Monday, June 02, 2008

Retreat, First Morning

It's hard to go out
without a watch.

But this is how
I begin this day, I leave
the ticking thing beside
my bed and go

down to the green bluff
that overlooks the Ohio.
The transit of the sun
and the roar of distant industry

mark my time, as does
the urgency of birds.

The morning becomes
a gradual arc, not
divvied up in minutes.
Nothing is fragmented,

not the cloudless summer
sky, not the tiny spider
I shake from this white page.
I'm awake now. I am waiting.

* * * * *

Here by the river there are many vultures -- enormous things, soaring on thermals, spiraling with great broad wings outstretched. I think those wings are solar panels, storing up the energy of this abundant summer sun. I know these birds eat dead things, are scavengers, cleaning the woods of stilled & rotting flesh. I like the thought of all that dead wildness taken up to this boundless sky: bits of deer, skunk, possum gone higher than those creatures could have dreamed in life, warmed by all this riverlight, unhurried, drifting in spirals, soaring.

* * * * *

Also, I am reading this article from the Poets & Writers website: "Putting Your Poetry In Order." I like the idea of manuscript as mixtape ... I've made a lot of mixtapes in my time and always thought I was pretty good at it. :) So, maybe I can handle the manuscript thing too...



Karen J. Weyant said...

Good luck with your manuscript! That's one of my goals this summer, too, is to get that manuscript together, but I don't know if that is going to happen. My poetry is all over the place.

Collin said...

Love the immediacy of the poem. You're already creating. Enjoy your retreat!

Jessie Carty said...

I read that article too :) I have some other info I obtained from a seminar during MFA if you want to drop me an email.

I'm fully in the throes of trying to put together my thesis/manuscript. Best thing about it so far? Once you get a rough order it is kind of fun to revise and see how pieces fit together you didn't think may have fit together before.

Emily Benton said...

love the vulture sequence and fragments. also this line: "divvied up in minutes."

KATE EVANS said...

Wow, gorgeous! I love the sound of the "urgency of birds."

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