from Foolishness Burns Hairy Sparrows in the Quare Dream for Matthew Henriksen
Butterflied as a solitary brick chimney counterposed in rain. Bothered to breathe into the mouth of your personal forest, a condition staged and formatted by utility, nothing more crass, nothing more suspiciously adorned, everything bulleted to disguise perdition, but it is difficult to say this is more malicious than that, material conditions constantly shifting and wrecking any rank tooth, passing delight. A specific notion of tulip retired. A floating mongrel worthy of sincerest praise. Furrowed ferry. Strot-strot botanical. Phrase-parsing bedevilment. Time overtured to derimask. Mountain parliament needful of nothing, certainly not noting, moldwort ballads drizzle-suffered and an old clock casting chinks of itself into dusk but not before a scriptural rhombus of sunlight collapses the valley into thistles of formal belief! A thing that requires attention ought not be sought for if it requires such attention as is duly required of slant thought or born again witness in due time it will eventually claim your attention, your life, your little dog, your little dog’s wife.
I haven’t an imagination only a submerged array of violences that may be born into transmission. But the blue jay does not care and the possum does not care and the o’ possum does not care and the black bear does not care and the red fox does not care and the minnows do not care and the adjacent universes do not care and the doodle bugs do not care and I do not care. When one has a violence what does one do with it. Vomit flowers and die. But the blue jay does not care and the possum does not care and the o’ possum especially does not care.
The church bells lilting up through the valley touch the thundercloud’s hem, a spoonful of whispering marrow, dread moss, and snake drag. Desire proximal to universal desire—a haunted romance—the many layers of face textured, heavily peated, human inhuman. And where did my brother place his feet. And into what depthless airish did my brother place his head. And into what music out of time did my brother pull us through into another existence. We are dispossessed of our familiars. A swirl of crows stitches the fence line. We have been these petty ministers. And where did my brother go, a small house in his hands. Consciousness, a repeated blister, an ocean of tarps, gullied fish throat and yellow eyeball brims. Any thought less than itinerant, less than a body, less than a full fleeting across shinned granite as water, dragonfly, wind, or trenchant of imbued spring.
Tim Earley is the author of five collections of poetry, including Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (Horse Less Press, 2014) and Linthead Stomp (Horse Less Press, 2016). He lives in Asheville, North Carolina and teaches online courses in creative writing and literature for the University of Mississippi.