Poems of the Week

26 May

FOUR POEMS, THREE POETS

NANCY KUHL

Grieving Narcissus

sound decaying within the ear
and without your chaos memory
born of blue contemplation an eye
first revealing bones or that ever-
wavering reflection and how you are
exceptional again and I observe
your lips open around see, I and
naturally I want to reply but
the last lasting dream of tiny frogs
filling my unhinged mouth keeps me
aloft and alert and dressed in disquiet
when you say green as the story goes
you say in this light and slantingly
at the far edge of a fine afternoon but
it’s been raining for days even in this
corner room where I waited and waited
where I heard almost every word

ELIZABETH WILLIS

Blasted Hymn

Morning swings
its wave above your head
A proper undertow of history
and ahistory, the bank
with its barricade of brass
Winter-kill against
the outweighed garden
A vase obstructing
your pictorial turn
It’s coming on like a cold
It’s filling your sails
with a future-scented wind
Heaven help you
keep its secrets
You who placed
your trust like a pearl
into this dirty shell
The force of habit
takes you on
like a chair
you think you’ll paint
or lean on

ELIZABETH WILLIS

Extended Forecast

If lace in the machine
then air in the head of the lilac

The face up close
is up against the minted wind

Overseen like labor
overlooked like a valley

G. C. WALDREP

discrete series: WET PASTORAL

this spell folds toward you,
here, the wax birds are

spreading their little cloths:

new water rations: you
make something higher,

out of hair maybe, & hoist
relenting towards it, flange

of body in the rental dark:

you watch there, as through
vent or some unobtrusive

substrate: substance:

bent on capture: imperfect
save for signature, & that

not liquid, something
satisfaction had been saving:

the ladder falls, touches
the ground, you burn it

& then build another ladder:

you can’t “see” the country:

you consult the manual,
spleens glisten: it’s not as if

science were watching you:

radius/broadfall/marshlight:

illegible notes somebody,
yourself maybe, scrawled on
the back of your left hand:

*

all from Denver Quarterly 45.3 (2011), Ed. Bin Ramke

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