four

 

 

CIVILIAN



Every now and then

wind works my ear

such wars I get to be

smash into my face



a cross-eyed

hummingbird, drunk

on busy-wingéd chaos

all up in my shit



all else is sleepless books

and reams to haunt

and pinhole cameras

for utter sky companionship



when I get fired up

all is permitted them

so unkillable, a sweep of tules

on dawn patrol



details at war with form

 

 

 

DENIZEN



Sand winds

smoke coming off of piles

the region secretes another

Desert Lakes Golf Community



proving the unseen

haven amused and exploding

blue-green askance, slope-up,

fan to foothill



do I want to get mixed-up

in this country's facts

some of its gods

cloud islands, skies in which



our grief has not yet started

and it's a good thing, too

surrounded on all sides by wind

graceful, illiterate



hammer

 

 

 

SITUATIONS AT HAND



                         The plastic cup gently touched

            the ground but do not

                         feel too destroyed about it





some light touched the knuckles on your right hand when

                     the sun sliced the fog like that





                                    maybe

                        you won’t care

            that things had been

               so touchable and alive--

                  read that like it’s nothing

                        go somewhere else to learn




            one of us is always

                         trying to touch plants

            gravestone rubbing supplies

                                    bony ridges underneath

the you that likes wind





                      they avoid that one because of wisdom

                      and they look good doing it





                       touched in mind and forehead

I rise to the occasion: a shame and a freedom pop out together





                                                  unerring, like the touch of desert air conditioning

                                     the thought was fairly earth-colored





   in one dizzying encounter,

a particularly violent young amateur         

            touched the curve in my upper life





                                    his finger





                                                Dear sir/madam, mistook me

                                                right there where the tooth touches the inside of the cheek






              and a jewel touched the rim of the blue-white hollow in his neck.

                                                                                                 Uh, yeah...Perfect amber.






                                   typically, arms are raised to the sun

                                   in a posture of joy and worship

                                  ~some light touches you in your chest.






                                                          Get back in touch with your part in the ongoing grass.

                                                                                                 ~

                                              The trick is how not to lose your wits (etc.) to history






it was a miracle

he won’t feel that way when he’s young anymore



                                                             flickering

                                                             or or dread

                                                             or or a humor brushed-up against





                                   it was so normal   

                                   to feel a slow kind of

                                                           ‘being within’

                                                           or ‘hanging around’






                                                                                    that coarse lightness came

                                                                                    from the way she worked~~~~

                                                                                    “all this every day”






myself I need

to further

silence —



it has always been the wrong war

                                   mothers curse us, curse sons

                                   too innocent of our work to know how to be cursed by it








complain of too much howling

outside the outside

            very late last night



one splutters about, knowing only the lover’s complaint--



                                      it all started with those high weeds that leaned over

                          touched the trunk of that oak

                          again and again from that day forward

 

 

 

DEVIL MOUNTAIN LUNCH BREAK



An old and inedible bun

California buckeye



some annual grasses

knee high in cow parsnip



caked earth, she was just laughing

a tick engraves



the inside of my cuff

with its sword-like thingy



after a good while, she pulled

her foot from my breast



pocket at last and

we sat on the little



blanket from Oahu.

Seen and written



it's just enrichment

heard and tasted



tempered on the tongue

cheap and unrepeated



and old and unrepeatable

more of a fire color’s



relentless shape:

swarms are her gestures



so gnat clouds waft on by

I see her face in that drought year



this afternoon like that afternoon

or an X Ray of an iris



held up to the sun

but more beige.

 

Contributor

Jared Stanley

Jared Stanley's most recent book is EARS (Nightboat, 2017). Forthcoming projects include Ignore the Cries of Empty Stones and Your Flesh Will Break Out in Scavengers, an essay and artwork, Terma, a collaboration with the artist Sameer Farooq, and Bewildernessless, an artist's book. He lives in Reno, Nevada.

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