A Circle of Stones
polished by the current of the river.
By alluding to stones, I have disenchanted
the grave site of a goldfish. I am not responsible
for absence of culture, I hold to tight maudlin underdevelopment.
I scrub blindly at building grit, so the modifiers can send themselves
to market, clean again. I gave effective strategy a name: the slow bird
needs to start early for any hope of worm.
On the wrought iron fence of the churchyard
two crows spoke in low voices: script your methods
as methodical as possible, given the limits of crow vocabulary,
given the limits of time and space and available parking. Collect
as many resources as you can, force yourself happy.
In my dream he was staring out with wide eyes
from behind the glass of the bowl, lifting his gill cover
to breathe. He turned, swam to the top of the bowl, swam back.
The water began to fog and I haven’t slept since.
I can’t handle it, can’t hardly be handled
without rest. You should see the notes in the margin of this page.
James Tate’s right mind is drowsy. He identifies with writing through haze,
good practice for the dementians to come, the demons of disenchantment:
mute, blurry, or buried like thunder in a fog.
If consciousness is a system of organizing the clutter of conscience
what better way than the stark romance of writing by candle, sleepless, bobbing
over the page, struggling to describe a gingko tree, under whose fallen leaves
the new complexity of struggle is buried and adorned.
Honorable Mention, Eye On Life Poetry Contest 2011-2012