c o n v e r g e n c e:
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EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Poetry by Crawdad Nelson

Glass Cat by Myles Boisen
Glass Cat by Myles Boisen

Love Sequence

by Crawdad Nelson

Wind is constant at Cape Mendocino:
they can't stand to look up

we're two hours early, in Ferndale,
pretending not to care about the tide

up Wildcat rusted logging tackle
swings in a tree: gusts and sustained winds
down the grade the cows with heads lowered

like rudders. they seem quite still, but move
by the time the road elbows
the bright afternoon sun

coming into Shelter Cove it rained so hard
the cows were sailing north like butterflies
and for some reason I pulled over

Put my tongue on a raw limpet: salt, rubber
a container vessel making good time
somewhere out there the land bends

and there are only simple waves everywhere
referring mainly to the named and paved roads
where people make up their minds and die

we were in a coffee shop reading books
we were on the edge of the west, looking down,
the sea rolling backward into sun

coming into Bear Harbor on foot with a canteen
banging down the trail at night, with a red jug.

Among the Redwoods and the Laurels

by Crawdad Nelson

A sweet word. Enough of things. Two black-tip swans among the somnolent
overhead string of geese, ungloved hands fashioning arches
blue groins of clay where couples sit, concocting libations,
unbuttoning themselves, like the maples in the rocks above the creek:
bare-skinned, scrawl of limb and trunk

I apply the paint, we eat, the sea tides upward seething
having washed all tint from within. The fungus represents eternity
depending from a limb above the creek, bent, armlike
left behind. Finally, inside, seated, I contrive to see forever
our the open door, even distant stars hardly
slow my ascent toward the blue currents
the limpid riffles, the detailed ways of waves,
crossed on the bay, seen from above.

Above it are birds like cyclonic flecks of ash,
a twist. Above the sun as robins break
the land, surveyed and protected, a flicked wing

between hoisted trunks,, soft above, hard below, and planted
where the tender mammal sleeps within the hand
the wind alone is a flame, rain swells the roofboards
like a hand slipped into pants. We came for this,
and having found it, we are prime.

I Get The Impression The World Is Made Of Roses

by Crawdad Nelson

Nothing but petals as deep as you go
nothing but almost immediate decay—
sweet-smelling, soft on the fingers,
climbing the walls and falling
in long extravagant washes of rose-bloom
over fences, envining bare boards and settling,
peaceful, rampant, enlightening, compassionate,
careful, partially restless, more than a handful
over rusted nailheads, onto the locked gate.

Roses! Flowers and thorns! Broken stems!
A bustling rapture of dew-set buds!
Nodding in ecumenical frenzies!
Passions in loose exuberant landscapes!
Free as rain— you can wall them out
but you canít stop a single bloom, canít
even delay them: crushing bouquets,
the multiplication, the reproduction,
the endless repetitive sweep and sway!

Tie them down, they only strain through
the wires and unpin the stakes!
They liberate! They step out of line!
They grow in all directions, to the light,
unexpectedly verdant, unpredictably vain.

Joyous and splendidly narcissistic!
Disestablished, reaching out of the ground
with courage and beauty, seeking the sun,
a racket of color! Flowing, spilling, spreading
over manures and pathways— onto the
benign, hopeless, horizontal mesh of trails—
limp in cool mornings! Deeply circumstantial!
Decidedly loose! Prolific! Profligate! Righteous!
slatternly, sluttish, promiscuous! Living twice:
Once in the garden, once in the collection—
I get the impression the world is constructed
Entirely of roses!

(from the collection Big Drink)

Crawdad Nelson by Lori Blair

Crawdad Nelson, Photo by Lori Blair

Crawdad Nelson arrived in Sacramento on a bicycle in 2003. Since then he has been a student at Sacramento City College, winning journalism and other awards, and a freelance contributor to the Sacramento News & Review, Softball West, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, and online journals. His poetry has appeared in online and print publications and his latest collection of poems, Big Drink (24th Street Irregular Press, 2009) is available from the author.

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