Maumee

 
An aerial dream
reveals the parceled land
but it can not open quickly enough.

Thoughts flood the woods
and the self carves inward.
Backwaters buckle under the ego’s surge,

spirit holding on, like sinew.
These irregular veins
deposit mirrored, liquid limbs,

rift parking lots from golf greens and
supermarkets, part the private boundaries
grafted to the uncertainties of world.

These sine waves gone berserk
draw the sky close—and it closes,
goes under silence. A cast-iron sky

pours big minutes unceasingly into Erie
and the March rain rattles me awake.

 

 

 

Realism 

 
The sun arrives automatically, eye
opened wide to the day’s bright span:
blue snow and bird-chatter,

a bit of music breaking in your kitchen,
parsley sprig from the night’s meal
(venison roast swaddled in bacon),

stacked dishes that waited out the dark,
spirit of water that left the drains wet;
all persisting for you while you slept:

a girl hands you a black bean tamale
and you decide to leave the stalled car,
walk the two miles home up

and down hills, past shops and churches
drawn from twenty remembered towns,
ditches and blind curves from twenty more.

The dusk lingers for seven hours,
but the dream is nearly eighteen
minutes—an interval between alarms,

then the things of day roaring again
in their brash colors, endless shapes.
You take care to read the labels:

bottle of pulped fruit, basic vitamins,
the plastic tub of lemon yogurt.
Your two-legged galaxy remains wary

of the atmospheric glitches and crashes,
the same awareness that fished and fished
the long year you drifted lost at sea.

 

 

 

Daniel Rzicznek’s collections and chapbooks of poetry include Nag Champa in the Rain, Vine River Hermitage, Divination Machine, Neck of the World, and Cloud Tablets. He is also coeditor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice. He teaches writing at Bowling Green State University.

Aerial photo of river and rain by Vladimir Melnikov, courtesy Shutterstock.

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