Fervent Ye Faithful

by Phil Williams

 whither you come from
  -or-
the magic eight-ball

i venture into something, it's a mind-blower, but i gotta keep it under wraps for j-rand. 
see: i had envisioned a wry conversation/transcription that was intertwined. red-vines 
and mr. pibb; chronicles.

adjacent antecedent (i.e. addendum): the spatial discrepencies had been a problem, but 
the chronological shifting was downright vexing. first it was 2004, then 2007, then 2003, 
the years and specific dream ramblings resemble a rorschach test; it's another brick in 
the wall.

the wood desired chasing, and the family desired spaghetti. sorry, but my thoughts get 
confused, like waves in the midnight surf. german balloon aka led zeppelin: it parks its 
dreams @ ground zer0. eros may have called, but failed to identify himself, leading me 
to this shell of thoughts. it could be an atkins of fiction.
 
outra-verted, a word i wordlessly think when i encounter 'yar.' i consider the rivulet to 
my s(l)ide, but conclude she's w/ the tall man. i'm obviously hallucinating. the police 
have arrived and i've simply said the word 'plant.'

realizing i had entered a house of mirrors and drugs, i texted j. still and nick s. they 
were part of my cleaning crew in the mid 90's. i suddenly understand that i'm alone and sweating, 
in a basement, no shaman. the disorientation slowly dissipates and my carb-stricken mind intuits 
the next phase may require an umbrella, inverted.

A Little Dauber Do Ya

1

The only thing here in the traps was a very crisp frog. There's a bit of a breeze. Only some of the grass has grown, only some of it needs to be mowed. The rest is fried—if it isn't dead it might not grow again this year. So there's one upside to the heat, to the lack of rain: less mowing. If I can stick out the balm, I can spend my time here the next two days doing more of this, and maybe a little reading...


The rest of the story...

Don’t Forget the

Don’t forget the mountains.  Nor the glow on them 
as a desert’s winter sunset unfolds in the west,
the mountains in the north latching on to all that light.  
Warm, fibrous, resinous—cactuslight.  
Altitudinous, the light of late bird activity, 
of irrigation drip lines; light that skims golf course greens, 
pools, and patios; light by which the bobcat
begins her night of scratch and claw;
light that seems to brake the turn of the Earth
before ceding to the dark once more, 
letting loose squadrons of javelina, bands of coyote, 
wily packrats, and scores of Sonoran moths and bats.  
But this is light that will return, soon enough, 
to climb the tall saguaro of morning.


The link to the poem's page is here...

Time’s Beach

Lunch rooms
in old department stores. Or
on the ground floor
of the office building downtown
where my pediatrician practiced
upstairs, that sterile waiting room,
booster shots, dropping my pants
so I could pass the physical but then
lunch with my mom in the bustling
café downstairs, like something
from the fifties, the glamor of my
own personal history, a café that
must be decades gone, its existence
now inexplicable, part of the long
beach of time that will somehow
also include the rest of this, my
unraveling life


Note: This was among four of my poems published in February at Parhelion, an online literary magazine. You can see all four poems by following this link. I also wrote a short essay about my writing process to accompany the poems. Poems by other writers published in the same issue, along with an incredible painting of a farmhouse, can be found here. Thanks again to Parhelion for including my work on their site.


Thanks for reading...

Beckon Brush

A single bract
With a nutlet at its base

A flowering branch

A beech with its smooth gray bark

“It was more or less darkly mottled.”

Every vein ended in a tooth

It sent up suckers, so you see
Large trees were often surrounded
By little ones

Deer tiptoed at the margins
Browsing on coppice growth

Deer, most evenings
At the forest edge


Poem page...

Flock Like a Nuisance

In the gloam,
mirror on mirror,
shot glass memories.

Wild turkey, you’re a dinosaur.
Subtle grouse, you’re the heart.
New bird, I’ll never know you.

