starting and stopping in fits as he drifts —also editing along the way. always. is he the only one to ever feel(?) what it means to be alive? he dies into summer showers, into nighttime hours, into songs written across your face.
Under a dense grey sky, under the gas station canopy, a black girl wonders, sentences collapsing at the edge of her lips. She’s wearing a rain jacket with the hood partially up over the back of her head. She has legs that are like matchsticks, legs that are barely there, waiting to catch fire. She’s holding everything she owns (everything she needs), cantering around in syllables, she yells to the fungus soaked maples, something about want or need. From behind the broken down cars (or nearly broken down) parked on the side of the building a white girl comes out, fiercely walking, full of intention, her short hair in a short tail, shaved on the sides. Her flannel shirt lifts in the drifts and kisses the undersides of her arms. Short shorts so short it’s like she’s wearing legs, flicks her cigarette and walks passed the black girl -with hardly a look, and she thinks something about wants or needs. The gas station remains empty, territory claimed.
On the drive into work I’m urged forward. And there’s an urge in my chest to do more. To be more. Then I feel saddened by my lack of ability to change things, to move them forward, to shape them how I want them.
On the loading dock is a bag of scrap metal. A homeless women, an addict, wearing a safety vest, with a pink mohawk falling to the side, she eyes the bag. She looks around to see if it’s safe, she doesn’t see me, though she looks right at me. She looks in the bag and decides it’s worth the take. As she starts to gather the bag in her hands, twisting it, figuring out how to get leverage enough to lift what is certainly too heavy for her to carry, awkwardly leaning over, tattooed legs, white bruised thighs, her skirt riding too high, the bag snaps. The scrap metal spills out, clanking on the pavement. She walks away looking over both shoulders with the top of the broken bag still in hand.
What border edge is far enough? What wall plenty high? Domesticate. Eradicate. The human race. Highways snake like veins, or a river, or a blade. We carry always with us the guilt of fear. Investment. Property. Economy. Paving the world. . . we’ve got our hands stretched over a dying fire.
The state of Washington terminated the remaining members of the OPT wolf pack in Ferry county, while we camped in Mt. Rainier Nat’l forest. Isn’t our search for freedom in the confines of these borders, under flags, sort of ironic? It’s a battle that has continued throughout human history, our battle with the wolves.
The modern Poet towers over me, standing on piles of words, handheld degrees, like a decree, held tightly against the chest. Why is it that modern poetry makes me feel so small every time I venture to read it?
Outside the window, moment after moment, the night sky flashes in a brilliance of lightshow. Bursting from the shadow of memory, thunder rumbles and rolls on and on into the dark. We all stop. Rehearsing the truth in my mind, I had nothing to say. The dog trembles in tremolo. In the shatterd nightsky, crackling eggs. We momentarily left our houses, built on convenience, and entered a bliss built by the ancients.
When robins hunt it’s only a guessing game, an approximation, or so it seems. They scatter about and peck and move. Though there does seem to be some guiding principle. Each one is a sentinel unto himself, and a sentinel for the group. When you watch the robins hunt you always find there to be more of them, hiding in the shadow or bushes, than you noticed at first glance. Stoic as they are, they also seem to be pretty clumsy; a worm slipping the grip of their beak, almost seems to have become expected for them, as they pass it off with a few more pecks of dew. Very cautious, they comb the corridor of grass and soon are out of sight, hunting just beyond view.
I poke holes in a cloudless sky with words. Holes in her. Holding her. I will be buried with words, if I’m buried at all. This latex sheen, peeling smooth, revealing what’s behind the sky. More sky.
More of my words can be found at Vita Brevis. Vita Brevis does a fantastic job promoting poetry in many ways; by publishing emerging poets, as well as established ones, and providing fantastic resources for poets who are navigating their way through the publishing world. If you haven’t already check them out and follow for some amazing poetry daily. Thanks to Brian for the opportunity!
Wood woven spirals, like snails climbing leaves. Green like the shell of young fruit or nut. What do you harbor, is it friend or is it foe? It seems to take the will of the tree, and shape it to its own advantage. The stem has been flattened, pulled, and worked into a spiral. Is this a sign of attack, or a symbol of love making? Inside the cracked shell, a husk, perhaps a fallen soldier defending his colony. How might something so tiny exert such strength? These adversaries of trees are seldom seen, except by way of birds hanging around during mealtime. Fallen leaves fall and helicopter to the ground. Splitting the green seashell in half, setting aphids, as well as the tree, free. Perhaps the tree is defending itself, trying to restore balance. But the chewed, splotchy leaves indicate that it only initiates the spiraling cycle all over again.
This is the work of the Poplar spiral gall aphid (’cause I don’t do Latin). Apparently it is specific to this species of tree, so the relationship is truly unique. Which made me wonder at the battle, or if there really is a battle at all, seeing as there is a relationship that only occurs between these two, perhaps the tree is also gaining in some way! I discovered this at work and did the best I could to observe and came up with the poem above. Of course I wanted more information and specifics. While looking at the “gall” as I was to find out, at first I thought that it was some kind of symbiosis as the stem is what forms the casing. But after glancing through the wiki article it seems that it is actually genetically modified, somehow, by the little larvae inside! Pretty crazy nature at work here.
O! my sweet sweet. Remember when I was your right hand, guiding the rhythm (of course) and you were my left, providing the melody. We played such sweet harmonies. Or was it dissonance, and only the two of us that heard it harmonizing? O my! scattered potting soil on the dining room table, singing such a short refrain.
The only good drawings he’s managed to come up with over the passed few years, are the one’s in which he started with nothing. No plan. No concept, no idea of where he would go with it. Start with a few lines. Experiment with technique and try his damnedest to fight those inner demons, which, bubbling, always keep him on the precipice; the knife-edge of sanity. A shape materializes and, if he’s lucky, he’s off into the void. The void where ideas bubble up and he sees it.
It’s here that conceptualization actually works. If you try to start from a concept, you’re doomed to failure (no matter the outcome), you’ll never accept the outcome.
—Ah, so this is freedom!
(And here is where you realize that in order for there to be freedom, it all depends on the situation; the here and now; the original intention, and application, of the design in the first place. )