THE LONG NOW 6 (PRAIRIE PRIMEVAL)
In the season of wind, each hour
unwinds into tawny waves
this vermilion erratic stone
puts a fire in me so leave it
to the elements, to little devils who
inhabit its periphery. A diminuendo
fails despite the calm plains,
fields, grasses, stones.
The Corps of Discovery found clockwise
here, found an awayness, betweenness
and weren't welcome on this semi-sacred
mound. I can explore here too
can grieve or grind down what
memory still wrinkles at the edges
winking, no, haunting; a
devil's low end strung, bowed, piercing.
What's lost is never truly gone not
excised nor appropriated by eminent
My theme is change
Ovid begins I am one of the
changed, most inwardly so glacially
moved and left like deep bass notes
inside the body leave through your feet.
Meriweather Lewis knew this
when spirits allowed him purchase, atop
that wind-lashed mound whole herds
of buffalo cresting the river's bluff.
They'll find all our bones one day
find that hour's chime too anew,
the clock enearthed
these 10,000 years,
this now its own
James Meetze is the author of I Have Designed This for You and Dayglo, which was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and published by Ahsahta Press. He is also the editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (FSG, 2010). His work has also appeared in 5 chapbooks and numerous publications, including AGNI, A Public Space, American Letters & Commentary, The Rattling Wall, and New American Writing, among others. He has taught Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California San Diego, California State University San Marcos, in the MFA Program at National University, and is currently Assistant Professor of English at Ashford University. A new chapbook, Dark Art 1-12, was published in 2013 and his next book, Phantom Hour, will be out from Ahsahta Press in March, 2016. He spends his time between San Diego and Los Angeles.