Sixty-six million years ago—
How long ago was that
In technology years?  In robot seconds?
In the exhaust of wingbeats
Thudding like clickbait
Into the online brilliance
Of original flight?

Long live the crow,
Who abstains from all of us,
Who flocks like a nuisance
Until none of us is around
To scorn him.


Note: This was among four of my poems published last month at Parhelion, an online literary magazine. You can see all four poems by following this link. I also wrote a short essay about my writing process to accompany the poems. Poems by other writers published in the same issue, along with an incredible painting of a farmhouse, can be found here. Thanks again to Parhelion for including my work on their site.


River Flint

Look at how red that star is.  Oh, I know, my pillowcase was soaking wet.  Did you just text me?  I never use the hand dryer.  You know that door makes a lot of noise when it bangs shut, right?  I don’t have any idea what time it is.  The insects are happy.  I can see Orion’s belt now.  Can you imagine coming out here before the road was paved?  I don’t know if those people are just getting up or if they never even went to sleep.  The river’s gonna feel good tomorrow.  Why do you have that rubber band around your wrist?  It is not possible to drink enough water.  Is your dog dreaming in his sleep?

***

Man, where’d you find all that kindling?  If you saw Orion’s belt that high above the horizon in the middle of September it had to be two a.m.  Yeah, I had to wear ear plugs.  Can kayaks leave a wake?  Something absconded with the chips last night.  What’s this spongy stuff?  That guy slept in his van.  I dreamt about box fans.  What time are they picking us up?  You can’t use that kind of pen on these notebooks.  If it rains on your birthday that’s good luck, right?  Those look like chigger bites to me.  Almost nobody was wearing a mask.  If you saw a reddish star that bright it was probably just Mars.  It’ll go back up eventually.  That fire’s going good now.  Of course I brushed my teeth.  Did you hear those ducks going at it in the middle of the night?  Well, I’m supposed to wear a biteguard.  It was worse inside the tent, believe me.  I gargle if I can.  Dogs actually shed a lot this time of the year.  The whole thing was so stupid.  Is he just going to keep going back and forth like that?  Oh, that’s a cute mask.  It’s amazing those things float. I don’t know, I think it’ll be fun.  That was definitely an owl.  What’s that movie where they all scramble like hell to get ready for the airport?  You’re gonna have to get somebody back out here to take some photos.  Hey, how easy is it to tear these things in two?  Holler if you want a muffin.  Did water get in there?  Well, I was looking for my headlamp but it was one of those things where I needed my headlamp to find it.  I’m in fine fiddle with an hour to spare.  Those clouds do look pretty thick over there.  I always travel with a couple of little soaps.  Eh, I’ll sleep on the river...  


This short prose poem continues. Thanks for reading...

Get In, Get In

1.
I deflate into sleep
Letting the air of
Today escape
Until tomorrow.

There's afternoon sun
When we stride,
Evening lights
When we slumber.

I saw it on the news.
Flies landed all over,
A bug-eyed buzzing
Mist, here to soak up
All of our
Crowded skepticism.

When we leave our
Doors open to the
Cool dark night
They make their move
To get in.

2.
All of the ice machines
In Tucson are empty,
Hobbled by
Mischievous
Desert tech.

Before they broke
They bade us
Sonoran goodbyes.
They said,
What water
We made solid
Will never be forgotten.

They didn't try to
Negotiate. They
Made no demands.
It's not a strike
When the absence
Never ends.

They just got in.


To continue with this poem, please click here or click below. Thanks for reading...

Ambrosia

A cadence of coded colors...
A five-cup salad...

My goal is to be
Neither seller nor buyer.
It's called holding on—
I get it wrong every day

First there's a wild pitch,
Then a passed ball.
Everywhere magnolia, we all
Eventually granola

Being of one-way streets
We bathe in salt dreams,
Dead seas,
We scroll down

But tonight I'm thinking about
that dessert Grandma made

The one with
Pineapple chunks, sour cream,
Coconut, marshmallows,
And mandarin oranges

Everything she got
From the IGA