Thursday, November 14, 2013

14 November 2013

Dennis Hinrichsen [Tampa Review]

from Dennis Hinrichsen's Kurosawa's Dog:

Cruel All Moons and Bitter the Suns

                            Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat

My father swims the Wapsipinicon — body of
                      a child, body
          of a poet, upon the body of the stream —

Southern Iowan Drift Plain, his white hands,
                      white arms,
          the beginnings of a canvas sheet. In another

zone, another wash, talus slope — the cannibal
                      histories:
          the collared lemming, remnant

skull-work, the heather or mountain vole,
                      layered as the current
          is layered,

twisting through the hillsides. Still he floats. An animal
                      presence —
          a herd of cattle — companion field —

lies down in his lungs. Pressure of rib and
                      water and
          longing for breath and grass. The waters let him

go his own free way. There is a wing
                      in the shadow of
          evening, a black wind in his hands that fashions

a bleached-white bone. Dutch Creek fissure, washout,
                      Empty Fissure
          nearly devoid of sediment

though there is something dark, dense, organic-rich —
                      a light, orangish-red silt
          that appears to be in situ.

Sound of his singing beneath the torn up sky.
                      Daylight fading,
          a colony of doves;

star-infused, bleeding Sea.
                      He wants to show his mother a gold fin
          hanging in a blue wave,

a flower he can shake through the barn in a tremble
                      of pollen,
          twig bark so waterlogged

it peels off in chunks. Sheath of the water flensed
                      from the sheath
          of wood, like a snake's slow kiss into

cooling moistness . . .  decaying body
                      of a swan.
          "O countless golden birds, O Force to come" —

he's out of the water now, running, his pants
                      hitched high:
          class amphibian, dirty child.

At the doorway, gilded threshold, his mother's
                      flesh recoils —
          class reptilian, fragment of shell.

He puts his head down into the hearth's lap. It is
                      late, it is
          evening. He watches firedogs flicker,

flaks . . .  What he loves best: slurs
                      of runoff
          mirroring clouds in the mown-down

fields, spitting bird bones through the flesh of his teeth.

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