Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What Are You Running From?

—Poems and Photos by James Diaz, N. Salem, NY


What you are running from?
The way certain people held you
when you were young
and could not request otherwise,
the way the land tilted
because too much had been done to it
or not enough,
the way—

I call the owl a silly uncertainty
not every natural winged animal
is waiting for you to be its strange poet
some are gathering words for themselves
you are not among them,
it seems.

Farther than this,
how a grown woman
can miss a mother
who never loved her
in the ways she needed to be loved,
who withheld milk,
and other lesser gifts.


At first,
against the small thing
leaning in towards
the window, at first—
then a scattering where bird form

now, I am enemy of my own enemy
heated compass
across the honey form
foam (foaming)
and our earth-bound burdens
all lifted

by and from somewhere
distorted drawing hearts
clinging to a source (a sore spot)
a folk tale (tell)
in fallen timber
goes under color, and stays
thirty-seven winters
and counting.


For an instant
because no matter
they will give themselves away
each minute you will hear them
it’s not what you think
all things
a cool drink of water
even up
the air fringes—
tell me,
do you wish to know the landscape?
And that place
being in you
a real property,
feeling our past
sink with all of its weight into the earth
in the rush
dark mottling of horses
the stubby rail sings its credo
we are
we were
eyes quasi maternal
no listen
time stresses
the globular boundary line
of open mouth,
I watch it float.


you protocol me anywhere
I have a body
it is
eye-hole sluggish
as it marks the day
the reason for—
so many things,
us watching,
put the hands to your lap
the elaborate
traffic slamming.
Do you remember
I laid on your carpet
we listened in there
at the frontier,
the impossibility
of staying back,
of filling up our exhausted
the civil stillness
like a hoof mark upstream
the bony place—
it can exist,
to let you know
I felt this way
porous torsion,
the turn any life
can take


See this I
and scratch the streets’
and if I listen
to the nail biting
on the muddy slope
give me your hand
no never
this errancy
water marks
what holds the instance
even further
one wishes
noticing the root prints
suddenly it’s best not to know
no gaze
precarious touching
a tint of the waywardness
her life history
a series
of 'where are they'?
Sleeping saints,
her wagon wheel undersides almost black
thinking of the still reachable
northern lights
I insist
one cannot keep all of their secrets.
There are some parts of me
that still belong to her.
We go in,
that is enough,
and something like joy returns.


She becomes fainter
white rabbit
the bar bleeds
like an image of light
you import
this locating particle
my porch returns
its dullness
building blue on a wing
from the air
this resting point
only sometimes it is lost on me—
how people grow backbones,
wisdom elms.
So listen to the body for a while
how it shakes with importance,
all of its goods beneath clothes—
anecdotal loveliness.
The in-between of the freeway,
too tired to speak of
or even know what you are writing anymore.



Even in our endless selves
given words, then given
no words,
in a moment
we must account for ourselves.

I am that one.
I have been informed
that this is a life.

Yet to know, to feel
like the knotted edges of a piece
of wood that won't smooth over—
we are (all of us) worldly things,
life on the surface,
the odd edge (that jutting ground),
the immanence of love that must measure
us each in our distance
to one another.

Like conjoined bodies of water,
things must meet.

To the things in myself
I carry,
and have not, and still
have not—
until what is missing is no longer the main point.

I give it to the life at large.


Our thanks for today’s fine poems and pix to James Diaz, who lives in Upstate New York. He began writing poetry at the age of thirteen, at first as a survival mechanism, which eventually became a calling. He believes that poetry is one of the most profound of the healing arts available to men and women, and he is constantly floored by its ability to close old wounds and open new possibilities, both for those who write it and for those who read it. His stories and poems have appeared in Cheap Pop Lit, Ditch, Pismire, Collective Exile, Epigraph, My Favorite Bullet, Calliope and The Idiom. You can follow him on Twitter @diaz_james. Welcome to the Kitchen, James, and don't be a stranger!


Today’s LittleNip:

—James Diaz

Tell yourself
how every island
lives with its own house
already sold
and how nothing grows
just because there is soil
and water available
to it.




James Diaz