1983

Jack Myers and Roger Weingarten, NEW AMERICAN POETS OF THE 80S (Green Harbor, MA: Wampeter Press, 1984)

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It might be true the story that Daniel Boone slept in a cave not far from Rockville, Indiana. It might even be true that the cave he slept in was the one I ran into during a downpour. Striking a match, I saw BOONE carved into hard rock. Of course, anyone could have done that. I could have done it myself. Once, camping near Rockville, I came on the skeleton of a dog. It had recovered its cleanlinesss from the black soil the way flowers recover after a rain. Sometimes I'm afraid of what I'll find, not animal bones or the arrowheads that turn up everywhere, but the skelton of a man, someone who listened to the soil asserting itself day after day until his bones became tools for digging him deeper. I've had a stone scraper reach into my hand like another hand wanting me to feel my way back to it. I felt the grass growing westward starting to pick up speed like an animal running for the sheer joy of running, and I thought of Boone following his traps, each trap biting deeper into the green absence of prairie. I understood his wanting to keep it for himself, the space that lay down with him each night, breathing into his face. On the prairie night asserts itself like a small. One night I heard the prairie talking, it said ITSELF, ITSELF over and over. I lay there thinking of all the disguises a body can take: stone,stump, vine, root. I listened to the wind turning over in my sleep and I prayed to be unremembered as the dirt that cakes the nails of men and women as they work, humming to themselves softly.

File: POEMS.NT3



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