Three fish lie on a plate
on the balcony
a path leading to a gate
Linden next to elm
Clouds are swept across the sky.
of empty sleeves & shadows
instead of your finger
on the point of a needle.
Light is failing us,
china & silver earring
My window's full of shoreline gone
showing white against the disordered
head. Yarrow & sage, bergamot
arrested in the frame of a postcard
script; field & skyline moving
here down invisible tiers
through thistle, slip the margin & grain,
clover cut & arranged on the sill.
Here, where burning candles hover
on the rooftop turn. Then, a hammer rings
a bird is ripped down
A slash of blue
BALCONY WITH FISH / Ancillary listening/reading: Permanent Red by John Berger, Annals of Chile
NEW YEAR'S EVE: When I wrote this poem I was reading a lot of Jack Gilbert and Heather McHugh and was visiting one of the most beautiful cities in the world; San Francisco. I sent picture postcards from North Beach & started thinking about the strange translation of place through the medium of postcard & the power of what might have well been a Lorine Niedecker kind of mantra: condense, condense, condense.
INDEX OF FIRST LINES / Ancillary Readings: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, Dean Young's poem, "If Thou Dislik'st What Thou First Light'st On".