Small House Ruins

        lying together
[in the] Open

is solution
to architecture

        bone and stone

then fall away

        [As] the foot
seldom changes
in appearance,
physical as it is

water [will] rise
running east and west.

        the earth ruind

60 feet
of earth 50 feet
now 5

        i see your
trim all
wall and form

features I found
in inches

        I lie

near perpendicular
and smoke
        The rose face
the inner circle

the neck


the south side I stand

the compass point
coincid[ing] with the universe

over these
ancient acres

the tongue

        i am able in early July
to lie down

        twenty-four rows of
        and each one so
broken and weathered
as to require excavation

i found

The buried man
we found

in the presence

of conjectured occupants
trac[ed] upon the
here and now

I scatter ash
in the corner

This seems of some importance

these layers
many dark layers

this drift dark
streak along the earth

i held

        a pot
top to bottom

        a stone axe
to my face

        i held out
without breaking

        back back

        I [learned
to] take meaning hard
into the cave,
judge it–

It lies.
It is thin.

I appear abruptly
then go.

and nearness to destruction is

[a] most decorative leavetaking

        I found purposes of repair
several miles west
farther west

a spring
and another
then fall

        The irregular
court rough ruin

The well dressed are
well preserved

and free

        their great concerns longer
and wider [than ours]

I was not able to form an opinion

my cattle Brain selected few
broken and weathered
thoughts To Think

Note: This work is an erasure of “A Further Study of Prehistoric Small House Ruins in the San Juan Watershed” by T. Mitchell Prudden.

Vernon Ng teaches English at Diné College in Shiprock, NM.
*Photo by Vernon Ng.
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