Friday, July 08, 2005


Quite a gully-washer we had last night to bring in the summer monsoon! It made me want to write a poem, though unfortunately I couldn't sneak away at the height of inspiration. Surprisingly (to me, anyway), I don't have a desert monsoon poem. The closest I have is probably this, appearing in Riverfall:


Could be any river in a boy's
memory: the Mississippi ebbing

into brackish bayous,
or the Oklawaha's broken-backed

gators sliding ice-like
into the mud. Could be the Ohio

and every barge's passage,
or the Hayfork where none dare.

Or it could be the lack
of a river--the Salt and Tanque Verde.

The Cienega, Santa Rosa, Zuni.
And it could be washrock moving

nowhere in a hundred years--then
thirty miles in one ravaging

flood. It could be the coyote pelt
fenced along the wash's far side,

a pack devouring a hare, a prickly pear,
thornbush, black sage, creosote, desert

hail. Or it could simply be underground,
like veins within the thigh, where

all blood runs thick to the surface
carrying this scribbled note of poverty.

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