Poetry Showcase November 2021 from Peach Delphine

aerial photography of river

photo by Adrien Wodey (unsplash)

facing away

Opening the kitchen, grill at my back,
spiders lit up, blue all around, onions
sweating, the line cook and dishwasher
singing along with corridos on the radio
voices straining at everything the song
contains, even I, cold ass bitch of the line,
felt something soaring before getting back
to blade, transforming flesh into sustenance, as if
all our comforts weren't stuffed with blood and bone,
songs of love and the unbroken, we gather words 
from the waters, it is the making that sustains,
 the smallest flowering passed hand to hand, 
plate to plate, mouth to mouth, it is how we celebrate
 survival, untaste the blood, scar fading into age, 
word lifted from water, shimmering, slurring
all our prayers, hands up, day lifts flame
from oak, horizon dissolving into green
we wrapped in our hair, it is how we endure
the living, each day becoming new again,
the daily repetition of discovery, relentless
grappling with memory, making anew
the first breath of waking, sun from a high
window, paper nightgown, mattress on the floor
 left hand cupping a hollow egg of singing, air thick 
with wing, feather and flowering

bone river, lamp of shell

Often, unable to keep my mouth shut,
spun up, summoned from within arc
of wave, night still writhing upon tongue,
hard shadow in my eye, yet welcomed daily 
by crow or egret, cormorant or spoonbill,

false lightning eats life not memory,
shame is momentary but recollection
continues, upriver in the cypress, breathing
heavy fragrance of magnolia, darkness,

light the lamps, raise the blinds
each new thing on the board
tastes of shadow, brine,

ash settles on unbroken water,
what crawls into the eye an oracle 
of leaves, divination of yes, no

there was the decade I could not eat
without feeling an iron ingot settle
in my guts, rusting, shank of the hook
in my cheek clicking with every word

often, unable to keep my mouth shut,
speaking aloud to taro and banana,
head high, unfurling burgundy, darker
green than palmetto, we are each of us
a sail of verdure, windblown under azure
unyielding, each of us, unspoken

the obligations of the past made today
settle into sediment, time and pressure
solidify the stone in the eye, stained
hands flutter a voiceless semaphore,
dismantling what made us is only choice
still available, a necessity of tide,

often, unable to keep my mouth shut
I make things worse, rust in my teeth,
ash in my hands, coins on my eyes, 
night still writhing, we make that the shards 
be unsplintered, candle awakening to match, 
that the voice beyond the creek be heard, 
wave breaking shore never approached 
empty-handed, tongue on the eye of the hook, 
unblinking in this thin air

1) of seven

memory rides the tongue, cast iron,
brittle, obsidian slick, taste the roundness,
 feel the heft, the heart of a star quenched 
 in bacon fat, licked clean by household ghosts, 

memory rides the tongue, sand filled
jars with shells, still singing of sea,
when the moths found me, powdering
face and wrists with scales of wind, night
dipping stars from a cauldron,
the roof of my mouth is torn from chewing
hard words left on the table, a shard of Moon
buried in my left hand, tongue of despair
slithers in one ear, we gather up broken
light from a heavier gravity,

there was a song at midday after lightning
furrowed bark, smoke spiralling across
palmetto, the lightness of owls, drowsed
by the slow breeze, we paused in shade,

skillet over coals, a smoking altar, mirror
of prophecies, rendering down or frying
up, the circumference of squeal, onions,
garlic, olive oil, peppers, the verdant world
centers on your beautiful darkness,
as the hearth opens itself, flame a fluid
glyph, all our names have burned here,
beneath the spider, disk of transformation,
we sleep in  ash of our own consumption,
we sing of smoke, we sing of remembrance,
of the flame in the hand.

