Poetry | March 01, 1985

Featuring the poems:

  • Meadow with Standing Crows
  • Imitation at Twilight


Meadow with Standing Crows

After living in the sprouting desert there is nothing

like the thought of sweet rain falling into a salty bay.

Rather than bear the farthest touch,

rather than be rain, having been

neither of this world nor mad as it turns

out, on and off during a year

I saw someone had bitten your neck near the baby

hair, and also your shoulder. Why does it show,

is it of the heart, is it mindless, jealousy,

where nothing moves in a field in a world, and it is morning?

Even though you never came after me


Summer, nor called,

not once when I said not to, like finally

stepping over water after contemplation of it

as sand, two crows in the moans of the salt

water in my head answer for whom are we mysterious

and suffering, for loveliness.


Imitation at Twilight

In the Pacific Northwest

where he probably never was


or else never lived

salmon spawn to die.


Let them be. Well then

what if I walk out


to be alone

& meet the only two people I owe


in this town downtown? I’ll be damned

& I’ll be what my girl tells me


the number of damned breweries in & around

La Crosse & Eau Claire Wisconsin make,


enough drunks spawning enough lies for a truth,

her birthplace. “It isn’t that I can’t,


I refuse,” overheard,

like what are you doing one day


where you know you started

& the sky has all but cleared.


Lightly out of a sadness

I end up leafing my favorite


poet’s last book in a cold snap

in June, the solstice for all that


matters. The one madrone

out front in twilight must have been


at one time struck in a storm,

half gray guts now & vermilion.


Its oily leaves lean south

from this hillock. Which is about


what I picture dead

James Wright doing,


the wanderer the saved

bow to


burning for his living


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