This string of seashells on display illuminates
Life. Look how delightfully it resists being
Interpreted, interrupted, relegated.
Slippery, was merely pieces once, haven’t cinched
To maintain a singular space. We can all see
The friction invested in their surfaces over
The centuries. Much bounces off my string of seashells.
Humor, agony, ecstasy, boredom, doubt, self-
Referentiality. Say God put these shells
Here. You would be wrong, interesting premise, but
You would be wrong. One cannot glance upon these shells
Without maintaining his or her own preference.
We all misbehave for our own purpose. A kind
Of collection of what I was thinking at each
Given moment. This one for when grandmother died.
This one for the envelopes I dropped beneath
The tires of the tractor. This one for the snake
The redneck kid pulled out of Lukens’ Lake. This one
For my first dislocated shoulder, my seventh.
This one belonged to Matthew’s dead hermit crab. I
Never cared if a seashell signaled a thing, more
Interested in the next seashell I will happen
Upon. You can feel this sort of energy grow.
I was thirty-one & I thought to myself:
This is a nice way of making something, a way
To remember what I’ve seen in the crashing waves.
Two unanswerable questions rose to the surface.
Are we ever beyond the pulling? Do you think?
Always seemed harder to surf without a surfboard.
Failures of reference, shifty variables
Near the equator. You & I both know I am
Talking about something without saying exactly
What it is, a fairly recent concern. I hope
This will take my string of seashells to impossible
Limits. On the other hand, it might just be this.
You can call me a project-oriented poet. A big beam of obsession & confusion & delight shines down & I'm hooked for a bit. My two full-length collections of poems are WHAT IS WHO (my self-published MFA thesis at the Michener Center For Writers, 2018) & More Wreck More Wreck (published by Coconut Books in 2014). My most recently-released poem-project is FUTURE BARN, available for FREE both in PDF & audio form.
I'll post new poems every Friday from my forthcoming collection, I ONCE WAS SOMEONE ELSE & OFTEN STILL AM. I'd be honored if you gave it a read, a possible share. Thanks!