First morning of birdsong

Holding vigil with Moon,
not in the quiet of rooms
 but striding down a road of sand 
and oyster shell, ibis pale in moonlight, 
bearing witness to what smoke 
rises from pines, from the hollow 
no mouth will fill, how fever
 burned out the framework of the house, 
bones collapsing into cinder, how the heart
was cut from a different cloth, shroud
of burlap, sail of flour sack,
 how memory was a conch dragging shell 
through grass flats, burying itself 
beneath a blanket of tide, most muscular tongue
 of all our singing.

My voice is not my own, a creature
 of river, long and slow, hauled out  basking
or hanging eye deep in the current, watching 
over her eggs, shadow of  black water 
sinuous amongst cypress and flag, 
oaks leaning over their reflections,
ribbon of blue that could be sky, tattered lace 
of cloud heavy with thunder, 
there is no flowering in these hands,
 worn to the vestigial twigs of thicket, 
tangled in dewberry, thorn combed
 coat of fox, still and watching, 
blinking against mosquitoes, 
concealed from coyote and some man 
promising reconversion.

Unpronounceable shards of shells
 washed up out of depth of barrel sponges,
 hogfish, grouper, cold current coiled
 flowing through sea fans, in its fullness,
 unbroken, there is no reply to Moon,
 lightning does not coagulate into word,
 burnished triton, scallop or cockle, 
sometimes iridescent as pen shell,
sea contains all things, except star, 
sun or wing lifting wind of pelican, 
every destination folded into wave, 
all that remained unsaid polished 
translucent, thin lip of vanishing, 
sky splintering spall of light dropping
into the sea, slowly, flexing our knees,
we shoulder the weight of silences
 we cannot redeem, burden of dust,
bushel of ash, absent moon 
still filling our eyes.

Tupelo flowering, dark river

As memories unspool into a continuous loop,
a notation of intimacies, glyphs carved
into breath of form, swallowing word of tree
at edge of black water, languid as cottonmouth,
lithe as wind pressing through tupelo, cypress,
twisting limbs, shaking loose oak leaves,
he said he could unfold the wafer of silence
stuck on the back of my tongue, in the craw,
stretching open every word, reaching into
every  breathless place, what replaced silence,
respiration of another, it was all true, what he said, 
"if you weren't that girl, you'd never have been on the back
of my bike".

This form vibrates at a frequency of wing and leg, road 
spun out beyond, beyond again, the body you refer to 
could be river or sea, even karst, writhed through 
with erosion, pills dissolving galleries opening 
to aquifer, turning hand to hand, tongue is the wave,
sand flowing, darkness uncontained, I have always 
been of shadow, made briefly flesh, an emulsion of oil 
and acid, lemon sky simmering, once
he said, " ibis are an angle between light
and form, this one liquid, that one whelk", the tree drips 
fat, unctuous gobbets of sap, pine shouldering salt 
wind, thick with midges, mosquitoes, "to love this 
place is to love your own suffering", the same man said,
"forget the river, blacking out is a similar swim" discarding 
trust, resolute breath as room surfaces into focus, 
some thing flutters in honeysuckle on window, 
ceiling fan thwacks thick air into manageable 
chunks of breath, the man kneels over  me, 
"that was awesome, sugar, let's do another."

When you step out of the tree, surface
rushing up as body strikes current  in a boil of air,
 amber bubbling through black water, the form 
shifts, alligator, catfish, fae, a vibration cicada matches, 
a sound of cuttings opening up in pines on the road 
south, he demanded fare at every rest area, 
" mileage is eating you up, sugar, but the destination completes ." We unfurl the shade, 
sprung upon arc and strut, sewn from a soft textile, 
not word, not song, not light, in all its textures, 
not rain, this deluge comes without cloud 
or lightning, this river rises, year after year
coming to full flood, we watch from beneath
our parasols as all the upcountry is swept out to sea,
emptiness tangled, a chorus of gulls, still
I feel his hand within me, a weight of bone and word,
a fragrant column of moonflowers on the dead pine.

Super Deluxe Poetry Showcase re-post on Peach Delphine including a Quick-9 Interview (2021) 

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


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