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A slow poem like Nina Simone. “I’ll love you till the poets run out of rhyme, until the twelfth of never…”

Wednesday again. I have a short day at work before a week of vacation, and I am SO ready. Today in class I got to feeling so hedged in, so antsy and claustrophobic, that I got that knockin’ folks’ hats off, take to the sea kind of feeling. I took it out on poor HP, not in an antagonistic kind of way, but in the “I’m gonna ooze my panic attack all over you in the form of demented orders to take me to the ocean” kind of way. It happens.

So he went home and packed for the trip to pick up the girls at my folks’ house, and for any other reasonable scenario my unreasonable brain could imagine. This is why I married him. I’m so excited that I am tempted to just write a packing list and call it a poem. A Northern Summer Poem: sunscreen, swimsuits, floaties, jackets, dry bags, cooler, tevas, boots, shell, fleece, hat, gloves, camp stove, tent, rolls, rods, socks, underwear.

Done. Just kidding. Though I do think there’s a Canadian poet who wrote a super long poem called Seed Catalogue that includes a list of all the seed you will need to plant to survive in Canada and then what you will eat in the winter if you want to survive, and I like a list-y poem. Robert Kroetsch. Thanks, internet.

Instead of phoning it in with the packing list, I’m going to try to poem the feeling I had that led me to get so limbstruck today, because that was the height of my emotion. Maybe that is a poemtrick, just recognizing the thing that grips us most during the day. I’ll think of a name for it later, because I have to poem fast, then pack.

In the Dead Stand

Waking up in the dead stand is like waking up every day, except that the mattress has turned to duff and the walls are tall spires of dead wood, greying and curling in choking flakes. The dead stand is a ring of imagined riffs and torn expectations, imagine waking naked in the forest, ringed in by cadaverous, reaching conifers, drawn, haggard, and tuberculotic. Imagine looking around, in all the degrees, at the limbs and branches that restrain you. A moth in a glass hurls itself at the sides, again and again. What would you do if the vision itself was its containment? If every time you stared through the dry sprays of twigs and webs you saw another ring, of dead gray wood, wouldn’t you fish around, for a match to burn it all down?

Envisioning, there are no voices. But envision this: the single signal of a hawk circling above the dead stand, the roots like arm chairs thrust up through the gripping detritus, the capitulation when finally after many farflungand wholehearted blitzes, you melt back upon the moss, to see the gray cloud move off of the moon hung up, risen again with the sun just to visit you, and the buttermilk sky shows bright through the gray bars of the dead stand. The hawk whaaa-whaaing for food should be enough to tell you, the way out is also up, so climb, all the wingless. Climb.


Eh? So, now I have to go pack. VACATION TIMESSSSSSS! I might not be able to post the camping poems right away, but I am dedicated to this process, so I will post them as soon as internet is available, and date them, and everything. Happy Wednesday, poemfriends. ber


Well, wouldn’t you?