Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Let It Ecopoeticly

{scraps of poetry I wrote for Marc Spitzer's ecopoetics class last semster}

(no title)

No roar from these
Dripping rows of sky scrapers
Sunk scarlet into
Beating flesh

Only the crackle of incinerating
Sheep fires hot enough
To synthesize better fibers

Only the rattle and rake
And desperate fingernails
Of mechanized shovels
Across granite skin

Only the fizzing of self concerned spatter
Under steady gaze of buzzards perched on billboards
This beast has raved and proclaimed
The madness of its own eyes

Only the ceaseless thrashing
Warm in the red depths a
Nest of written orders and receipts,
Lovers press and sweat and scream
To make a shiny new More

("missing" stanza inspired by a Robert Hass poem)

A flowing river, a metaphor that will die
With a final shovel and concrete pour
Churning electricity out the ring of shoals
And into this dashboard of mine, not jumping
With salmon or saw brier banks, holding
Only a petroleum casing wrapped around
Dihydrogen monoxide bottled and blasted
Five thousand five hundred miles coughing coetwo
Across the pacific to my hand here

Venus, is it love when she gets lost in the mirror
Reflections in the water of pigeons passing over
Draws a shot gun swing and barely pull the trigger
Just a hair more sensitive than we all might expect
Here in Faulkner County where students still smoke pot
And try to imagine billboards without sex, highways
Without billboards, cities without highways to connect them,
Houses without cities to contain their corners,
Front porches without the front of a house to hang off of
Where Maw and me sit and watch Paw walking
Back from the river with a few doves to cook for dinner.

Where Can I Possibly Be Long

Quetico whip-whimpers loon calls
sonic brilliance across lake of crystal calm waters
the sun falls, lighting a fire in the sky
at the lake’s edge we settle between the dome and its burning reflection
we feel our place as a small cinder of the universal flame
erupting from galaxy’s center and smattering upon
not yet sterile skies over Minnesota
smaller still burns the light of our stove we cook the lake trout on
caught a wrinkle from the lake with my rod
unhooked it in the pan, and man, does this life feel free
dive in at moonlight and I am one of the flopping fins
Soon to unhook my lip and lay soaking
in acidic grease of dreams

Touching nature untouched
taking our rhythm in it
taking our self from it
sometimes giving
bones brittle and wet with meat
pine cones wrapped in moist flesh-like peanut butter
shellacked with birdseed to hang on a limb

The immensity of space
staring at the fine line of lake shore
met with a final coffee pot and hand-rolled cigarette
compounds procured in Factory Far Away
weaving webs of agri-slavery
put a price tag on my peace
even here
I carried on my back and paddled in my canoe
to come and sit and look
beauty and its mirror greet me
but are not for me
not the chemicals I need
cannabis and carbonates
caffeinated concentrates
high-fructose firing petro-barrels
of exhaust skyward where I jumped
the airport from Arkansas and can still look up to see
clouded lines of passing planes
calling me to a warm bed
another set of shoulders smooth and bare
a woman who smiles when I wake

why have I come here

Up with morning and walk into low brush
a granite boulder topped with moss lingering
for centuries there are blue berries born daily
this time of summer
I eat one
hold another in the palm of my hand
roll the ball in from thumb to palm
hold it up to the vaulted sky from where it comes
a drop of paint from Michelangelo’s brush
caught here in this scrub moss
to bounce and rest upon the twig
eat another
tasting the blood of sky and boulder
And the oil of my hands on the skin of the sphere

This land itself, a steaming green sun
hell could not be much hotter to carry a canoe through
mosquitoes kurr-zerrt and fleck onto sweat and skin
needling through pours caked with grime nearly amphibian
but for the warmth of stomachs burning blue berries and
hearts pumping hells heat in back into bones
pushing canoe over head through brush of birch and pine
and the suckers plumbing the depths of my veins
growing redly ripe to fall off and harvest more
a blood berry bush I am
detach the stem, hum heavily away in droves
to splash and drown in dark clarity
or snatched from the air by a dragonfly flit
and I crunch on down the gravel portage trail
a bloodberry bush with canoe over head
what do you sweat in hell other than blood and bone marrow
the devil lick your honey comb of red
burning tongue and twisting joints
and a final flail into
water that fills the heat of booted feet
Ottertrack Lake carries my knees cold and
a steady, a hold, and a hard heave off comes the canoe
and away fly my seeds to splash and spread on
I collapse into the shallow water
sinking down in bubbling cedar boughs
brown methane hissing biomass below the surface
cradled rings of mosquito larva, black coils of leeches,
carry me down below the black sand of beaver scat and into a gaping fissure of granite
where they draw the warm honey from my skeleton spread
its energy through darkness
like the ripples from dashing mayflies on the silver sheet above
I am the cold seismic silence of the granite
cut by the ice of glacial hands
in one geological moment we clutch
and bleed into lakes
we collapse around each other
exhaling mayflies of June and wild rice in the shallows
we breathe again the oxygen of birch leaves
no great coughing but
but calmly set aside and allowed to
drift away on the wind
as the wind

This all, a dream of what I might be run through with
caffeine and nicotine ties to what I really am
snoring of how I might be drunk into a lake
of how I might find a berry to belong to
how I might have one day stood naked and starving on the winter point
and been able to wrap the gifts of the earth around me
pull the bull moose down and hide myself to find myself within his flesh
sipping tea of water cress with first falling snow
September gathers rice into a birch bark canoe
then I could say, as the loon does to the first fishermen of the spring thaw
I am of this land

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