|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,
the beginnings of a canvas sheet. In another
zone, another wash, talus slope — the cannibal
the collared lemming, remnant
skull-work, the heather or mountain vole,
layered as the current
twisting through the hillsides. Still he floats. An animal
a herd of cattle — companion field —
lies down in his lungs. Pressure of rib 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,
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.
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
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
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
mirroring clouds in the mown-down
fields, spitting bird bones through the flesh of his teeth.