Facile By Tim Kahl

July 27, 2015 Comments Off on Facile By Tim Kahl

Dirt and salt on earth’s table, roots fork down into it and the bark has rusted over. The brown skin is a way to separate from the green. An ant crawls on top of a rock with a demagnetized face, noses scored on all sides, eyes dripping off an edge. Perched robin is a jagged edge against the slope of the mountain. The aerialist travels across many sightings of faces, looks down, and sees the empty stares arranging themselves in advance of the beautiful landscape.

Beauty does not spoil; it wanders off to find the shape of being human. The shape of being human is ready-to-mix. It is the necessary part with the part geared for survival and left to dry on the Indian paintbrush that I have found walking up this steep slope alone — there is loss with every name brought to the world. These names are spores on an invisible map. The invisible map grows; its beard is the lichen, the mold. The deep late afternoon shadows appear on the map in the shape of empty faces.

The faces flow in traffic towards the windows of brown-skinned buildings separating from the street. The only map left unmade leads every street to green. The trees in the park are paintbrushes, the grass holds down the dirt, the clouds are witnesses, an insect chews a face into a leaf. I take the graven image into my mouth as name and word and place.

© 2015 Tim Kahl

Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books 2009) and The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, and many other journals in the U.S. He appears as Victor Schnickelfritz at the poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup and the poetry video blog Linebreak Studios. He is also editor at Bald Trickster Press and Clade Song. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center.

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