
on the unseen side of the street.
This is the quiddity of the wall.
Colognes and perfumes
querl with smells of sweat and wet leather,
hay and flowers.
This is the quiddity of the door.
A sage plant near the door reminds me
of beyond the door. To remember
the doorknob and hinges.
How they turn.
Limestone is porous,
in its numerous
voids. It must be sealed
often. The skeleton
called a matrix or frame
continues as far
as paint or recall.
when stone is saturated
No time and all of time lies—
prevarications sheathed in limestone.
with steel minutes, wooden hours,
an eternity of hands.
Fitted to surround a door.
Sage spreads a mint-green blessing
toward light and shade.
The closed door
never closes while the wall
The silvery sphere
before the doorway
and none of these things.
Opaque as the door,
its metal luster
whitens into stone—
granite, not marble
in its truculence.
It could be a pearl
value to provoke
opinion and light—
the clucking of tongues
for the egg it is
or pretends to be,
liar or constant
pleaser for the eye?
How far-off to swim
though an open door?
How fast against oak
for stone or water
to pass, as if wood
were air, imagined
to become a wave
for the perfect curve
it does not possess?
wrenches jostled in a tool box.
when a drawer containing them slams.
rise and subside behind the door
as sleigh bells
Sage leaves twist into bird beaks—
birds of paradise or doves,
a green, cooing flock which sound
like owls as the leaves expand,
the sage plant feeling its wings.
The door, querulous,
remains fastened to some appearance
of remaining shut.
Remains fastened to some appearance
of being a tree.
As a tree, it would never be shut
but grow through the wall.
Its roots may have cracked the wall stones
is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State
University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in San Pedro Poetry Review,
Synkroniciti, West Texas Literary Review, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor,
MacQueen’s Quinterly, and other publications. His second poetry chapbook,
Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and was
published in February 2021 by Tebor Bach.
Two Duplex Poems, plus author’s notes on the poems and on
the form, by Jonathan Yungkans in Issue 10 of MacQ (October 2021)
Lawful and Proper, poem by Yungkans in Rise Up Review
Cadralor in the Key of F-Sharp as It Cuts into My Spine in
the inaugural issue of Gleam (Fall 2020)
I’d Love to Cook Like Hannibal Lecter [video], read
by the poet at an event sponsored by Moon Tide Press (10 October 2019) celebrating
the anthology Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired by Horror
⚡ Saving the Patient, poem in The Voices Project
(18 January 2018)