Saturday, May 16, 2009

Desert Voices- Two Poems

The Spring 2009 Desert Voices just came out both in print and online. Two of my poems, In the Western Night and Preparing for Fire, both written during my cross-country adventure two summers ago, are within its pages. The pdf version of the print issue is:

Or, to make it that much easier:

Preparing for Fire

The juniper attacked us from behind
as a lover might, silk-handed,
and off-guard we swaggered drunkenly
back to campfire, as if facing the smell
would dull its charms
and return our distracted conversation
to things mighty, abstract, and unseen
waiting for us over the next sandstone wall.

Each twig we cast sparked infinitesimal fireworks
like dying candle spit
like fireflies adding themselves to the sun,
and the light did not war against the darkness
but lifted us with it
to where, though unseen,
it could still be felt.

Dreams of junipers began to trickle over
the faint of heart, those simple enough
to gaze upon a fire and be warm,
leaving me alone
just outside its perfect halo
boasting brashly to a gathering of stones,
geckos, and broken ceramic pots
that though smaller than a juniper spark
I’d not be taken quietly,
fondling my words like a sword, distracted-
savage Ares speculating aloud to statues of himself
where the blood goes in peacetime.

In the Western Night

Blue sparks raining from the sky
as if from two great metals clashing,
and a scream swallowing itself.
A half-dead mare, the half that bears its soul.
If argued correctly, the other half, they claim,
cannot also suffer.
Flies gather round its groin.
Metals clash, blue sparks,
and the shoe slips on, unnoticed.

And in my heart German shepherds
tempering the prairie wind
by gnashing their teeth
and pouncing upon the slightest sound.
And every sound a distinct fear,
every barn door rusting out, creaking,

and yet there is comfort
in condensing all life into a moment
and waiting for the next,
which this time will be it- it
and yet nothing like it-
like being the author and the poem
and fearing which will longer endure.

In the western night without illusion
the landscape crawled under my shirt
to die.
I still hear the rusting of hinges
and pounce upon every sound,
and still her eyes aglow beside me
spark blue and fall to the sheets,
heavy metals.
We’re awaiting another scream
that can swallow itself.

The shoe slips on unnoticed

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