Poetry Issue 14

   Issue # 14 : January - June 2011

Michael Loughran

The Histories
Eventually Everything Would Happen
A Curiosity of Trees


    To be a collector of trivia
    relayed over the phone
    to a friend, to rise up
    into something
    unaware! To read the review
    of “Henri-Georges
    Clouzot’s Inferno”!
    To think about
    the movie about the
    movie never
    made! And
    about the bar
    that isn’t a bar
    but used to be!
    How it became
    an empty upright pie slice
    with a half-extant
    two-colored cornice!
    On a street
    called an Avenue!
    And the city garbage can
    and its plastic grocery bag
    and its dead bird!
    To watch the river
    lift up two boats
    and put them back!
    To smell the motorcycled air!
    To have an idea
    for the name of a band
    or a child!
    To be worn by
    reality like a jacket!
    To pick you up
    and to be rich!
    To see a tree
    shaped like a megaphone,
    or a hat shaped
    like a hat-shaped tree,
    or a blade of grass
    folded in thirds
    left atop a picnic table!
    To hear baseball small talk
    on the radio on the floor!
    To feel the hot gloom
    of these four clouds!
    To tell you everything
    as soon as possible!

The Histories

    I was doing some underlining,
    I was looking hard into the beginning of history,
    I was looking hard into Arion the harpist
    who fled the pirates and jumped ship
    and was carried off by a dolphin,
    I was in the kitchen with one page of Herodotus,
    I was thinking about Arion, or not thinking of Arion really,
    I was underlining, or not really underlining
    but thinking of underlining, or thinking at least
    about pencils, and thinking of Arion,
    and I was thinking I guess about the best parts,
    how they kept squirreling past me,
    and I was thinking about who I could tell about Herodotus
    and what I could tell them about Arion who fled the pirates,
    Arion who jumped ship, who was carried off by a dolphin,
    but I knew at the end of it all nobody cares
    and there was nobody to tell,
    “there was nobody to tell nothing”
    and I knew it was just me and Herodotus,
    me and one page of Herodotus,
    one page of not even underlined Herodotus,
    already half-forgotten Herodotus, Herodotus in one ear
    and out the other, in one eye and out the other,
    Herodotus in the breeze, Herodotus vacui,
    and I wanted to be left alone, and I thanked god
    I was alone.

Eventually Everything Would Happen

—Paul Bowles

    Half a funeral home would burn,
    and somewhere, all of a portico and part of a dormer.
    A couple accidents involving old dogs,
    one or more occurrences of an unlikely temperature
    in January, or in July.
    Some oddly unmistakably familiar thing
    would settle on and become something else—
    a cloud over a white barn,
    diagonal rain into lake water.
    Every best thing would be said, or nearly said.
    The half sequiturs of gossip
    would manifest a forest.
    The horizon would have a horizon.
    I would be jealous of myself.

A Curiosity of Trees

    I found seventy-five
    deer-shaped clouds
    that nobody noticed
    and I tucked everything
    else under a bench.
    Church bells divided
    hour from hour,
    invisible geese leaving
    the tops of trees
    where a siren became
    a memory and I
    was saved
    by the twin compulsions
    to call the sun
    a neckless head of fire
    and a necklace’s yellow center.
    There was barely one thing
    I could have said I knew.
    Two planes introduced
    themselves crosswise
    into the same unlucky cloud
    which was all there
    was, all there was
    was to watch trees
    dangle into the dirt,
    all there was was to watch
    money floating in
    the pockets of others,
    little green birds
    with vertigo.
    All there was was to watch
    a horse watching
    the yellow-white rain
    that turned everything
    yellow-white, to watch
    something dumb
    and sublime and irresistible
    and mine lifting into the sky.
    Into the shadows of the
    afternoon I stood
    because I stood because
    I stood.