Lydia Swartz


Rain mountain,
sun mountain,
Mountain of tears.
Floating mountain,
Laughing mountain,
Mountain that purrs.
Mountain that works,
Mountain that wonders;
Invisible mountain,
Mountain that wanders.
We write about mountains & care.
We live & we die & we care.
We scatter ashes & care.
Mountains simplify: Don't care.


1. At the Chamber Door (to urge & muffle)

Bang a bang, gang bang a bouncy bald drum.
Dance table, dance fables, fake toe & ankle.
Light up a fight. Stay upright. Stay in slippery sight.
Boob mountain, cock mountain, nipple belly neck.

Sing as you fling, bring the bling, dial in. Slap
fat, smack it flat; make a new red-faced brat.
Ho kitten, ha stallion, sea monster roe.
Giggle mountain, jiggle mountain, slide ride wet.

Sugar lump, shut up: no sweet love tonight.
Please, my love, close your eyes. Just be meat with me.
Slide it, suck it, hold it, fill it, let it fucking be.
High mountain, low mountain, hole hole cry.

2. In the Night (to refresh & encourage)

Each finger, each knuckle, each finely shiny nail.
Tragus helix concha lobule—ear's the world, my dear.
Sweet skin, treasured dermis, loved sebaceous gland & sweat.
Touch aorta, vena cava. Traverse ventricle, atrial music.
Mons pubis, labia minora; urethra, anus, vagina, clit.

Count each whorl, left then right, northern southern paws.
Spend an hour each, your wondrous fluid noble knees.
Tease stiff cords of neck apart; spelunk elbow's hollow.

Moan crease mountain, gasp sigh mountain,
mountain of pleasure, mountain surprise.
Mountain of eyes. Mountain arise.
Forever mountain, blink now mountain.

3. In the Morning (to congratulate & instruct)

No part of you no longer knows / any part of me. You know me.
You taste like my teeth. I taste like your feet. / You taste. You chew & swallow me.
I walk with wings; no shadow; no dark. / My ass is a bowl of fresh-bruised peaches.

Form bores me. It's all flesh now / & righteous miracle & drying piss.
You talk about mountains. Talk to me. / I am one; became one overnight.
Climb me then. Find a foot hold / or beg me to draw you up with song.

I am singing now where you only can hear / if you fly. Can you fly? Can you use those wings?
You get here by leaning into mud, / by tasting pain & you ask for more.
It costs so make sure you answer the door. / Be home. Take delivery. Tip the angel.

You know very well what that smell is.
You know the words in another language.
Don't blame me if you stay in your seat.


Rain falls & rocks fall & nightfall & earth quakes for gravity. FILTH GODS.
Blow up & magma flies. BIRD GODS run amok. Touch of stone.

This bit of granite is mountain empebbled, deposited. BLOOD GODS.
Mountains melt. Galaxies BLINK. GODS have no job. Pay them FLESH.

Water, the immigrant bastard, robs rock of forever. Call DEATH GODS.
Mountains die, leaving their GODS' NAMES on the slab where they died.

Variation III: EPISTLE

Lover, good morning,

I left you quietly. I left you sleeping. Your face was private, your jaw pushed into your half-curled fist. The window was open from last night's heat. Your gasps in a dream made music with this morning's helpless rain. I could not wake you to whisper my name. I left you a smooth gray rock to remember me by.

By day, I'm a rangy black cat. My muscular haunches. My paws ragged with blood. My tongue rough, my language crude. When not dulled from bathing in dust, I shine like murder in dappled shade. Would you have exposed your belly to me in the light? Would you have offered your shoulder to bite? Wrapped your tail around me? Twice?

I am silky by night, moonmountain hidden by clouds. Head framed by darkness. I am splendor unseen. Beauty invisible. Eyes that imagine shape & colors, heft of thigh, smooth young neck, ankle built for hauling freight. Don't ask & don't dive for things with buttons. Float on this cold smooth nothing, like ice. Like butter in heat. Stop knowing.

Die now to feel your heart beat in skin still warm. Die & walk beside me one hundred more miles. We won't need lies. Die & be useless & be. I need not remember you yet. You smell like a living monster to me. Let's rage across countryside. Let's rape only willing maidens, who arch their backs at the sound of velvet wheels. Let's be as steep & still as mountains awaiting a storm.

Come die with me, my love. Or go on sleeping. I race beside you in dreams. Those are teeth you feel—my teeth; my tongue as it tastes your heartbeat. You smile. You blind me with joy & I have to leave you.

Tomorrow night, then. Kisses 'til then. In the meantime, I am mountain passing as rain on concrete outside your window.

Variation IV: GLOSSARY

Care. Walk like a burly girly. Love keeps moving a little after you stop. Don't stop; hover. Walk out the cramp in your ass, feet, belly, hand, amygdala, pericardium, anus ass butt. Walk in the dark with your eyes shut; that's how you know I'm here.

Floating mountain. Water you can put your hand through. Water you can walk through. Water in sky motion, ground motion, ocean & river & tide. Water carrying, killing & birthing. No mountain is heavy.

Invisible mountain. If it is not there, it is. You are whatever you cannot see. Position is always a lie. Let it GO. I promise you, bitch.

Laughing mountain.
Turn your back & your secrets are written down. Who do you think you are to have secrets?

Mountain of tears.
1. Arlo.
2. Astro.
3. Diamond Jim Brady.
4. Friar Truck.
5. Fritz.
6. Godzilla.
7. Igor.
8. King Tubby.
9. Lenora B Fulani.
10. Mango.
11. Mister Big.
12. Monster.
13. Nuut.
14. Tripper.

