Poems of the Week

25 Apr

THREE POEMS, THREE POETS

KARL KROLOW
Emptiness

Your eye fixed
on a gray or red chair.

Eucalyptus, smelling of cats.

Two eyes see much
too much in corners.

Slant-light: typographer
of a surviving wall.

Silent film with
stuffed bird
stalked by a stuffed
marten.

No end after death.

The draped mirror
tries to contradict me
in vain.

ELIZABETH HOLMES
Pregnant and Far Gone
–Jorie Graham, “The Sense of an Ending”

Make me a hollow in the mountains –
gone where so many others have,
and each alone.

Make me a den
to fit this body, tight-skinned, strange,
filled up with a stranger.

Make me a land where everybody knows
this pain with mindless rhythm,
thresher threshing,

and after,
the long tired rhythmless day
and day and night and day.

Make me a hollow in the mountains,
where now and then the child will laugh
like a cold spring, shine as nobody

ever has. And love like the clean
ax that leveled this meadow
split me open.

BOB HICOK
Lettuce

from 101
was green boutonnieres
all the way to the mountain.

There must be fields
of croutons then, of salad tongs
in another state.

She and I left the highway
and the car,
her hair still going
seventy miles an hour.

I was floating a bit
with travel inside me,
with planes inside
and the varicose veins
of maps and the mints
hotel pillows dream.

Gravel talked to our shoes, we walked
on grinding teeth, on the earth
mulling things over.

We just wanted our legs again,
to let our feet
taste gravity beside a field
where lettuce is born.

Someone had taught the desert
to rain with sprinklers
as tall as me when I stand
on my shoulders, mist
from the parabolas of water
was rainbowed by sun
and kissed our skin,
which bloomed.

There was one
standoffish head
that broke with rhythm
or row after row,

I called him Louis
Sixteen and wished
him well in his escape
from the revolution

on the horizon,
the brown hands
of boys decapitating
the field.

*all from Field 70 (2004), Ed. Linda Slocum

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