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3 of my poems, “Light like coal,” “Dream Seed,” and “Dear Toi” have been selected for publication in this year’s UAS Tidal Echoes Literary and Art Journal.  Come get a copy at the launch on Friday April 25th, 7pm at the Egan Lecture Hall.  Don’t think I’m going to be able to make it to read this year but the readings and presentations by included authors as well as featured author Christy NaMee Eriksen and featured artist is Rachael Juzeler are not to be missed.  Image

Told this story at Mudrooms in March, finally getting around to sharing the link to the audio.  Take a listen.  Enjoy-

 

Catching Fog

“I’ve only touched the fog three times before” he told me from the backseat.

“Is that it?” I asked, downshifting as we turned the corner.

“I think so, once on Mt. Roberts and once skiing up on the ridge and once at the park, remember you said it was a morning soup?”

“I remember.”

The marine layer was thick but fragmenting in areas, allowing columns of October light to filter through to the damp pavement.  I had rolled all the windows down as we drove down the steep hill at Main street, hoping this would help to see but it didn’t.  Once we got on the road along the shore though, things began to get interesting and as we crested the big cement hill of the Island bridge the car broke through into the full morning sun, the town behind us lost in a swab of fog that collected at base of the mountains.

“Eyes, eyes,” said the baby, squinting in the rearview.

“We could touch some more if you want,” I said.

I cranked the wheel against the bank of the roundabout.

“Catching fog isn’t quite as hard as catching frogs.”

We reached our open hands out the open windows.

Twelve Chambered Heart

when? want, wake, woke
went, walk, where
across, along, amble
through, transect, triangulate
meadow, moraine, memory

walking, walk in
wanting, want in
into twelve chambered heart
chain berg
chain saw
what the heart saw
what the twelve saw
what the twelve into 3 saw
what the chain saw saw
waking to two-cycle song

paring away ice
from wanting hearts
hearts frozen together
to get her
paring and pairing
what good are twelve chambers
when frozen?

heart power, horse power
with want for compression, for
ignition, blood powered power
POW
chainsaw chokes
misfires, adjust choke
air needs fire needs air
hearts themselves want for
friction, fringe contact
find form as each heart
pared from ice

pared from twelve chambered heart
warmed in the chain saw’s tropics
spreading fire, heat, love
like butter warming
cold chunk of hearts
spreading arteries, tissues
unbonding cells
captured in unmotion

severed now, severe need for
closeness, close and nest
not requiring flash freezing

hearts unbound from ice
carved and parted
warm and remaining close

begin, began, beating
again, always, airways
blood, birth, bond

hearts again hearting
circling each other’s song
each for beats
repeating

each beet shaped form
beating

not in harmony
but in round
for beats circling
pulsing, pushing, providing
magnetism with repetition

helix, heart, hive
three times four, twelve
twelve openings and closings
coming and goings

even pared down,
three from the twelve
4 each in the three
even separated
there is attraction, bond
beacon

each beat a beacon
three hearts
three hearts

Unbecoming in McCarthy

Fevered with my first winter flu/cold, shivering and stiff, somehow i feel better reliving these delirious poems from a bout with severe dermatitis, summer 2012.

I

here is river
here is here
there is across

and there is river
as in river
as suspension, silt.
bodies
bridges
between-ness
and banks

here is gleaning
of peace
stillness found
how strange beside
so much motion
sound so great it is reduced
to soundless noise
to white
not blue

here it is white
here it is rock flour
there it is milk

and there it is ice
down river it is water
it sheds rock, gravel
unwanted clothing
baggage burden

free it is liquid
it is chaos and churning
and grinding

bound it is
upriver
is centuries ago
is ice

here is river
sublimating
unrivering
rock, gravel
emerging from lake
rising up valley

