Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tupelo Press 30/30 Project - Poems 6–10

I am floored at the wonderful response I've gotten for this project. I've already got enough donations and pledges to be over my goal, so a huge thanks to everyone who has my back. Seriously.

I've decided to put the poems on this blog every five days, so here are poems 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. If you want to see them as they come up, you can still see each one on the day it is written by clicking here and scrolling down.


Poem 6


In the second dream, a bird pilfers
all of the scraps from my desk.
None of the typing ceases or slows.
Unfamiliar but comfortable, this place
takes its grayness for granted, even outside
the rooftops nearly disappear
in fog. Dropping into half-veiled places,
chirping once, the bird only wants to be
found. Another someone supplanted
here takes notice, moving backward
despite the nature of walls (useless:
the sky is right there) remaining the same.
The bird and the other someone are quiet
now. It is time. That something moving
inside the pillow is your heart
keeping cadence, thick like a hollow bone.


Poem 7


Rolling over, a train
in motion, silence:
these are all the ways I move
away from you.


Poem 8


Received unwillingly, a warmness under
skin confuses the body. Closed

eyes veil the room: you have not left,
no, the place has shifted in neglect.

Do not speak to me of want.
Every rearranging understands itself

in relation to the floor, window lit
on certain mornings. A man passes

my house, a grocery bag in tow.
He passes every day, the same burden

in his fingers. There is something
he does not wish to carry into night

let alone tomorrow. You are enough
whatever it is you want for today

for both of us. You can take these words
for granted, if you wish.

I will catch the singeing scraps,
impaling every one, a sapling.


Poem 9

Splintered Things

We become these things. Or rather,
we turn these things to pulp, ingest them
in some form or another, and carry on.

Never mind this piece of paper
spent years rooted among its cousins
in a forest or part of a forest that endured

so many fires and the exploding cold
only an arid winter understands,
the closest it ever came to touching

the other trees (not counting wind)
being when squirrel leapt from its neighbor,
bending its branch with the unfamiliar

weight of a body built for climbing.
Never mind that at all. It is nothing
like grasping a hoarfrosted fencepost

hoping what pours forth is not blood.


Poem 10


            —for Anie

the knife in position
the body’s division
the mind’s indecision

eyes shadowed, masks

the body’s rescission
the mind’s imposition
the knife in decision


the mind’s indecision
the knife in precision
the body’s derision

incision, excision, suture, and out


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