Living in Analog

The cold is a mother
as generous as the space
between the stars. I gave her
my discontent & my distance:
all those older & more restless selves
who are still out there, moving away
at the speed of light.
I grinned for Polaroid & single-lens
reflex alike, but inside
I was wincing. Cold.

I learned how to knit
when I was seven: scarves
& sweaters, socks & gloves, maps
& pastures & that long deep lake
I later loved. By then I’d crossed
oceans, no mere mermaid;
you couldn’t touch me without noticing
the scars from ships’ propellers
& orca attacks, the stubborn barnacles.
On land I was a sycamore, rich
in baubles no one wanted,
struggling to peel down
to a warmer skin.

*

See the photo reponse by Rachel Rawlins, “Advert for a summer holiday.”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

6 Comments


  1. Oh. I don’t know if I understand this, but I know I want to read it again and again.

    Reply

    1. Read and read last night. It’s even better today! What reach that it can be read as both as personal and planetary, not in a weak correlation, but in a reinforcing dovetail – an utter confusion of you and the world. Love, love, love. Love the breadth of time-space, the luminous particulars, the awesomely sense defying, but righteous, last line.

      Sorry to pant. This just struck me crazy.

      Reply

  2. What a great Poem, Dave.
    You really do have it in you.
    This is fantastic writing.
    Thank you.

    Bob BrueckL

    Reply

  3. Oh my, made me tremble, with what? Hope, wonder, love… Just keep writing it, whatever.

    (They are London planes, I think, not sycamores as we know them.)

    Reply

    1. Thanks for the kind comment! No, in this poem they are sycamores (mostly because more people have have heard of them, but also because they are more closely associated with water than their very closely related cogeners), just as the narrator of this poem has lived in “analog” rather than “analogue.” It’s part of the trans-Atlantic translation process, in other words, with which our on-going conversation must contend.

      Reply

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