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Poems, Politics and Pretty Places … that’s the theme of this weekend extravaganza filled with workshops, panels, performances, food and parties. I hope you can join me and some of Western Colorado’s finest poets: Art Goodtimes, David J. Rothman, Kyle Harvey, Wendy Videlock, Alan Wartes, Mark Todd and more!

For more information, check out the link below:

http://www.gunnisonartscenter.org/events/headwaters-poetry-festival

Once Upon

Only a moment, I thought,
just a moment of pulling your breath

into mine would buoy me
through whole oceans of days,

days I would otherwise drown in
save for a single shared moment.

But here I am, beneath the surface,
near out of air, gasping, longing for

hours, no, days, no, whole epochs of closeness
with no sense of starting or ending.

How soon a woman wants more.
I try to fill my pockets with things

that float—the clean scent of spring
and the song of whatever bird that is

outside the window. I try to find
my own lightness I have found before.

I tell myself, this is only a story,
as I sink further down, as the blue deepens.

“What’ll be, boys?” the bartender says.
The three aren’t thirsty, just looking for love.
“A rose,” says the metaphor.
“But you better not pick it,” says the cliché.
“It only grows when it’s on the vine,” says the allusion.
The bartender starts to moan,
when a simile in a short red dress walks up to them.
She is quite the figure of speech.
Her dress is cut down real low,
her breasts are like two perfect feminine rhymes
straining against the cranberry silk.
“A red, red rose,” sighs the metaphor.
“With thorns,” says the cliché.
“That’s newly sprung in June,” adds the allusion.
“I’m, like, thirsty,” she says.
The bartender groans, makes a noose
of his dishrags and belt.
Just goes to show,
give someone enough tropes
and he’ll hang himself.

I would like to find you
in the shade of an apricot tree
with rounded white petals
caught in your hair
and the hypnotic humming
of bees in our ears,
and we would lie there
draped in the scent
of warm sage and sweet bloom
and stare up at the blue
through the flowering limbs
and forget who we are
for just long enough, perhaps,
that anything could happen.

Apricots on Tannin Road

anytime it might freeze—
still, they open wild inside me
apricot blossoms

What the Spring Said

You can’t tell tulips
to unbloom,

you can’t unsing
last evening’s tune,

the shadow can’t undark
the moon,

you can’t unlove,
unbreathe, unswoon,

but wishes can be
ever wished

new bridges can be
ever crossed

so many kisses
still to kiss

before you unlive
unlaugh, dust.

Perhaps when we finally see
there is no point to making things
look any better than they are,

then whatever friction
we’ve found in the world
is met with rose oil

and the great heavy gears
cease to grind
and spin with silent ease.

The only sustainable plots
are the ones no one has planted—
ones in which flowers, grasses and trees

rise up on their own.
They know when to sprout,
when to bloom, when to seed.

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