July 23, 2010

the water's warmer than it has been in weeks


Laurence Pignarre Wyllie, Transmissions, 2004

Tale
-- by Frank Stanford

The maid used to pull the drapes
So I could see the dust

When it didn't rain
I bought gum and worked in the boat
There was a locked up shack down the road
With a stack of records in the bedroom

We could tell strangers were around
From what they drank

The girls waited in the orchards
There was no need to lie.


Polar
-- by Dobby Gibson

Like the last light
spring snowfall
that seems to arrive
from out of nowhere
and not land, exactly, anyplace,
so too do the syllables of thought
dissolve silently into the solitude
of the body in thought.
Like touching your skin,
or the first time I touched ice
and learned it was really water
and that neither were glass,
so does the jet contrail overhead
zip something closed in us,
perhaps any notion of the bluer.
Glancing sunlight,
my shoulders bearing the burden
or any theory why these birds
remain so devoted
to their own vanishing.
One store promises flowers
for all your needs,
another tells you
everything must go.
One river runs like a wound
that will never heal,
one snow falls like a medicine
that will never salve,
you the Earth, me the moon,
a subject moved in a direction
you desire, but for reasons
I believe to be my own.


Where There Should Be a Plant Stand, There Isn't
-- by Karyna McGlynn

I hear people talking in the kitchen, but there’s no way
to get to them; they’ve had three drinks too many.

The worst is my bedroom, which has been roped off
with yellow police tape. They’ve pulled up the carpet.

I think someone’s been here—a smoker,
trying to bypass the now-defunct security system.

Through my window I see my sister step from her car.
She plans to confront me about the thing she can’t yet know.

I slip back through the shotgun rooms, and once again
enter my mother’s with its unheated waterbed.

In the left-hand drawer of her vanity, I know I can find
her expired pregnancy test with its indelible blue lines.

But, perhaps, like everything else, these are mutable details.
Shouting somewhere in the house now and I have to hurry.

If I take it out now, I might kill myself. If I leave it
I won’t remember what I came here to do.

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