Michael Joseph Walsh

from A Season

And that was spring

Having nothing in it but its own threads

Nor yet unmixed with the previous night’s dream—

Flower, voice, lightning, air.

 

As clouds flare up and drop

Meaning perhaps to honor it

The sun into made sleep

 

The intimate knots of the dream

At speech’s edge our weirdly

Live gods in parallel voice—

 

Just so the room though utterly dark

Smells good, rhapsodes

 

For hours its enmeshment with

My own concern

 

My own felt place,

Something mantra something war, something

 

Flowers in honest erasure of itself

And makes space for the new snow—

 

As meaning does

Without, perhaps, loving it

Gets behind a page

And blanks

 

Wonders flowers wonders love

Into skin the shared same

Chattiness

And skin—

 

Which is the power of story,

Which is the way to continually arrive

 

In made

Familiarity in dreams of earlier dreams

In which trust is adequate but never total

Of a gently sloping lawn and on it two mannequins

 

In twirling preternatural life I had thought

The smiling pattern of the body

Of fibers unwinding into

Their own quiet agendas might hold

 

Me churning the words

In disappointment

 

Around that precious and tasteless seed.

And that while I lived was normal

 

And crushing

The step of life at each new chapter’s end—

 

And at the periphery

Contorting with horror and fascination

 

As if touched with the juice of the lemon

To have read over and over what

One tendril then another makes real—

 

In truth, all life,             

 

In the blue morning’s sheen the mouth

No simple ghost.

Having arrived itself from the future.

Having opened that gap to the wind.

 

 

 

 

Michael Joseph Walsh is a Korean-American poet living in Arlington, Virginia. He is a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Denver and co-editor for APARTMENT Poetry, and his poems and reviews have appeared in Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Fence, Likestarlings, jubilat, The Volta, and elsewhere.