Mountain that purrs.
----<<<<<<<< -----------|||||||----------- >>>>>>>-----
--<<<<<<<< ------------|||||||||----------- >>>>>>>>>--
-<<<<<<<<<<< ------------------------------- >>>>>>>>>-
---<<<<<<<<< ----o---------------------o --- >>>>>>>---

Mountain that wanders. Why travel is uninteresting:
1. The world is a slab of granite, or this pebble. Any pebble.
2. New is why, not where.
3. Culture is on your block. Any block.
4. It's a surface. Scratch it.
5. If you can buy it or go to it or answer the question, it is not true.
6. How many languages can you hear within walking distance? Do you?
7. This vehicle does not have a gear for tedious.
8. It's not that a tree cannot walk; a taproot touching the source does not need to.
9. Conveyance is mundane—ideally.
10. The singing under the trees: heaven in summer, hell on hot nights.
11. Appetite vs hunger vs educated greed.

Mountain that wonders. What does a mountain think about? Its next meal, of course. Ingredients: Tachyons. Neutrinos. Muons, mosons, & mesons. Strange, charming, & quirky quarks. Hasty hadrons. Baryons, gluons, & kyons OH MY. A dash of basalt & some schist & slate. Feldspar & quartz & a mite of dolomite. Garnet & graphite & gypsum & talc. Drizzle with glacier runoff from one of the good centuries.

Mountain that works. Don't tell me what to do. (Republic of Fremont.) Mayor Royer & his staff floating down the Montlake Cut in a barge, like Cleopatra. After that, the underbrush got cleared & people stopped discarding dead bodies. Patience, a lesson of State Route 520. Important people who were still alive then: Everett Greiman, Joanna Russ, Daddy, Benny & Daley, Cal Anderson, Charlotte.

Rain mountain. From Manitou Beach, downtown Seattle looked like a pretty graveyard in the afternoon.

Simplify. Be like a mountain: Don't care.

Sun mountain. But who does care about these old, true stories? They're just lies we tell to people who aren't in a position to know better.

We live & we die. That is, everyone dies. Only some of us live. I am biologically obsolete. I have to justify my existence other than as mulch.

We scatter ashes. I am not ready to die. I keep it that way because a friend taught me it is how to avoid suicide.

Write about mountains. Mountains are color blind, deaf to exaltation, & can fly if they want to. So far, they just don't want to.

Variation V: OULIPO MOUNTAIN—Replacement Vocabulary

by Lydia Swartz & The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969)

Ranger mountain,
supper mountain,
Mountain of techniques.
Flooding mountain,
leaking mountain,
Mountain that pushes.
Mountain that wrings,
Mountain that wrestles;
Irate mountain,
Mountain that warbles.
We yearn about mountains & carve.
We loathe & we dig & we carve.
We scavenge asses & carve.
Mountains sing: Don't carve.

Variation VI: RANT

How dare you. It runs down the back of my neck & I fall down blind & my shirt is torn. My face is wet. I'm tired of this shit. What exactly is this? Who the fuck are you? Where? Fuck shit piss, cunt shit cock. You motherfucking cocksucking shit. Titmountain. Vaginamountain.

What the fuck? Cannot even bedazzle my ass. What are you, rare? You stink of cat. SHUT UP. Your mother should suck my cockmountain. I don't want to hear your low-wattage lies. You aren't even there when I meet you. Prickmountain. SHUT UP.

Whose motherfucking cockroach-ass basement do you crap your pants in? Don't smile. It's dark. Do you even fucking know your way home? This is not who you promised to be. It's steep & I hope you fall.

As if you could guess the taste of my penis-shaped candy-like panties. It's going to eat your face for sure & shit it down your motherfucking neck. I should say. I can say. SHUT UP. I promise you will not like it. SHUT UP. Go home. Go choke on your asswipe candy-ass regular paycheck. Go fucking fuck your mother. Fuck your motherfucking mountain. Go sit on a verb. Go smother. Go die from a germ. You are fucking stupid & besides you're too tall. You're as tall as a mountain & your ass is thin. Drink dirty water & puke, motherfucker. You piss me off. Fuck off & die. I'm done with this bullshit. Don't laugh. Stop staring. I'm done, do you hear me? SHUT UP. FUCK Y0U.


by Lydia Swartz & Babelfish

1 English original

Rain mountain,
sun mountain,
Mountain of tears.
Floating mountain,
Laughing mountain,
Mountain that purrs.
Mountain that works,
Mountain that wonders;
Invisible mountain,
Mountain that wanders.
We write about mountains & care.
We live & we die & we care.
We scatter ashes & care.
Mountains simplify: Don't care.

1 English to 2 Spanish to 3 English to 4 Japanese to 5 English to 6 Russian to 7 English to 8 French to 9 English to 10 Chinese to 11 English to…

12 Translated English to rewritten poem

What rain this mountain,
sun's shining mountain,
damage-lit mountain.

Float on, sun mountain.
Laugh, shining mountain,
reverberate bright mountain's throat.

Affect rain, shine-mountain;
petition cloud-shine mountain:
not the mountain that sees,
no indistinct shining peak.

About care therefore you wrote;
the mountain your care accepts.

For our care you live;
the mountain dies once — important.

We clean the ash, cold care we accept.
Make mountains shine in the dark — not important.