Rex Wilder

 

 

 

(USA)

 

 

Early

 

Early record

love sustains us though it hasn’t fallen –

oh maybe a flurry – since

that first year.

 

 

Jacaranda Squared

 

After night left us this unremarkable dawn,

Desaturated, odorless, our voluble son,

 

Mute now like something valuable, cached

Himself into a taxi, which rushed

 

Away, complicit. I remained on the side-

Walk with a piece of quiet, and stood

 

Awkwardly, as if I had just been handed

A heavy package or, Hemingway-lite, landed

 

A heavy fish. Two shuffling crows

Found me sane enough and allowed me to cross

 

Their path. I joined them, as at a frites stand.

“And what brings you to the Land

 

Of Dour Flowers,” the first one ventured,

Pecking at the translucent purple bells absurd-

 

Ly. “Can’t eat ‘em, can’t eat without ‘em,”

Opined the second on the same theme.

 

“My son is fourteen,” I explained, as if

That said it. And should have; but a crow’s life

 

Has different mile markers. I placed the ache

For them: “His youth is dying of old age.

 

“The toy worshipper and daddy’s boy, the humane

Snail- and spider-saver cannot take the pain.”

 

An SUV bearing down like truth Tased

Us off the philosophical avenue and erased

 

Its own intimidation before we knew

What didn’t hit us. The lawn, Fitzgerald-blue,

 

Felt adult. “You don’t see the point

Of things until they’re right under your feet.”

 

These the sage last words of the crows.

I picked sticky blooms from between my toes.

 

 

The Second Floor

 

After nearly a year of hearing

false rain play while we lay,

Eyes closed and posing for

a blissful death – the real thing:

Nature’s paean to restraint,

the always measured display

Of sound at its shallowest,

as Heaven and Earth sing.

 

So much was make-believe

in that studio where we practiced

Eastern thinking above

an Italian bistro in West L.A.

That this shred of authenticity

was welcome artifice:

The perspiration of perfection,

God trying, a roundelay.

 

Even the instructor seemed

to appreciate the opportunity;

He turned off the expensive

sound system and steered

His savasana patter to the end

of the drought. Our pretty

Bodies were an echo of the rain

drops, as we disappeared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rex Wilder’s new volume, Boomerangs in the Living Room, has just been released by Red Hen Press. He is currently editing There & Back: A Boomerang Anthology. Both feature a form he invented, a four-line poem in which the last word must rhyme with the first and be able to be recited in a single breath. Major Jackson says « With the “Boomerang,” Rex Wilder…adds to the storehouse of truly American forms » and Dana Gioia suggests « Wilder’s new form may become an American alternative to the haiku. » Wilder’s poems have appeared in publications such as Poetry, The New Republic, The Yale Review, and The Times Literary Supplement. A former regional director of the Poetry Society of America in Los Angeles, he helped establish Hollywood’s popular “Act of the Poet” reading series. He lives in Brentwood, California.

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