7 Places in America: Everglades

The yellow bench
in the sad garden
of spices

I see you pause
reading the book
marking the page with your finger

you’ve been dead
a long time
almost a dozen years

but here in the subtropics
you appear, as if in life
reading a book about birds

and smile the smile
that was yours alone to smile
ironic, a little wistful

as if surprised
by Fortune

yellow fruit has fallen to the ground
I was not here
to hear it make a sound of something overripe

and when I listen
for the rustle of the pages
of the turning book

you’ve gone away again
as I always
knew you would

Working on putting the mss. together, I wasn’t sure if I should include this. It isn’t a map–rather more personal, and more from the past. Carol Moldaw has been helping me with the book, and she decided to include it and also to set up a numbering sequence for ALL the untitled poems in the seven sections, to link them together.

11 thoughts on “7 Places in America: Everglades

  1. He’s maybe become something like a recurring character for your readers who don’t know him. I wonder what they’d say about him if asked? Being dead almost a job, or quirk of character: herpetologist, Zen Buddhist, dead, ironic.

    What are the bones of the book? Would this be bones, muscle, organs, skin or tattoo?

  2. It is basically a one time apearance in the book, which is a poetic map of seven places–Everglades, Petrified Forest, Andrews Experimental Forest, Ohiona Mounds, Santa Fe River, The Land/An Art Site, and Stone Quarry Hill Sculpture Park…so an unexpected apparition…but the subject mtter isn’t strictly naturalism, there are ghosts of things ranging from childhood to Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
    Oddly another untitled poem I was ambivalent about is about a yellow broom (Baba Yaga and co. make some appearances too) so I feel more secure including both.
    Thanks for posting!

  3. Oh!! This poem was so good, my guts went on a journey of hope and surprise, but ended up here…

    “and when I listen
    for the rustle of the pages
    of the turning book

    you’ve gone away again
    as I always
    knew you would”

    That is so freakingly sadly beautifully sad.

    You did your poet’s job well, O Friend Of Jingle!!

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