Saturday, May 10, 2014

G. E. Schwartz: The Poetic Way Around Chesapeake Landing

The Poetic Way Around Chesapeake Landing

Ways are where
We walk about
And poems are where
We walk out     now.
What of    this poetic way
Around Chesapeake Landing?
The others that
Greeted me last night
Bid me
“Go the way ahead…”
And that dream    was lamplit from
Within        but it turned into a walk in sun.
 Shaking the fern fronds, the wind wound,
Each frond mimicking a stickleback.
 I’d like something beautiful here,
 In this cul-de-sac walk,
 something profound, not this untuned piano staining my thoughts.
 Something exact, lineated,
 scanning the low skies like aisles at Wegman’s,
 as if birds were purchasable as tan envelopes.
 There is bittersweet and aileanthus. There are herds of white-tailed deer.
 No mammalian misfortune for black farce to pick clean, though
Just now a black vulture    cantilevers all above.
 The ancients thought all vultures were female, opening
 their vaginas in flight to the inseminating wind.
 “breeze scavenger.”
Root tangle and stem,         and the buzzards mathematical,
 sine and cosine,         pi in the sky,         the sky
a drawer of wing-nuts and paper-clips.
 Except that’s what I’m most anxious about Nature:
 all those numbers,     bleary,         smeared, the rank way we on them.
 I admit the disingenuousness of this melting snow, rocks, birds, clouds.
 And creeks, holding ponds—all bodies of water. But if a sentence isn’t
a garter snake,         why syntax
and all its sinuous equations?         Consider:
the flattened squirrel—rigor mortising,
clutter of crude taxidermy.
 Not eviscerated but visceral: roadkill. Why not move
it off the road? Better to let it rot in the field?
 Open season. Demolition. Heavy trucks
And earthmovers on the move
 Lumber and mortar and everything mortal.
 Efflorescence with each rumble, waying its way around Chesapeake Landing.


--G. E. Schwartz

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