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Winter Superior

Published November 23, 2011 by wildleek

You could heal yourself
at the palm of the lake
all winter long,
far from the dead dog
in the past,
the frozen pipes
that flooded a drafty house
in a snow-drift valley
one winter ago or two.
And this–the hunger
of a needful season
of bones and bare
branches.

Here, the lake
inflates
and deflates
like a living lung
on the shore,
the moist breath,
breath gathered,
black and deep,
beneath deer tracks left
on snow-covered ice
and next to your own
wider set of tracks,
a weaving path from
black cliffs and
down to the place
where the ice slopes
at the edge and into
the water.

You may not be cautious
as the doe who came
before sunrise to drink,
to test the thickness
of ice,
the graceful sound
of shattering.

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Poem: Camouflage

Published October 27, 2011 by wildleek

Camouflage

We find predatory birds
perched in trees just off
the interstate,
wide-eyed open spaces
bright to either side,
good for hunting
rabbits and voles.

We don’t travel like this,
not during these
daylight hours. We are
such young, noturnal things,
scavenging for leftovers
with the owls and raccoons.

Still here we are, midday,
forest and field
illuminated alike and
we in the trappings
of grown-ups, fooling
the ground squirrels,
fooling ourselves.

Poem: Because at the time

Published October 27, 2011 by wildleek

Because at the time

we love people, and so we paint them beautifully, while we still love them. We paint their hair like birds on this big lake’s breeze, waves as heavy as bodies lying down on the shore and maybe it is meant to look like this passion locked up tight in the two, small apartment of our chests. But bold honesty might paint lions crowded around a tender, panting antelope, an image more accurate of our appetite at the time, more accurate of our gusto, a word heaving itself out from the linguistic pit where words are burned, the infinitive to eat flaming up and simmering down, and the sparks are other words like disgust, maybe all the way back to the shared root between taste and choose–words falling gray as ash, tumbling down from the mother word, and there you are on the other side, your features glowing with the last embers, orange, warm, a percussive heart.

Poem: Irreconcilable Differences

Published October 27, 2011 by wildleek

Irreconcilable Differences

I.
We talk about calling it quits for at least the thirty-ninth time as we drive past the paper mill at night. The bleaching process uses sulfur-based compounds and the odor haunts the air in the same way it used to stick to my grandfather’s clothes. He worked the mill for forty years. Worked there, and came home to beat his wife.

II.
The Five Most Common Reasons for a Marriage to Fail

1. Lack of communication
2. Money
3. If your arm didn’t choke my waist at night
4. If we’d bought that green, barn-shaped house by the river, the one your father called too small, and
5. Who am I anymore when I bleach away the you?

III.
I said, I want to curl into the corner of your lips like a white crystal of salt.

IV.
We roll on a mattress on the floor, breath as stark and white as bleached bones.

Cathedral

Published August 17, 2011 by wildleek

Spring green streaks in red rock, sand from a big glass heart like seeds for something sacred. Oh, let me shoot up tall as the clouds, let me leave only to come back, rain falling and running to the sea that is home.

This cathedral of sand and stone.

Epicurean Simplicity

Published July 12, 2011 by wildleek

“…[N]obody I know in the business is getting rich. Yet there are enough ardent, intelligent readers whose need for such writing is real–and, miraculously, enough editors and publishers upholding an intellectual commitment to issue challenging works–that the good books keep appearing. It is possible to consumerize the pleasures of books and reading, but as long as there are libraries, the cosmopolis of literacy, far-flung in space and time, remains a commons.”

-Stephanie Mills from Epicurean Simplicity, page 141