scurried around a classroom papered with poems.
Even the ceiling, pink and orange quilts of phrase...
they introduced one another, perched on a tiny stage
to read their work, blessed their teacher who
Not the music.
It is this other thing
I keep from all of them
that matters, inviolable.
I scratch in my journals,
a mouse rummaging through cupboards,
Well, it’s too long for one thing
and very repetitive.
Remove half the fields.
Then there are far too many fences
interrupting the narrative flow.
Get some cattlemen to cut down those fences.
Each day, I am apprenticed to the boy
I want to be.
He rifles the ball
and I catch it
or I fumble.
His red head ducks and weaves,
You sit in the forgotten bone-dry hills
surrounded by sand and sagebrush
above Buffalo Pound Lake.
A day and a night, and then
three more days and nights.
I only know rivers
Waters elongated to the unrumpled recitatif
of endless land
The Bow knows
Has tongued and grooved the firmament, baby,
of this Last Best
I triage the landscape. The prairies
are numb today and so am I.
I am too thin. Built
like I won't explode on hot
afternoons, a mirror
to the sky. My body is a hurt
Here's how you make pemmican
He wakes up naked and drunk as a bear
on sun-fermented garbage.
Hungover and queasy and riled up by
Nothing going well today, he moans,
life being short and the craft, ah, long.