Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dust Devil

Dust Devil

Beyond the wall
I don't dream
the sandy apricot brush of your mouth,
the delicate red claws that cat-stroked me
to rub-raise the crowding close arch, your burnt
dissembler's drizzle of aloe purrs and creosote yowls.

I dream fourteen days of desert
with two days of water, improbably
wallowed python ruts, cratered crust
foot-dots drilled delirium deep from
the cesium crawls of metal-fed ants 
over ridge to dehydrated plunge.

Then I lie awake and wonder
how many hurricanes can dance
on the head of an angel,
how deep a well can go
before it pumps copper
salt and dust; in eye-flutter fugue
I call up your fetch,
the horned deacon of nightmares
and tedium
taking interminable notes
on a lecture of fire
extinguished long ago.

~April 2013

Image: Cliffs Beyond Albiqui, Dry Waterfall, Georgia O"Keefe
All copyright belongs to the copyright holders.


  1. And don't forget to shake the vermin
    off, before shodding your soul...

  2. nice...love the sounds that come in reading that first stanza out loud...cool textures in it as well...red claws cat stroked...sandy apricot...coolness...i wonder at any significance in the numbers in the second stanza...hurricames dance on the head of angels...cool line too...did i tell you i missed your words...smiles.

  3. It's odd - I felt like I could almost hear you reading this one. (Your voice.) But it's a very foreign one for me - that dry kind of place not one I know very well, though I can certainly imagine it from your words. The ending - this idea of the lingering heat of the extinguished fire - was very cool and this combination of nightmares and tedium especially accurate for this kind of heated, still, sort of place, where so little seems to move and then way too much. A really interesting depiction and wonderful sound. k.

  4. I dream fourteen days of desert
    with two days of water..

    So many lines speak of the story behind the poem, and I love the sense that there is more to this one moment, a history and a legend.

  5. your maintenance of the cracking heat is admirable, esp. when one gets to that last line. The fourteen days of desert is a killer stanza. I can, like karin, almost hear you read this aloud. I already know "I call up your fetch" is going to cling to me like slow, chaotic hot, for days.

  6. That last stanza is really excellent. Talk about the banality of evil, or at least, the banality of a consistent irritant.

  7. Joy Ann, this has beautiful sounds in it. Nice use of alliteration. I am familiar with the desert and could relate to much of this.


  8. oh my, you are just amazing. i so often come here and discover a new favorite. wow.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats