Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Many Winds and the Teeth of Rivers

—Poems by JD DeHart, Chattanooga, TN
—Anonymous Photos


Rummaging, Randall finally found it,
small folded fabric, tucked into the bottom

of the bargain bin—the perfect look
for him.

The jacket he’d been looking for, but, man,
when he put it on, a spin and a tornado,

it sent him flying into the air.

Yeow, he said, and it was not a polite
expression, followed by curses and swears.

That fabric swallowed him whole, black
leather conforming to skin, a liquid
epidermis, sending him out into the world
in waves

not knowing what he did
not knowing where he was
a mind full of forgetting, empty
action, waking

the following morning, having been
host to just a little jacket, $10

in the bargain bin.


Another fly buzzed by,
thank you, Ms. Dickinson.

They are forever here in the summer
feasting on the heat, making
quick work of the air.  Tiny compound-
eyed kamikaze pilots.

They know my every move,
anticipating my swatting.

Our door opens and shuts
to another slew of them, always
a buzzing companion, our blazing
months accompanied

by wings too swift to see,
a faint hum, the music of decay.


contained in indelicate
scribble, old receipts,
diagrams of the insides of
rooms none of the rest of us
have ever visited,
scraps of quotes, pages falling
out onto the floor,

the contents of months
in travel and analysis, application
of theory to a solid
locus of speech and practice,
crossing terrain, mapping mental
pathways to reflect self
in other spaces.



Today, I am separating what
is natural from what is made
by hand.

Flecks and crevices in the earth
are surely the work of many
winds and the teeth of rivers.

My many dreams, on the other side
of waking, are most certainly crafted
by my feet.

The places I went today in my world
or in my mind will reappear tonight
in my sleep, as if through a prism.

All the invisible ink I collect today will
unfold into a murder mystery of science
fiction tableau under the cover of dark.

I will recognize them from somewhere,
somehow, but really not at all—
What I will do with them is another
work of the hand.  The rest is up to the
flow of elements, the stacking of stones.


I do not have the heavy
hands of a fighter,
a boxing glove feels anachronistic,
as natural as a slab of ham
trying its hardest not to slide
off my arm, a deft
shadow enfolds my vision.

I do not know how to cross, though
I have seen Roy Jones, Jr. bounce,
weave, I have seen the heavy giants
lumber on each other, catching their
breath as they pound skin and bone,
I have seen my father lean in, swing
his arm at nothing, embracing
a televised conflict, crimson face.

I might as well just leave my hands
at my sides, surrendering to collision.



I dreamed about
prehensile instrument a mythical
creature might use
for exploration.

Think of the chimera, that bent
tail, stinger and other dangerous
insectoid features, somehow
misplaced on the mammal form.

Which reminds me of how,
early on, embryonic, we have
what looks like a tail which, I
suppose, becomes part
of the spine.

We snap upright, feeling
the world with words and invisible
connections instead.


grease arms, and the
same haircut her whole life,

a bear’s sense of defense,
and a smile she did not share
too often.

Grew up next to wild roses
and a trestle.

She had the world
wrapped up in a wounded
heart that would not quit
loving, but did quit trying.

In some ways.
Never in others.

A faith that pumped her
pulse to the next day, and the next



There is a movement
forward, sudden gap in sound,
the rattle of bones.

My knees pop too loudly
and have since the third grade.
I was a young old man, gray
hair sprouting too soon.

We are looking for just a small
drink, but there is none to be found.
Like a fool, I insisted that we had
to see the entire map in person.

Maps are never in the flesh
what they look like on paper.

We stumble into a sandwich shop
but we want nothing of bread
flattened.  Seeing ice cream, we perk
up, but they are out.

When it’s in, there only two flavors

It’s a dead end of town, a step too far,
the afternoon calling us back to the path,
on to the next object that won’t
resemble what we hoped it might.


I remember thinking
how I could disappear into the sheets
after one bad decision.

Going to the bank, thinking,
these are good jobs I will never get.
Hearing leaves rattle on gravel.

How I do not control the universe.
What was the root, what was the cause?
A multitude—boredom, sidelining,

marginalization, the traumas and flights
of other parts of life, always feeling like
the bent big toe in the classroom.

Afraid to stumble in the wrong direction.

Today is proof positive that one poor
judgment does not tie up all of life,
and that possibilities exist, always,


Today’s LittleNip:

—JD DeHart

From Adam’s rib, a woman
was made.  So the story goes.
I believe it too.

What can be fashioned from my
rib?  A small universe?

A city on Mars, like the one Dr.
Manhattan made?

Or just a Manhattan, muddled


—Medusa, with thanks to JD DeHart for today's fine poetry!

 Emily's Fly
—Anonymous Photo
Celebrate Poetry!

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