Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected two poems by Christopher Bolin for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.
* * *
The sea-floor volcanoes fusing trash
as it passes
where the birds adapt—
to isolated patterns of themselves or oscillated patterns
of the windblown trash—and to the sealed bottles
distilling water from themselves—and to
of Easter grass;
traps of lost fishermen
made of ballast stones
in the weeks before a bird appears
when they traced the stones
with light from signal mirrors
and pictured birds’ bones
in the fossil seams.
A train traveling West
has flies against its Eastern walls
and you will feel them when you go to pray; or
you will stand here, as it passes: where the open doors
of the empty cars
are frames in a film about hunger; and the oil-
will salvage what they can
and test the water by bleeding reeds
in widening arcs
until they reach you and you
ask them about the oil-fields and they do not respond
when you tell them the story
they think is about your mother
weaving cardinals into cloth
whenever wool is stained by blood.
* * *
Christopher Bolin teaches at the College of St. Benedict / St. John’s University (MN) and the low-residency program at the Center for Narrative Practice (MA). His collection of poems, Ascension Theory, was published by the University of Iowa Press and named a finalist for the Foreword Reviews “Book of the Year Award.” Christopher is the founder of the literary and arts magazine, Resistance Journal.