Three Poems from Revenance (Red Hen Press, 2014)
I Sit Here Writing
The poem is cerebral. Its writing physical.
It was evening then it wasn’t.
I wrote huddled, unsleeping,
pissing next door, not
eating, unbathed. Words came forth
in a gush like blood.
There was no pain—
nothing like that—
more like the concentration it takes
for water to become
ice. I fainted once,
woke up on the floor.
Maybe I imagined it.
The crush of air and spirits around me,
voices murmuring nothing
I understood, made my breath catch.
I licked my lips, suddenly thirsty.
The words were poems.
I knew no more my fate
than when I was born: whether
when I arrived I’d have been
going there all along. There’s no
there though. There’s just here.
Hello. Morning’s limpid, lumin-
ous, the sky not yet not dark,
stars still, even Venus
which I consider without interest,
the silence a curse of linden
bursting silver, and the light slivering.
in the meadow magenta
(reading Robert Duncan in Haldon Forest)
like lupine from afar
but up close the small bell-
like flowers of wild hollyhock
the holy that forth
came that must
of frond fern
gorse a magic
to which I
land of hillock and
bolder the grayer
sky and wood
the straight flat One
between them barred
by the bushy Scots pine
medicinal veridian of ever-
green which though
gossip rumor spell
or chance change us
is not changed
The Walking Woman of Lewisburg, PA
Reached the birch tree lightning broke, cracked, split, now dry beyond repair, cast
toward a terse, blue sky, birds sailing on wind’s wing in silhouette. Thought to fly
with my dog back home but stopped by a woman I’ve seen walking far along the
two-lane highway in and out of town, on alleys (never streets). Striding, a slip of a
person, bent as if skating into a stiff wind all the days of the year, who for whatever
reason can’t relent, until the moment stayed her: my dog, she told me, reminded her
of her own whole-cloth loss—twin huskies, husband, house—unspooled her on the
road, face the ruddy hue of autumn apples left lying on the ground after first frost.