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Category archive for: C.D. Wright

Hotels

In the semidark we take everything off,

love standing, inaudible; then we crawl into bed.

You sleep with your head balled up in its dreams,

I get up and sit in the chair with a warm beer,

the lamp off. Looking down on a forested town

in a snowfall I feel like a novel—dense

and vivid, uncertain of the end—watching

the bundled outlines of another woman another man

hurrying toward the theater’s blue tubes of light.

from Steal AwayFind it in the library

Copyright © 2002 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Like Something in His Handwriting

It was hotter back then.

No, it wasn’t it had to be cooler, clouded.

A park down below where no one ever met.

But men were pulled by dogs along paths made by the walkers.

And a nameless river through a photograph of woods

proposed a nonlocal reality

that shimmered at the instant of its own disappearance.

She bought the picture, brought it back, propped it against drywall

where someone had penciled a message

she couldn’t make out.

The end of another summer wandered across yards

that weren’t fenced or watered.

If it rained, it rained.

And then the rain inebriated us.

A yellow leaf floated toward ground

transmitting a spot of optimism

through a slow intensification of color in the lower corner of the morning.

from Rising, Falling, HoveringFind it in the library

Copyright © 2008 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Deepstep Come Shining (excerpt)

When the aim is to feel wholeness itself. She laid her hand on

the deeply furrowed bark, groping for the area of darkest

color. The trunks would be painted with a palette.

Solids would develop from the center outward. Avoiding any kind

of line. The body pressed against the trunk until she were

certain of being extinguished by the darkness. One achieves

a concealed drawing. Which is most like night.

from Deepstep Come ShiningFind it in the library

Copyright © 1988 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Clockmaker with Bad Eyes

I close the shop at six. Welcome wind,

weekend with two suns, night with a travel book,

the dog-eared sheets of a bed

I will not see again.

I not of time, lost in time

learned from watches—

a second is a killing thing.

Live your life. Your eyes go. Take your body

out for walks along the waters

of a cold and loco planet.

Love whatever flows. Cooking smoke, woman’s blood,

tears. Do you hear what I’m telling you?

from Steal AwayFind it in the library

Copyright © 2002 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

This Couple

Now is when we love to sit before mirrors

with a dark beer or hand out leaflets

at chain-link gates or come together after work

listening to each other’s hard day. The engine dies,

no one hurried to go in. We might

walk around in the yard not making a plan.

The freeway is heard but there’s no stopping

progress, and the week has barely begun. Then

we are dressed. It rains. Our heads rest

against the elevator wall inhaling a stranger;

we think of cliffs we went off

with our laughing friends. The faces

we put our lips to. Our wonderful sex

under whatever we wear. And of the car

burning on the side of the highway. Jukeboxes

we fed. Quarters circulating with our prints.

Things we sent away for. Long drives. The rain. Cafes

where we ate late and once only. Eyes of an animal

in the headlamps. The guestbooks that verify

our whereabouts. Your apple core in the ashtray.

The pay toilets where we sat without paper. Rain.

Articles left with ex-lovers. The famous

ravine of childhood. Movie lines we’ve stood in

when it really came down. Moments

we have felt forsaken waiting for the others

to step from the wrought-iron compartment,

or passing through some town with the dial

on a Mexican station, wondering for the life of us,

where are we going and when would we meet.

from Steal AwayFind it in the library

Copyright © 2002 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Re Happiness, in pursuit thereof

It is 2005, just before landfall.

Here I am, a labyrinth, and I am a mess.

I am located at the corner of Waterway

and Bluff. I need your help. You will find me

to the left of the graveyard, where the trees

grow especially talkative at night,

where fog and alcohol rub off the edge.

We burn to make one another sing;

to stay the lake that it not boil, earth

not rock. We are running on Aztec time,

fifth and final cycle. Eyes switch on/off .

We would be mercurochrome to one another

bee balm or chamomile. We should be concrete,

glass, and spandex. We should be digital or,

at least, early. Be ivory-billed. Invisible

except to the most prepared observer.

We will be stardust. Ancient tailings

of nothing. Elapsed breath. No,

we must first be ice. Be nails. Be teeth.

Be lightning.

from Rising, Falling, HoveringFind it in the library

Copyright © 2008 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Girl Friend

When I first saw her a few summers ago I felt.

Her photogenic spit.

I was climbing a coruscating staircase.

In my flammable skin. To be so full of.

Everything. At her age. It is very difficult.

A singer manqué. Among a small host of poets.

Noisier

than the men. Quaffing schnapps. No lens

could describe her.

Shoulders. Hands.

Such longings: Errant. Verdant.

To have a good time. And dream. In one’s own

country. The lack. Of. Everything.

The confusion. It is very difficult. One needs.

One’s own set of golden books. What if.

A ladder were. Miraculous. Extended. Across

a nursery for new stars.

And then.

for Nina

from Steal AwayFind it in the library

Copyright © 2002 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

A Series of Actions

Like someone who has given

The gift of blood

The skin of the face is shining

Arms fold around each other

A string leads the way

Cold is the floor that receives

the feet

The movements by which one

accedes to the door

The handle inscribed in the hand

The door opening on the scene

of shoelaces      eyelashes

The left hand keeps it focused

The door opening on the living

almost unbearable

Light inside the space

The door opening as the palm

of an eye

from Steal AwayFind it in the library

Copyright © 2002 C.D. Wright
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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