January 27, 2008

Hwy #16

a poetics of interruption, green
signs that names exist, shifts
in zones of code, the topography a knowledge
in the syntax of rivers
that can kill you

the weather is from the north and west
a text tracking eye
but the water flows everywhere
even here

on the new highway the poet’s teacher
talks behind the poem pointing
out the old homesteads, overgrown roads

each valley is a climate
a tincture, a spool of vegetation
veering away from the asphalt, axles
refusing the traffic laws, progress
sliding in mud, a bloom of spores

travel was a finger pointed
at a spot up the valley—now
the highway goes around, longer,
inefficient; and old hazelton exists apart,
a benchmark, an anthology of poems
from the predecessors, dedications
inscribed in finding one’s way.

The Regions of Out

traces of the town unsettled
like populations of who

terrace’s mill shipped out
on flatbeds of gas and oil
and the mall fills with associations

is a name sustainable? are bar conversations
a poetics of the north?
is the way out commercial
drive and shop?

a fistfight on the shore
over access, modes of use
but none of them really work

purdy & newlove
the paths and waterways
knowing the overgrowth of living language

i travel the regions listening
for the old ways, a funky answer
to an 1890’s question