Nick Riemer, ‘The bird, the year’


The bird, the year

The bird is planted on the bark, a scalloped shell,
and the tree sails on through the year.   Time
and the lapping butterfly lap at the shores of the afternoon,
winter refuses.   We observe the bird from every possible angle:
it is half a bird, half the ocean licking on a scalp of sand.  
Now it is a second bird.   (Houses fight the horizon,
a fringe of trees.)  Yes, there’s something about sleep,
the eyes crushing sleep into the face—the bird
now sleeping, dreaming its licey voice blaming,
drilling, the night.

That was the whole of the flower, the spring: no fish waking
in the pond, just the packet marked ‘Windybank’s Squid’,
the long sound waves make, breaking on the shore.  
The bird repeats throughout the day, a mirror
in which everything is turned: the pond a kind of bark,
the fish a kind of tree, each brick a kind
of building.   That street, on which a scene
was set, has a corner no foot can see around, with traffic
like the sound of wind.   In this kind of shell, the year.

from  James Stinks (and so does Chuck)   by Nick Riemer





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