Sunday, December 5, 2010

November Selections 1 & 2

first snow of winter
candles light up every room--
hydro's out again

--Peter Levitt

The Friends You Lose

They float in photographs
like embryos
in reverse
shrinking, becoming daily more fantastical,
doubtful, imaginary.

Like death, it seems impossible.

Where a river divides, rocky water roars tumult.
Go ahead, paddle:
you might slip alive down that,
but you'll never get back up it.

The dream-embryo friend is floating
far away down the other stream,
and even if the water were silent,
would not hear you
over the roaring.

--Deanna Hopper

November Selection #3


We walk to the headlands
and onto the cliffs, looking down
at the cove far below.
A large wave washes in,
another bigger,
and then a huge one with a
ridiculous amount of spray,
roiling the cars on the beach.
As it recedes,
cars tumble, wind up
elsewhere on the beach.
It’s very dangerous.
I don't understand
why people go there to watch.

Walking through a corridor
in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
A young mother kisses her baby boy
and puts him in my lap.
She’s going off to meet her fate,
to die somehow,
maybe commit suicide, and I say,
“Isn't it possible
to have a different ending?”
I mean that the movie is predictable ­
we all know how it goes, and I’m offering her
the idea of changing it.
She shakes her head,
and I say to someone else,
“Well, maybe I’m planting the seed
for a different ending
one of these times.”
I’m challenging karma,
and it may take many iterations of the movie
for her to realize
she doesn't have to die
at this point.

--Ellen Skagerberg

November Selection #4

growing transparent as water,
move toward
a chair, a purse, a pen.
Yes, these, my own hands,
like ice melting
to thinnest sliver
transparent as glass, beaded with sweat,
these hands move to take hold of
an envelope, a steering wheel,

which are themselves melting
like sea ice
until what is entirely water
moves to grasp what is wholly water
and these two waves, cross currents,
sliding crash
in myriad confused foam
at the curb where the mailbox stands.

The letter, addressed, drops down the slot.
The driver checks rear-view mirror and pulls a

--Deanna Hopper

November Selection #5

Demon Dreaming

In the afternoon, I laid down on the sidewalk under a tree.

I closed my eyes and slipped down somewhere between the waking world

and the one of dreams.

There I saw demons dancing around a fire, black and sketchy forms like

old woodblock prints from religious texts.

They called out to me as they danced,

We will cut off your head!

We will pull out your entrails!

We will tear you limb from limb!

I watched from some distance away as they fulfilled their promises on me.

I felt comforted as I watched, knowing that these were my demons and

that they were faithful.

--Jesse Cardin