the cold wind carries me
leaves in the trees
earthen and dry
rustle with the voice of snow
death and transition
the brittle beauty of Fall
my heart bounding up hills
while i run these dirt trails
my lungs burn with knowledge
i am going to be a father
if you have the energy you can do anything
go on without hesitating
if you go you’ll understand
and the road that you walk is your life.
The yellow plums fatten
In the pouring rain.
Frogs sing in the marsh reeds.
Late into the night I wait,
Toying with the chessmen,
While the lamp wick reddens and falls.
-Ssu-ma Kuang (translated by Kenneth Rexroth)
pinhole. madison, wisconsin.
these faceless cars streak past me
my wheels humming as i pick up
speed going down a hill and around a corner.
soon, i’m at the bay.
the windless surface drunk with reflected color
my eyes linger on the glowing capitol in the sky
subconsciously, i slow,
then i actually stop—
through the window
a projected sloth is grasping a branch
i can feel the course texture of his fur.
i am halfway to my bed.
Quick and yet he moves like silt.
I envy dreams that see his curving
silver in the weeds. When stiff as snags
he blends with certain stones.
When evening pulls the ceiling tight
across his back he leaps for bugs.
I wedged hard water to validate his skin—
call it chrome, say red is on
his side like apples in a fog, gold
gills. Swirls always look one way
until he carved the water into many
kinds of current with his nerve-edged nose.
And I have stared at steelhead teeth
to know him, savage in his sea-run growth,
to drug his facts, catalog his fins
with wings and arms, to bleach the black
back of the first I saw and frame the cries
that sent him snaking to oblivion of cress.