Jayson Iwen

   Authors

       Adam Pendelton
       Arthur

       Brian Belott
       Chad Faries
       Christopher Patton
       Christopher Stackhouse
       Dan Golden
       Elisabeth Kinsey
       Ernest Loesser
       Henry Williams
       Jayson Iwen
       Jenny Benjamin Smith
       Kathleen Eull
       Kevin Gallagher
       Matthew Chase
       Pearl Blauvelt
       Timothy Marvel Hull


Selection From "Six Trips in Two Directions"

 


67



all eyes on the hammer but mine             on the hummingbird hovering
behind my fatherís head                             gone at the first blow

praise be to summary                                 for telling us what we missed
when moving too fast to notice                 we colonized time
with a blessing as fitting as a curse        i once watched a rope
follow a pail down a well                             as innocently as the word itself slips

                              in the home of a hanged man





68



if summer had a mother                             sheíd weep over it
so bitterly it searches                                  for the taste of its own mouth

if she answered the prayers of dogs      it would rain bones
and bite size hands                                      if she were god itself
and gave such strong evidence               her son would still leave
and still return a different man                 with the faintest memory of her

                                   and the same old prayers



69



to say this pilgrimage home                      has been hard offends
as much as to say it was easy                  to find home


stoned and unsober                                     in a blackout in ann arbor
if the local deity answered                         your most burning question
youíd certainly stand there knowing       and then what, then where
like a flower that bears no fruit                 the knife in the pilgrimís hand

                                 can only find her own heart





70



jo you are the most                                        human human to me
means humanity expands                            from contemplation of you

to say who we are                                          if our identity is our center of gravity
is to say where we are                                 or where we have been
but what if we misheard fate                      you say, for example
the geographic center                                  of the united states of america

                                             is lebanon, kansas





71



what does it mean to say                            what to mean and what
to question what itself                                 into infinite if

before we return                                           jo finds the name of a female ancestor
in a rural ohio library                                    iím having a breakdown in the corner
quietly of course                                           my own search has broken me
and now the world whispers                     its name into the cracks

                                                i am is just that





72



outside the white sky of noon                   itís four in the morning inside
trying to sleep off the heat                         jet lag, lost luggage, and the chorus

of first world voices chanting                   we donít care, we really donít
careful what you care about                     first thing back i paid
the rooftop squatter                                    for watching our cats and asked
for a pizza when heís got time                  done drinkin forties for another year

                                          start being apart and a part





73



here at the end of the last journey          i need to make in lebanon
i sit on the edge of the single bed           in a one room mountain house

made of dirt stone and timbers               i stare out the window at what
gibran would see in the morning            how long do you think youíll stay
saint saba's light says                               winterís rain is always near
enough to wake                                           so sweet a grape

                                   from such dry soil





74



the kitten is a cat now                                lean and serious
and fall is coming round again                 to remind me how we got here

tolerance is not enough                             if you can take it, love it
cause being is something so small        we pass without noticing it
one day i could only say                             yes, iíve been here
not what it was to have been                   but what it was to have been here

                                    between a mountain and a sea