Thursday, January 10, 2013

4 Poems by Andrea Moorhead

Distances Traveled
Hooves along the ground and the sky liberated
the fleece wanders and we haven’t found anything else here,
trials of coal furnaces, jets of iron, the conflagration expected
in the green green and always but assaulted
at the stroke of and magic cannot dissipate this uneasiness
lean against the boundaries, incursion and infraction
but the papers are clean-clear and resolute:
no one enters without wiping first and the feet next into this cage of
respectability and shedding grace as the only impediment
and hooves along the ground lead to the sea
salt sting and careless
the rocks have left their own impressions
hard-wired to the soil sky sun.


terrible doubts, they say, and I haven’t a clue to what that means, terrible and anfractuous, terrible and misleading, terrible and dangerously poised, that could be it, the result of too much drowning thinking recalling whether or not and terrible, they say, as if the rain bent around the lungs and the cataclysm were today not and then tomorrow clear again, blue green in the near and the distant hills always suspended entire to be dealt with whenever and then we cannot repeat this adage strange particle of desire, can we?

About the relation between

did your feet and the dictionary not withstanding
an isolation of language unpredictable and complete
your words skittering on the icy surface
it is January, you know, and the wind at the face and the ice at the eyes
and this stinging smarting along the lips prevents
comprehending words as they tumble out and subdivide
some sort of random creature, microscopic, no doubt,
and did your feet and the dictionary not withstanding
give you any clue about the relation between
and because of this tendency to avoid withstand resist
and it is snowing ever so and gently
the links are broken and we can wander all the way
without consulting the forlorn and duplicitous
transformer of what little light we see.


Yellow chromosomes, a spectacle you cannot tolerate
this winding twisting reformatting jungle of
and the qualities always not present
suppressed static and then again you found out something
the yellow was lighter and swifter
the red-blue invisible to your eye and hands running along
the bark of a tree could raise up yellow chromosomes
the kind physicians never remember
the kind hiding along the cortex of the mind,
the softest petals at night are blooming over by the wall
by the sunken grey stone wall
beading in the moonlight
the character of trees insolent and pure.

Andrea Moorhead was born in Buffalo, New York. Editor of Osiris and translator of contemporary Francophone poetry, Moorhead publishes in French and in English. Poetry collections include From a Grove of Aspen (University of Salzburg Press), Présence de la terre (Écrits des Forges), De loin (Éditions du Noroît) and Terres de mémoire (Éditions de l'Atlantique). Translations include The Edges of Light by Hélène Dorion (Guernica Editions), Night Watch by Abderrahmane Djelfaoui (Red Dragonfly Press), and Stone Dream by Madeleine Gagnon (Guernica Editions 2010).

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