Dakota R. Garilli, editor at the amazing IDK, sent me a list of suggestions for Poem-A-Day topics. One was just the word 'wood'. It was both the least interesting and most full of possibilities as I have always found trees to be fascinating and weird.
This month will be an experiment. It will go badly. It will be transcendent. I am writing a 31-part poem called Wood. The poem has no purpose other than to be everything and nothing. It is an ars poetica, an explanation, an attempt. It is modeled after A. R. Ammons' Garbage.
This is a conversation. Feel free to respond.
We should probably start somewhere obvious like a forest : that feels good this time of year : the shade from the full green leaves would cast a pattern of green light across the bare earth below : leaves from winter would have mulched themselves and everything would smell like earth and growing : everywhere in other words alive :
Here those forests would be Aspen and pine but I'm sure you have your own concept of 'forest' and you should just go with that : the actualities are not important just be in that space of sunlight filtering down hitting you and be in that quiet that only people who live in cities think is quiet for a bit : is your breathing regular :
I ask because everything around you is alive : because it is in a state of motion : I ask you about your breathing because you are in it and it is coursing through your bloodstream as we speak about it : did you know that it only takes 30 seconds for alcohol to hit the brain : did you know that the lungs are hands holding on to the air for dear life :
So why have I brought you out here : am I going to kill you and leave your body to nourish these trees or for the wolves to tear apart and feed their young : I might have an axe in my car I might have a gun you won't know that the language doesn't reveal what's in pockets or trunks : if only it could : I don't know why we're here any more than you do :
That's the trick though : I'm supposed to KNOW what I'm doing here have a plan a map a big red 'X' that marks some spot on the map that is the place that I am going to dig : I don't have the arms for digging : I'm more of a burier of objects histories knowledge : I could bury us and then we could really think about things :
In this moment the trees are probably swaying in the breeze I do hope you have a breeze in your forest they are so much more interesting when they move in ways we can see : I want to talk about the trees and why they are here for me and you : why we are here for them : this isn't some eco-bull shit please don't think that I want to hug anything : get away from me :
I want to thesis about why I come back to this again and again : the roughness of the bark on my hands and the veins showing in the leaves : I want to discuss this with you : I'm not sure how to begin that though I will plant the idea here and I will come back tomorrow and the next day and the next and I will see what sort of tree has begun :