Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 8 . . .


I find myself each evening, while commuting on the 101, or when the blue barns and silos within shut down and darkness lifts me to sleep, repeating commonplace words I had heard earlier that day, or entire phrases from conversations I had with acquaintances. And I twist my breath over a syllable or sentence like a fin slicing water toward trawled dolphin, or the dregs of a bog dripping from the faucet in a marble bathroom. While driving home, I sweat from netting in an innuendo uttered that morning from parking-attendant or tourist, a code which, after originally sinking in the swamp of consciousness, has surfaced, its skin brackish and green. Later, I sit up in bed, water-bucketed awake with the chill that I had not listened to someone’s plea, that there is a fire-alarm in everyone’s voice, that the foundations are buckling, and though the sidewalk is glazed with moonlight, the remaining deer are bucking up the hills; if I were to stop, I would smell these lands burning; if I were to drink, I would taste water heavy with smoke. The voices rise, converge within my stifling fields, until I fumble out of bed to pace my apartment and beg that they are only echoes and not the petitioners themselves, echoes that have inhabited me so that I might listen to their squabbles, their women giving birth, their cocktail parties, diners, their salesmen crying hysterically in motel rooms, the deafening hiss of prayers.

by Anthony Seidman

Anthony Seidman is the author of the On Carbon-Dating Hunger (2000) and Where Thirsts Intersect (2006), published by The Bitter Oleander Press; a selection of his work was included in the second volume of Corresponding Voices in 2005, by Syracuse University Press & Point of Contact.  Pudding House Publications has just released a chapbook of his prose poems entitled Black Neon. Some of Seidman’s more recent publications include essays, translations, and poems in The Bitter Oleander, Iodine, The Bloomsbury Review, Hunger, Ur-Vox, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Beyond Baroque, Rattle, Skidrow Penthouse, Sulphur River Literary Review, Pemmican, Milk, and Crate.

© 2007 Anthony Seidman