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by Calamity West

for NBW


Riding home from the beach I talked to you

about Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson.

A creative spectrum.

On one end:

Creative compulsion for personal exploitation. In lust with publication.

The other:

Monastic living. Gobs of poems locked away in a drawer - - revealed only in death!


They were hoisting up a shelter on the beach.

How was Maine?

It was good. Didn’t go swimming once. So much work to do on the house.

Scan Right: A screaming brood charging into the water.

Turn All The Way Around: A mother howling and dashing after them:

The waves are too big! The waves are too big!


The car is getting hot.

I have dirty hair.

Sand rubbing in-between my crevices (makes me agitated).

The clouds part

and the sun lands on me – square in the face.

Consider The Freckle (behind my left eye).

I fumble for my sunglasses.


Is it serious?

Not at all. Just something to keep an eye on. Ha!

Okay.

Sunglasses will help.

Okay.

Always keep them on you.

Okay.


Red light.

I watch a young woman watch for her cue at the crosswalk.

She is standing in front of a graveyard.

Fumbling with her phone.

Giant, white cooler cradled under her arm - - hanging on for dear life!

Fumble, fumble, walk.

No sunglasses, eyes squinting (something to keep an eye on).

She looks like a movie scene, cir. 1996.


There’s something to be said about the middle, you say.

Write for yourself.

When you’re done, think about where it can go.

Just stay present. It’s all we have. Cheesy, I know, but it’s true, you know?

Green light.

You turn your gaze west and I turn to you.

Slow motion.

Your face looks like a movie scene, cir. - - timeless.


The spectrum turns with me.

On one end:

Ted Hughes.

The other:

Susan Dickinson.

And You:

Somewhere in the middle.


Are the waves too big?


And if they are - - why don’t you ever flinch?


© Calamity West – 2021




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