Poems

Richard Kenney: “And More Vivalding”

This week the website features a selection of poems from WA129, an anthology of poems edited by Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall and published by Sage Hill Press. Marshall observes, having spent his tenure as laureate criss-crossing the state, “Simply, we have many people invested in exploring and sharing how language matters. This anthology is, I hope, an embodiment of and contribution to that enthusiasm, engagement, and prolific word-energy. ” This poem by Richard Kenney is the final poem we’ll be featuring from the anthology. Previously, we posted poems from Jenifer Browne Lawrence, Maria Rosa Mills, and Robert Lashley

And More Vivalding

1. Symphonic

March upcrumples expostulate sky
like a mongoose on a doily,
welcoming sun as thumb to eye,
while treating robins roily.

Green ferns bend a breeze
under summer’s awning;
windows wide in libraries
and books and hammocks yawning.

Autumn whooms in fire first,
sumac, oak, and maple:
napalm bloom soon doused in mist,
and rain straight as cable.

Solstice doldrum, wool-chill,
the world in cold pajamas,
her icicles all prism-still
as air is, after hammers.

2. Redirect

What’s the point of penning verse
like this? Why not erasures?
Something edgy, fresh, fierce,
on sex, or shame, or glaciers?

If we’ll just slice the spinal nerve
the sun’ll settle still.
It won’t bank and swoop and swerve.
We’ll study it at will.

That’s good advice. Cerebral. Apt.
All rhyme I’ll soon rescind-O…
I’d do it now, except I keep
glancing out the window.

Richard Kenney‘s most recent book is The One-Strand River (Knopf, 2008). He teaches at the University of Washington.