Poetry Blog by Alex Smith

Recent Comments

LEON STOLGARD on Visiting (Mon, 6 Nov 2017 10:53 am)

Stu Buck on Jessie (Thu, 2 Mar 2017 12:22 pm)

Hazel ettridge on The carbon cycle (Sat, 7 Jan 2017 08:45 am)

raypool on The carbon cycle (Fri, 6 Jan 2017 05:21 pm)

Laura Taylor on New Farmer (Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:44 pm)

Laura Taylor on Process (Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:36 pm)

Laura Taylor on Vineyards (Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:35 pm)

Laura Taylor on Dedication (Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:32 pm)

Laura Taylor on Winter Growing (Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:29 pm)

raypool on Vineyards (Tue, 21 Jul 2015 08:12 pm)

Visiting

means bringing something with me

warbler, brown, yellow back

in his winter range, would have fit in my hand

if I sat with my palm open

for how many hours or days

so of course I brought a cat 

who kept nearly drowning - I would fish him out

from the ditch next to a field we favorited 

with a heart.  He wanted to pounce

but every move was wet, and no place 

was solid en...

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Application

Under the engine

with my tank

full of clouds

 

the rows of plants could be anything

through fogged goggles

could be everything for me to touch

 

So that when you come near

I hear only the engine

and I am ready

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F2

1: 

Gametes are necessary precursors to sexual reproduction.  Gametes differ genetically from other human cells in that they __________.
 
seek a willing

surrogate

for tears


2: 

During the process of meiosis, crossing over can occur.  Draw a diagram of a crossing over event:

Take your love 

with my shame and
hands;

return

somewhat crumpled


3: 

Humans possess...

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Jessie

When I was very young I had a sister.
Her name was Jessie, and she was two things:
she was a floppy bear with long brown fur
and she was a way into

OK, so Jessie was my little sister -
I looked out for her and helped her grow up,
because I was her big sister,
even though I was a boy.

With Jessie I felt differently,
I knew different ways to act
and I could teach her
what a girl was, ...

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The carbon cycle

what we have now is a photo:
Katherine and I with the wedding cake
under a park shelter

and there he is outside
in the background alone and small
and brilliant in the sunlight.

He called me once to talk about fungi:
their dark networks
that join the living and the dead

but that was before he went into the basement
and Katherine pressed the button
and his body released into the air
...

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death

Untitled

In the house
we found rooms full of paper
where he wrote

what we should have known
in such detail
that there wasn't much to say.

This was the year
of the election
when everything was going to change

but in there it had already
happened


and it was for us
to fill our arms with the pages
and to carry

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death

Wilmington, Delaware

He stands white and alone,
One smokestack raised above
The highway,
Strong
As one who burns eternally.

I am fidgeting in front of
my calm father.
We are moving incessantly
And without purpose
On all sides;
So many children to provide for,

And he indulges us
With silent love.
Shields us from the world
Where everything burns, is burning
And we too are fire.

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Winter Growing

Winter Growing


Plants in the tunnels
are barely growing
in this cold
I am barely here

In the winter
I fall back on old habits -
headphones, lines of code
the remote stars

I want growth and decay
to pound me awake
need the hot crisis of summer
to pin me to my body

But I have only
these tiny green threads
to tend, and the slight
pull of their becoming,

so vulnerable
tha...

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Dedication

Insects replace the snow
of late December
and I give myself
to no cause but living.

The blossoms are all wrong.
Broken phenology
set them bursting in winter
and I can only say it reminds me
of another story
where the heroine takes shelter
in a machine that drops birds from the sky -

but what does that tell you?
My best instincts
could send us migrating
to a dead sea.

I can onl...

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Vineyards

I noticed it after impact,
convulsions and some blood.

She said we weren't made to die.

I turned off the trimmer,
knelt to the jerking creature
with my harvest knife.

In the New world, nobody will ever die.

The movement did not stop
for several moments.
I buried the body; re-started the machine.

In the New World,
we will all be tending vineyards.

 

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Process

Got to be something dark -

Peasant Queen status update:
"don't want to be a farm manager
living in a rental when I'm 33"

Slime molds live individually
in decomposing matter

(spent the last six years touring;
need time to be myself)

until scarcity forces them together
and they mass, and fruit

"if only those people in Baltimore had done yoga
instead of tearing the city apart"

...

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New Farmer

There is a narrative for new farmers:
"I am making a lot of mistakes
but look, I am really doing something!"

Look at my hands - brownish and not so soft
and my pants covered in dirt and a drop of blood
(that's right, I can kill an animal).

Of course I could gain the signifiers
without throwing myself into difficult and unprofitable work
for which I have little training,

but I need s...

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Threat

You welcome me into your space
built with careful love
gentle on wounds;
A refuge in the damaged world.

I do not need this shelter.
My credentials
are accepted everywhere.

My wounds
petty, self-inflicted things
accustomed to sympathy.

Be wairy of me.
I will claim this space
with my scent
vomit my shame
at your feet.

I want
legitimation
rejection
expiation
love.

Be war...

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Erotica

Call me an oppressor;
I slurp the shame like dick
sucked by the women I watch
especially when it stops being sexy
(flip to a poem about the trail of tears)
enough guilt in my ancestry
to melt any erection.
Turn ons:
Getting caught in the act.

I seize opportunities for guilt.
As a vegetarian, I am first to volunteer
at the chance to kill an animal.
As a white man, I rush off
to post-...

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Biology

A simple
cut
isolates the mechanism
iterates
the final solution again
and again.

We know more about
fewer species
than ever;
vanishing genomes
express
pure product

as in tissue cultures
cell division and
programmed cell death
form a simplified heartbeat;
a measurable quantity.

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The City (2013)

In the passport office there is a city
of tall white towers above blue water;
a green forest hugging the outskirts.
A city in a poster above a desk
where requests to cross borders
are granted or denied,
and a press of people,
hundreds of people,
none of whom are visible in the white city.

There is no place among the clean towers
for this swarm of bodies
that reek of charcoal;
the for...

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Night Market (2013)

The market is a tunnel of small lights
where people, barely visible,
pass in the tight space
between candle yellow, LED blue.

In a language of object and shadow,
batteries, cooking oil, soap,
spell out a secret message
to shoppers in the dark.

 

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Body Trap

The shallow grave sank.
A quantity of gasses, liquids, soft tissues
decomposed,
the earth above
fell.

Stolen vegetables in belly
(motives for the killing)
transformed
along with her eyes
along with her skin
into one subsidence.

Still buried were the snapped spine,
scream-splayed jaws
and claws that grasped at crushing bars.

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Last butterfly of 2014

Long after his time
alights,
is still.

I am rehearsing
limited time
and he is

acceptance of time
and its passing
but he is

not finished.
Cold wings
reach for another moment.

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