The Hollow (5)

This entry is part 5 of 48 in the series The Hollow

 

ark     ark

so many ways of saying here
in Raven

 

the aging spruces
still stand where we planted them

their insurgent roots

 

rings of mushrooms
between the lines of trees

one woodfern waving

 

shaggy manes

imagine the sweet release
of autodigestion

The Hollow (4)

This entry is part 4 of 48 in the series The Hollow

 

in the purple-stemmed
jungle of pokeweed
last year’s skeletons

 

goldenrod meadow

forty acres and a wren

 

the somewhere else
that is also here

ridge after ridge

 

too big to hide
the spider draws in her legs
and turns to gemstone

Cento: Earth & Air

Look at us, she said. We are all of us in this room
still waiting to be transformed.

Is
the lake a lake, the bird a bird, or but a fake
shadow, a half-thing?

face stamped
into a coin, what’s left of the body
in the belly of a bird

We lay on rugs on spongy moss
huddled for warmth

Soil
blooded to rustfruit, eyebright

I have a poem in which the universe is like a vocal cord

There was
no deeper meaning.

*

Source Texts:
Louise Gluck, “An Endless Story”
Michael Farrell, “Verlaine in the Lake”
Sam Sax, “Bury”
James Harpur, “The Perseids”
Nam Le, “Aubade”
Alice Notley, “Why Are You Writing These”
Sandra Lim, “Chanson Douce”

Greenwashing

Up by five o’clock and got post horses and so set out for Greenwich, calling and drinking at Dartford. Being come to Greenwich and shifting myself I to the office, from whence by and by my Lord Bruncker and Sir J. Minnes set out toward Erith to take charge of the two East India shipps, which I had a hand in contriving for the King’s service and may do myself a good office too thereby. I to dinner with Mr. Wright to his father-in-law in Greenwich, one of the most silly, harmless, prating old men that ever I heard in my life. Creed dined with me, and among other discourses got of me a promise of half that he could get my Lord Rutherford to give me upon clearing his business, which should not be less, he says, than 50l. for my half, which is a good thing, though cunningly got of him. By and by Luellin comes, and I hope to get something of Deering shortly. They being gone, Mr. Wright and I went into the garden to discourse with much trouble for fear of losing all the profit and principal of what we have laid out in buying of prize goods, and therefore puts me upon thoughts of flinging up my interest, but yet I shall take good advice first. Thence to the office, and after some letters down to Woolwich, where I have not lain with my wife these eight days I think, or more. After supper, and telling her my mind in my trouble in what I have done as to buying of these goods, we to bed.

green ink at the office

life should not be less
than half hope

deer in the garden

a letter to my wife
telling her my mind


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 26 September 1665.

Hatchlings

Found ourselves come to the fleete, and so aboard the Prince; and there, after a good while in discourse, we did agree a bargain of 5,000l. with Sir Roger Cuttance for my Lord Sandwich for silk, cinnamon, nutmeggs, and indigo. And I was near signing to an undertaking for the payment of the whole sum; but I did by chance escape it; having since, upon second thoughts, great cause to be glad of it, reflecting upon the craft and not good condition, it may be, of Captain Cocke.
I could get no trifles for my wife. Anon to dinner and thence in great haste to make a short visit to Sir W. Pen, where I found them and his lady and daughter and many commanders at dinner. Among others Sir G. Askue, of whom whatever the matter is, the world is silent altogether. But a very pretty dinner there was, and after dinner Sir W. Pen made a bargain with Cocke for ten bales of silke, at 16s. per lb., which, as Cocke says, will be a good pennyworth, and so away to the Prince and presently comes my Lord on board from Greenwich, with whom, after a little discourse about his trusting of Cocke, we parted and to our yacht; but it being calme, we to make haste, took our wherry toward Chatham; but, it growing darke, we were put to great difficultys, our simple, yet confident waterman, not knowing a step of the way; and we found ourselves to go backward and forward, which, in the darke night and a wild place, did vex us mightily. At last we got a fisher boy by chance, and took him into the boat, and being an odde kind of boy, did vex us too; for he would not answer us aloud when we spoke to him, but did carry us safe thither, though with a mistake or two; but I wonder they were not more. In our way I was [surprised] and so were we all, at the strange nature of the sea-water in a darke night, that it seemed like fire upon every stroke of the oare, and, they say, is a sign of winde. We went to the Crowne Inne, at Rochester, and there to supper, and made ourselves merry with our poor fisher-boy, who told us he had not been in a bed in the whole seven years since he came to ‘prentice, and hath two or three more years to serve. After eating something, we in our clothes to bed.

found ourselves in eggs
silent together

we were simple
not knowing the way

found ourselves to go backward and forward
wild as the sea

it seemed like fire
upon every stroke

the crow made us
whole


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 September 1665.

The Hollow (3)

This entry is part 3 of 48 in the series The Hollow

 

glossy orange
to mark the hatchet-cut scars

property line

 

beyond the line trees
the same old view

chestnut oak seedling

 

“leave no trace”

only my footprints now
where spring beauties bloomed

 

black locust grove

the leaf miners have laid bare
a rich vein of sky

Cento: Fire & Water

Who cleans the windowpane with her breath and stirs
the fire of the afternoon

scented with gardenias?
I’ve walked carefully through the colors of copper.

No possession accompanies us
when night drifts along streets of the city.
Not all windows open: that is the truth.

Now each of us is
a witness stand:

You should know that human limbs burn
like branches and branches like human limbs.

Who said that my country was green?
It took a long time to cover my body —

little boats grab onto them and row and row

*

Source texts:
Olga Orozco, “Ballad of Forgotten Places”
Jaime Manrique, “The Sky Over My Mother’s House”
Oscar Gonzalez, “Central America in My Heart”
Francisca Aguirre, “Penelope Unravels”
Amy Lowell, “Solitare”
Sara Borjas, “Lies I Tell”
Ilya Kaminsky, “Town Watches Them Take Alfonso”
Nicole Sealey, “In Defense of ‘Candelabra with Heads’”
Claribel Alegria, “Flowers from the Volcano”
Hafizah Geter, “Testimony”
Victoria Chang, “Dear P.”