Saturday, February 9, 2008

Laurie Capps is rad

So, I've been doing this poem a day thing - literally, churning out a poem a day - with this group of poets via email. It's been good for me. Though the poems I've been sending haven't exactly been awe-inspiring work, it is forcing me to "produce" so to speak. So far the best part of this experience has been the introduction to Laurie Capps who is a fellow poem-a-dayer and whose work is really, really amazing. I sent her an email fawning over her poems and it turns out she's pretty cool, too (though weirdly obsessed with food). Anyway, I scouted the Internets to see if she had any work I could post here and this is the only poem I could find. I don't know when it was written or published, only that I found it on The Pedestal Magazine Web site. Remember this lady's name because she's going to be HUGE (this is not a reference to her food obsession, but a reference to her being the first poet of our generation to actually have groupies. Who bring her pies).

Cousin Gideon

Still possessing the ghost-blonde hair and smoke-blue eyes
I always longed to own, he rides back to me this autumn,
as I’m staring through the sweet gum trees, as I’m mapping
the wrens pinned tight on their branches, trying to recall

their early summer song. Standing in pine straw tossed
in shattered gold, I hear his bicycle working over the gravel,
rocks popping against his sneakers, the pebbles falling
into the cuffs of his blue jeans. Just beyond the fence,

where the blackberries twisted in August, he stays and waits
as I consider that summer day we met, twenty years ago.
Where we left the adults clustered tight inside, and he led me out
into a day clear as fresh glass. Over the railroad bridge, down

along the damp sand framing the river. Riding through
the silver oat grass, his head craning back to gauge me
as I fell behind. As I am falling behind now, as one of us
always must. I reach for a pinecone to throw into the yellow-

star leaves, and as the warblers toss up into the air, the vines
are empty, he is gone. Perhaps poured out with the birdbath’s
old water, in whispers against the clay. Or back down the drive,
though the gravel never shifts. I go inside and stand behind

the windows to watch the chickadees dip into the empty basin,
my hands tracing through dust on the sill. The day peeling away
from the gum leaves, the pine straw sinking slowly down
to copper. Everything folding back to what it is, now.

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