As you may know, I’m interested in “conversations” between poems and I have noticed that the poems in my chapbook Unbound: Alaska Poems are still rattling around with me, sometimes appearing at odd moments as if they think they have something to say.
Whether as a purge or the start of a new project, I have experimented with giving these poems a voice outside the book. In this “conversation” the lines in italics are from poems in Unbound. Non-italicized lines are my side of the conversation.
A cool mist hovers, rain dappling the hot pool.
In the hills, we pick berries
birds eat in January
and spread seeds without cataloging or even knowing
that maps and etchings in old books traced our route
. . . the crabapple hung dense with clusters of tiny pommes,
red as if cranberries were draped in trees by a mad decorator
I close my eyes, letting my finger tips show me . . .
. . . Fungi protrude silently from dirt beneath brush, brush is
understory of the forest, or a judgment. . . .
I nip judgment, but wrap it in tissue paper.
. . . We dither. Our pavements
a lacing. The ground disappears. . . .
The new mail-order dress is not what I expected.
You might be looking
at a star that fizzled out millennia ago . . .
exploding purple & gold paisley.
Chickadees awaken and call—
rustling spruce branches—
This Confetti of Jottings! Fragments that fit so many ways
. . . I walk
and look up and see more than I thought—Proof
that others were here before
and we sing at the top of our lungs
. . . bend and pluck corpuscular berries from inch-high plants
our treasures biodegradable, our treasures edible
. . . we rush. The conductor braces, the baton’s arc holds the tempo. . . .
The poems start all talking at once. A cacophony. Stop!
I lace up my shoes and go for a walk.
Lines (in italics) are from poems in Unbound–Alaska Poems: Aurora, Is Nature Enough?, Green, Essentially Empty, Illumination, Deep Sea Cascades, Ephemera, The Things They Leave Behind, and Unbound.