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Part 4 Contributors

 

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro


Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 3 Contributors

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis


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Click to enlarge picture Brenda Hillman
Brenda Hillman
Californian Poets Part 4: Four Poems
by
Brenda Hillman


 

 



++– The Formation of Soils –+–



For forty million years a warm, warm rain —

then the sea got up to try to relax.

Vulnerable volcanoes had just melted away.

He worked below, translating the author’s imps and downs,
           his ups and demons—;
pines grew skyward though the pines were not.

Thus began long episodes of quiet,

nickel laterites not ready
for the slots.

It took periods of soft showers attacking the dream
under the silt-covered sun,

Osiris washing his fragments,
Leda swimming with her vagabonds.

Everyone is made essentially the same way.
Through notebooks of tight red dirt
Franciscans walked upside down under us:

aluminum oxides,      incidents of magma,

and I had to go down in the earth for something—

Iron sediments spread over the foothills where Caliban
had his flat;

I was wearing the brown sweater when we spoke,
my heart and the one below translating his heart out.

But by that time, what.

Experience had been sent up, at an angle.

+–+                                            ––+

                              from Cascadia, Wesleyan University Press, 2001



Species Prepare to Exist After Money

Turns out bacteria communicate in color.
     They warn each other in teal
  or celadon & humans assign
meaning to this, saying they are distressed
     or full of longing. The wood rat
  makes a nest of H’s; it hoards
the seven tiny silences. Crows in the pine
can count specific faces like writers
   who feel their art has been ignored.
         My father spent his life thinking
     about money though he knew
   it causes most of this stupid violence,

& he thought of me as a sensible person;
     you have the chemical for sensible, he said.
There was no tragedy between us,
          unlike how poor Joyce wrote
      that his daughter turned away
from that battered cabman’s face, the world.
   i didn’t turn away because i don’t know
where it is, it is all over, & when it seems
   pure nothingness has come to pass,
i know another animal prepares itself
      nationless, not sensible;
          thinking of it helps a little bit—



                              From Extra Hidden Life, among the Days
                              (Wesleyan University Press 2018)




Dawn Tercets, with Blake & Nuthatch

& a new thought waited in its
        triangle —refusal, hope & dream— then, as you slept—light
between the commas      of dawn birds (not even sure

          if the bird you hadn’t seen— white-breasted nuthatch,,
could find its commas, in the tree)        then:
the knowledge of the them       you feared failing,     not the test from some

thug inner government  —   or someone else’s conscience—
   but yourself,      at your most secret public,
          since language is a living thing,       vital, vast —…

                                        The naturalist had
taken a knife from the group
                    to slice open

an insect gall at the edge of the leaf… it looked like a pouty
        red lip       or a valentine.    He wanted to see the larva
                                        inside, was slicing

to show, well, maybe
the opposite of Blake.    Rose, thou art
      not exactly sick, thou art merely inhabited…

The instrument of change would chew itself out,
eventually. But you were human.
You wanted to be desired. Thought of.



                              Reprinted from The Jung Journal- forthcoming
                              In a Few Minutes Before Later – Wesleyan University Press 2022




distal

Punctuation at the end of time



        You will love each other
 till the end of time (totally
      a cliché but)... seems
     like time might have more
      than one end: : knoblike
structures on butterfly feelers,
        (butterflies have them,
        moths don’t...
Rhopalocera, clubbed horn, sort of
micro-clocks telling monarchs
when to migrate & so on, twin
    apostrophes  like   ’’    or   ‘   ’,

one on the distal side toward eternity,
one toward human life);; sometimes
the end of time is in the middle

       as Lyn’s essay against
closure indicates. Also noted is how
   finality in some poems is scattered
     to make nano-seconds as when
light strikes one of two nothings on
biramous branches of the righteous oak....
        if you loved a person well
it lasted        till the end of time,,
    after which, it continued—



                              forthcoming
                              In a Few Minutes Before Later – Wesleyan University Press 2022