J. P. Dancing Bear







Gacela of Fish Singing Foxes


          for Jessie Lendennie


The back door is left wide open again

and I don’t care, I don’t care if the leaves

come inside to get warm in the kitchen.


If you truly listen past the gurgle of the stream—

you can hear fish singing foxes, singing foxes

to fish like an open kitchen door.


Out beyond the water is the song of grass

and the old poets’ voices between the blades,

between the blades that whistle a fox tune.


I know the door is open for the missing, but look

at the congregation of leaves, of leaves,

singing the old fish songs—just listen


to what comes filling the void.




Resting Somnambulist


It’s all pins and matches in your dream life

where the sewing machine sits

a black cat waiting by your resting head.

The candle is flameless again,

erect and accusing, near the white headwaters

or your nightgown.

A singer from another language

crackles in history about your air,

but you do not move a leaf, not a cool blade

of grass to listen more intently.

Through the radio tower comes the news

that someone may be looking for you—

flashlights in another valley

where once you hummed your innocent

lullabies and counted stars.

The sky opens its eye, blue where city lights glare

in someone else’s distance.

The song is a little clearer now:

resume, resume, the night is calling

but that’s only the popular translation.




It’s Going to be One of Those Days


You are reciting the history of crumple-zones again: but they keep crashing: into your medians of Tennyson: the Green Knight impact zone report is released: and gallantly swims upstream: to be plucked: by a bear paw: hey—we all gotta eat: it’s going to be one of those days: you know it: which makes it no more bearable: there’s a storm front moving around your head: lightning strikes more than once: especially if you’re a philosopher: or a golfer: you see reinforced fish: speeding the waves of your shirt: it’s all jump and muscle down there: twitch and bewitched: Morgan le Fay is watching: warns the leftovers of the Green Knight: you go to the manual: it’s the only way: to be sure: these days: swerve over page: after page: hard rights and wrongs: a swirl of directions: your swollen book of rain: your rivers of ink: black tears: but not for the day: for all those collisions: just beyond: your fogged-in vision.





















J. P. Dancing Bear is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hour-long poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on public station, KKUP and available as podcasts.  He is the author of twelve collections of poetry, his latest books are Family of Marsupial Centaurs and other birthday poems (Iris Press, 2012) and The Abandoned Eye (FutureCycle Press, 2012), his 13th collection, Love is a Burning Building will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2014.


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