Skip to main content

Andy Stallings :: Five poems


Paradise

All the noise a brain makes
in passing. A period of
intensity, then silence. And
piled around me, the shadows
of my own hands and other,
larger hands. Having once
watched the movie in early
summer, I thought of it every
year at that time, though
every other circumstance
of life had changed completely.
A day on which you refuse
to speak. The strangers came
and went, while we stayed all
afternoon in the natural pool,
jumped from the rock lip
through the waterfall, into
that pool and the next pool,
my father white and flabby,
strange without his glasses.
The waking, working, distant
tempo of dream.


Paradise

What was altered, ever, by
the stroke that aimed to alter.
Wherever a draft of wind
became constant, we noted
the difference and the speed.
The long perspective of
childhood’s quiet hours. Who
is old enough to know why
trees blow when the wind’s
up from Corpus Christi, or
how the sound of death digs
into a room. The question is,
who would need to know.
The crackle called dusty in
a record is not the recording,
but the record itself, the way
the stylus navigates the blemishes.
Familiar voices from another
room. Sudden melody.


Paradise

The children assessed
the creature collectively,
charmed by its bold
chattering rush, then chased it
off into the juniper shrub,
leaving trails of food behind
for another, quieter hour’s
scavenging. Nothing in
the universe is delicate
at scale. If the cleft won’t
hold roots, it will hold lichen,
as bedrock makes way
for a channel, beside which
the low stone wall collapses
toward the cleft. Perception’s
no bandage, but broadens
the after hour. Endless imprint.
Memory aside. This castle’s
intrinsic, sorting slip wind,
slap wind, slack wind, slake
wind. See: the berry girls
have discovered a patch
of mountain huckleberry.
Nothing firm avails. By which
we know the gemstone from
the hammer.


Paradise

Not outgrown: assimilated.
Practice for future habits or
habitats. Not that we weren’t
patient with her, as
martyrdom is patient with
saints, as the South “waits out
its racists.” Laws are as
loving. Each the guardian of
a loop that soothes its own
significance before your
sublime – like tradition, like
music, like loving. Harmony
with piracy. The willing hold
their pedal tones while we’re
nailed in the vacation rush.
The skin transmits a feeling
of perforation. A coin all shine
and no currency, a question
color-struck.


Paradise

She took my hand but
looked away. Hotel is an
atmosphere that carefully
looms. We might as well sink
walls as wells, the depth of
either drops me, like rock
down the mountain’s face,
into dailiness. The present is
remembrance. How many
directions from here on out.
For every ten thousand lives
you see, and would prefer to
see, framed in the round-
edged snapshot of an airplane
window passing, there’s one
who walks perennially away
before you’re ready. How
long is not the point. The
words we share, like the air
we’re in, as full of light as to
wait, and to wait, and to wait.


Andy Stallings lives in Deerfield, MA, where he teaches English at Deerfield Academy. His second collection with Rescue Press, Paradise, will come out in 2018. He has four young children, and coaches cross country running.

Popular posts from this blog

submissions :: where is the river

Up to six poems in a single .doc file with author biography and photo to kieferjdlogan@gmail.com

All rights revert to the author/s upon publication.

issue three :: January/February 2018

Elidio La Torre Lagares :: Six poems

walking in Rome
male cicadas foretell the sun
the distance of rain as we walk
through Rome on the 25th of July:
the history of Empire

i touch the breath of fireinside
my mouth birds peck at
dormant words under my steps

roads lead into alibis for an idea of time
when tutte strada vanno a Roma

lady Cicadas, on the other hand, treasure
silence around the marbled stories
of Villa Burghese

Sophie walks beside me painting
the air longing dreams
the world conforms a canvasher voice
a ripe fruit that floats
on the Roman landscape

from the hills of Villa Medici the city
spreads like the wings of an eagle of light
constantly diffusing emergingsomehow
the impending clearance of dependences
melts with the gradation of memories the precise
clockwork of stages

with loss and life to gain

clouds travel homeless



colosseum

The Roman Colosseum-
round as a certainty
or the eye of a hurricane-
was once one of the
seventh wonders
of the world. But, little
is known of it compared
to the years it has outlasted
time and earth…