Bill Domonkos



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March 22, 2016 · 10:58 am

microreview of Traces

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These poems/these paintings are gorgeous: sensually urgent at times,  voyeuristic at others. They are both blunt and spare to the point of being tender. The play between Wagner’s unadorned words & tensile lyrics and Waxman’s suggestive paintings is palpable–both maintain their own energy but so too, together they have a kind of resperative quality. The exchange is one the viewer feels rather than witnesses, like breath. This synthesis is playful while not really giving too much away, ie they are abstract and minimal glances or, as the case may be, ‘traces,’ of meaning/longing/dream-like observations that produce peaks and smears, punctures and slits that never really reveal much more than a hint or a suggestion that one might know a thing but that, 

“knowing the ocean 

is all the same wave”

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Nalini Malani

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“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.”-Carl Jung


Bill Domonkos

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atascadero creek, two more




blood just

where I

bit       (stiffed)


heavy              light we

swan thin

skim the foam      floats   we &

tide fall                       way the light  strang but

bears it brided this

lip of



like why on on shifts why

should when in in in

in was well will

leave soon

leave should

will leave soon

will soon when

leave will was should

in was will when

will should soon

leave on leave on leave in will

leave when soon was on




was should on

will leave soon

will leave was            soon

will leave


leave soon

will leave



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atascadero creek (or 40 days of poems from the new moon), the first six


in the fold again mineral mouths

coming together but not actually able to flex or

extend                        the form, a lineament

produced by some unlimited vastness/

were we to dwell in

desire             stationed as it were on the

cusp/a contour/always conditioned

to stasis                      a slow sort of resurrection

to conjure/an offering/the altar



patterns are analog

hide or fiber              a skin can be any surface that

grieves            the mind or waterways

what        /it’s simply static/

years haven’t passed but I piled up

the body deprived of

exhalation                  the thoracic cavity

spasms           when every

flight brings another

reason for conception, like

trying to hold the same thought too long/the

vacant space in the

center radiates                      proximal

structures are only generally stable

some of the time       the image

is appended and only slightly more


to throw the bones          into

the circle        a goat skin or

grass mat is common


the cornflower mashed

a descendent of the fern/that blue representing

a joy that lingers that           water

is starting to move about in ways

we hadn’t planned/pattered

the mind for more than

this      the river from afar, a

spine               floats freely inside its


the crops in these parts form a

circle               as

in my hand, three stones

you claimed the

creek/ a waterway

is evolution, trace

its        days are deposits

skinned of fertility    the

creepers are out and

seemingly landless    the barn

slants the ash back into my lap the

oak trees are every-

where the honeysuckle

grown out, sun-steamed &


the tang          the

collection of



but then it catches like something

feverish          elevations are

sometimes imperceptible

for weeks, I flushed

the memory

was something ground in

light is so utterly unconditional

mornings were labor

I wanted the dirt to

get into me     the season/the

shifting skeins had

wilded out a habitat the floorboards, the

miles the house couldn’t      the

dripping water isn’t

always outside

the window, the nettles the

tunnels are paths only

private that way

no argument there are so many

ways I still have to hate

but the geese are

back & the creekbed is

gorged, everybody has

to have some-

thing to eat the daylight

the matted grass the

basic premise


where the track enters the woods

the moon is up &

almost winging, the thinker

is clothed in a body

its true I won’t rise again from fear

but motives are denser matter

that hawk thawed for me

the clouded tree a temporary rush

it is sometimes so easy to be free of you

but acoustics have many

likenesses       the speckled owl

the woodpecker the

door at night  a voice

at different points appears

bowed                        action isn’t

always exactly traced           for instance

snow mottled with urine,     a body

with growth rings,     no water leaks but a puncture

where the outside is significantly

damp              by scraping the edge/

by re-falling/refining

spores are scattered                         the voice, too,

forms habits what I once

was and no weather/no wind

inhalation is

sometimes negligent or

scarcity,          craw    crop    gullet

or jaws

everything has

a tag


or to think the dead birds an omen

the creek mudded, slowing the sun

a cliff rises      & there is a gap in the way we speak

indicative of water cycles

aquifers are not just elements of access but

to kneel shivering, pre-dawn           to

belong to a cusp        or to

rise and kindle, to

split light by poking

it between the legs

to bark and to sap, to

a fresh accession of just-

barely-moving morning, moored

to a roadside, hair wild with

conductivity/hand sprawled in

offering &       out-

sliding over wet ground/willing

the chaser both behind and

above to abeyance & to

able it open to           alternating

coarser to finely-

grained matter          a deep, deep dank in the

field not found in its figure but unfolded

& bearing in mind its



to dream

admired         denotes


tied as I


why form


to fall/                        fingers

are imagined

does not tighten

when pressure is applied but

mind              split by

practice/the less


the better/

the bearer has dressed himself a ligature

a strung


accessible but

bound             to spatter


brought the appetite into focus



the inward flow of the senses


to imagine the act

a thick mist/ morning: scrub oaks, blackberry bushes, even the grass here is/ starts to gush

squat in the bracken, tameless and feathered

the crust of consciousness: to want to


and then to let

it go

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