Tuesday 5 August 2014

3 Poems by Tim Kahl

Night Invitation

the invitation to the night
arrives purple and orange
egg drop above the horizon
a puzzle to figure and piece
together with words
no one says anything
except stare
the vigil allows the eyes
to wander out again
into the shape of darkness
that mislaid gift for
the man who sleeps beneath
the mango tree in the park
expecting his cough
to impersonate the morning
shore bird's call as it comes
to investigate the pools
there is a rhythm to the sea's
attitude and interests
the long line of its breaths
that forever welcome
the dispossessed of words.


Everyone keeps telling me my self is socially constructed.
I am that barnacle clung to an other. When I raise my eyes,
my genes realize they are peopled. I squat and this makes me think
my species will arise in me at random. I muddle through. So much language
to sort out and see what will follow. I purse my lips and granules attach, swallow
and they dissolve. Then, someone is there to tell what part of me is missing.


The rising tide brings in
mixed blessings—both life
and the flotsam from
the far side of the world
where the forecasts start.
Suddenly, there is a
vague indication that
danger is present,
that anything
might happen.
And now here is a skunk
with a plastic yogurt container
caught on its head.
It will suffocate before
anyone with kitchen scissors
can cut off the container.
The haruspex will be called in
to open the abdomen and
see what the future
will bring to the chosen few
gathered at
the campfire pit on the beach,
waiting to see what will
wash up on shore
for all of them to collect.


Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009) and The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012). 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 Clade Song [http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He currently teaches at The University of the Pacific. He currently houses his father's literary estate—one volume: Robert Gerstmann's book of photos of Chile, 1932)

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