Learning about Fire

978-1-933896-68-7 Paperback
5.5 x 8.5. 40 pp.
Pub Date: 02/27/2012
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The poems in this collection inhabit an intimate landscape of basement bathrooms and neighborhood pools, places where the familiar becomes strange: a house burns on an empty highway; Jesus has his portrait made by a hobbyist painter in a linoleum-tiled room.  These poems search out the unseen that exists behind the known, not to erase it by naming it, but to grapple with its presence and power, its effect on all that we can know and see.

Learning about Fire

The sky ratcheted whole over us
on the beach, the stars and the black

all one thing, cranked by some
cosmic mechanism.  Someone

threw a book into the fire.
It sat unchanged for awhile,

then its green cover drained and
the pages began to swell, bloom

open, the edges curling back
then fluttering—brittle,

but out of habit holding on
to their old shape, the whole

thing swaying a little,
a boat rocking on the water.  

Just as I began
to think that maybe

it could keep on like this, in-
between, for as long as we could

keep the fire going, someone
lifted a stick to poke it.

The intention was enough—
the whole form

didn’t crumble:
it vanished.

Published by Texas Review Press