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December 20, 2023

A quick 15-minute poem tonight, written while trying not to think about it too much. This one was actually done without any games or source text behind it (except I did pull the first four words from Anne Bradstreet’s poem “Winter,” thinking I might do a collage, and then not really feeling inspired by the diction). I started with a phrase and then tried to follow a thread of half-sense in my head, seeing if I can teeter enjoyably (at least to me) between “lucidity and the deep end” (as a friend from grad school described it in a note to me inside the front of a gift of Paul Blackburn’s Selected Poems, which he sent partly as follow-up to a conversation we had about those two poles). This needs work, but not bad for writing with a stuffy nose when mainly I want to be making dinner already, so that maybe I have time for a cup of tea before an early bedtime. I’ll see it more clearly later.

To melt the rivers, to unravel this ribbon.
Take the sky out of the box. Give it
a shake. A flower of ice grows
from your breast, always unfurled,
always a blade. It won’t tell you
what you most need to know, not
what the fire did, or what is left
when the guts are hollowed out.
You are a bowl, listening. You are trees,
soaking in what rises, allowing
these strangers’ ephemera
to curl through you.
It is worth it;
there is so much.

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