here was river
her is still river
though far from still
still flowing

II

human moraine
glacier letting down
milk, eggs, families, story

getting here requires a crossing
several crossings
rivers flowing
river bones
leaving the unessential
on the east bank
of the kennicott
at least…attempting
some errata is
easier left behind

cross over
suspend over
between feet
river

screw vision
unsee bridge
ungineer

stand suspended
boots, air, river
unbridged

crossing does not
require water walking

there will be a last summer
there will be tolling bells
there will be sacrifice
failure, struggle

but no one will die
or if there is death
there is undying
there is birth

friendships, new, awe
respect for process
this strange work
brings us together

circling
accuracy’s paradox
honing in
but never landing

III

rocks in a box
nothing to meaning
without names
sulfur, graphite
cinnabar, galena

perhaps even without bodies
mineral, metal, crystal
they are still song
feldspar, obsidian, sandstone

IV

locked box
one to one hundred
around a center
a way in

V
woodstove
unfired
unlit
unkindled

fan blades at heart
storied by conduction
a dream
of turning and burning

VI

rock and river
river softening, stoning
stone turning
returning rock
rolling
becoming
stone
song

timber beam, beaming
dry, weathered by winter
and wind

beam unbeaming
timber unmilled
beam unbecoming

tree, tall, talking
talk in heartwood
sap or song

VII

wording and wording
manic ink and scratch
fever and fever
itch and itch

concentrate

no scratching
unitching

no sun
unsunning

fever pitched and
pitching

gnats and wings
and biting
piercing mouth parts

mouth parts
unbiting
wings unwinging

pocked, swolen
hand uncarving
damage
carved to heart
and flesh
undamage
and flood
of sensation
unsensing, senselessness

no itch
no poem

Sand is a bodhisattva

This is an ancient piece from another life but I just came across it again and Sand died this spring, or at least went to the great gig in the sky or saturn or something….
__

someone drew a picture on the wall in my living room. not really on the wall, but on some long sheets perforated dot matrix printer paper that we recycled by covering our walls with it, encouraging penned expression of all sorts. someone, we know not who, but someone close to our family, close enough to know that the dog, sand, has taught us a lot about living this life. he has chewed our cds, our remote controls, our power cords, our shelved guff foods, rice and beans. in one of the first weeks of our tutelage, sand showed us that all our jabbering about space being the place, the initial holding tank for the creative spark that ignited the so-called big bad bang that went and started up the all of this rambling and racing, the searching of the world that we know for something larger, something so big and important and mysterious and allusive that we might go so far as to call “the meaning”. he showed us that our dreams of space and of a universe that had much more to offer to our creative appetites than the dead end dreams of this dreamed out planet. he showed us this by eating a cassette tape containing the magnetic reproductions of the cosmic revolution of sun ra, the visionary, the old teacher. the before-sand-teacher. the writing on the wall tells me that sand is a bodhisattva. the scent in the neighborhood, in this city, tell all the dogs the same. tell them that this is sand’s territory. the dog sand, only a dog, only a white shepherd with a husky’s smiling eyes and ears, he only tells me the things that are important to my education. what he tells the other dogs, by leaving his ancient scent on the trees and garbage cans of the town, i may never know. what i know so far is that when my friends dog’s run away, we put sand on the porch (as bait) and they all come to our home. to the place sand knows as ours. to the front porch from which he beams his silent meditation to the dogs of the world. he seems to say, look your master in the eye and ask, who’s really the master? and just hold that stare, let the question be amplified by your dog eyed stare that seems to wait for an answer to a question they won’t believe you have asked. sand is a bodhisattva and humans and dogs alike are coming into the sphere of his scent- or wisdom, depending how you see things.

Begonia

begonia
and reaching
heart-shaped leaves
too heavy for its
hallow stems

becoming unbalanced
begonia overextended
in search of light

winter in north america
cold shouldered continent

i am half hot
layered three deep
indoors

poem seedlings
sprouting from my
stove-side shoulder

a dusting
of hoarfrost
on the window

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