Monday Dec 11

SkoogEd Ed Skoog is the author of two collections of poems, Mister Skylight and Rough Day, both from Copper Canyon Press.

---------





Island



Show me the raven that flies beneath the bridge
the silence of an unremembered name.
When the bridge is out the mainland’s only news
the island sends to the far city like a dissected astronaut

is a pearlescent shatter and a drooping way with rope
and the moon reproduces itself on waves.
I play among the rocks, rough warts.
Show me the raven that hides in the greenery.

My hometown’s name has become a harmonica
blown into distorted forms by onshore loneliness.
In the plot of the picture so far the shark’s eye
is a blind lantern and for half my life I say I don’t know

down into green bottles that sometimes wash up.
Show me the puffin that dives through the wreck
it is no part of. Show me a wooden home underwater
growing on this animal I am becoming.






Mountain



Each mountain is a fool but together are genius
and what glacier they give shuts me up again.
I climb for approval on dull trail
machined through fire soil turned ash

desire drives derides me sweat and rash.
I am talking to my brother. I want to be seen
want the peak to turn and form a bridge
between our eyes. I want the mountain

to discover, name, and exploit me, be
cartographer to what in me has lifted
from the ocean set on its side and left to relic.
And be haunted by midday’s undressing

with winter and darkness fully shucked
for the voyeurism of our nearest star.
Bright pines narrow a route for pine marten
following squirrel across a whole valley,

small lives pursuing hunger larger than
high ground. What I follow or what
follows me, I can’t say. Mountains are fools.
My foolishness is so mountainous

I stop before I reach the summit every time.
I quarrel with the script, glimpse the narrative
in its heavy fur across the meadow, rooting
unmindful for the simplest need, its tooth

a nail of ivory, and when I see the exodus
burning in its eyes, I step backwards slow
and navigate with the glare of my blind heart
back to where I hang this face on its hook.