6.03 / March 2011


listen to this poem

Two squirrels obscenely rub their rumps together in some kind of warm-up for a long afternoon of frolicking. The council of crows carries on and deems the future from the fallen sticks caught in the storm drain grate. The conclusions they draw are the same ones the dogs draw from pawing at the scent-signs on the fire hydrant. The world is awash with meaning in the late morning sun. No clouds in sight except for those in the minds of the dazed. The blue jay dashes along the roof, cursing the bits of dried pods, brown with age, tasteless. It has to forage its entire life in the presence of the blue hydrangea, so blue it leaves the jay with a menacing memory of its lost reflection, lost between the crevices of a cracked window in the shade. After noon a shadow crawls across the ground like a creature gone off to die beneath the bushes, and the sun remains listless, still depressed from losing its innocence. It has fought to live, and it is generous. But as its light fizzles, today is even more desperate to have made a contribution. It leaves all of its wild experience for the wits of the beasts to linger over as night comes. And what it has left undone: no mere amateur should follow it there.

Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (Word Tech, 2009). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, and many other journals in the U.S. He appears as Victor Schnickelfritz at the poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup (http://greatamericanpinup.wordpress.com/) and the poetry video blog Linebreak Studios [http://linebreakstudios.blogspot.com/]. He is also editor of Bald Trickster Press and is the vice president and hosting coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He currently teaches at The University of the Pacific.
6.03 / March 2011