Friday, April 22, 2011

National Poetry Month: Scott Ezell

Scott Ezell

square tongues speak brick words

that couple into nothing
surrounded by hair and flowers.

decay of fruit and love and sex,
all subside
into chemical contemplation,
alcohol and buzzing bees,
sweet sticky scents.

police machines chop the sky
into thistles of noise and fear--

I pick up and carry a river on my back,
a cloak of home
to drape across
the shoulders of the world,
enfloding streams and stones.

glaze of bone
across my eyes.
a hood of silence,

my tongue of salt
dissolving into words
I speak to you.

This poem appears in
Songs from a Yahi Bow: A Series of Poems on Ishi (2011; Pleasure Boat Studios). In 1911, Ishi emerged from an isolated hunting and gathering lifestyle in the foothills of northern California. Called the “last wild American Indian,” he was taken to San Francisco, where he lived until his death in 1916. Songs from a Yahi Bow, the first published book of poems on Ishi, consists of work by three poets, written across four decades, and coincides with the 100th anniversary of Ishi’s emergence from the wilderness. This collection includes an introduction to recent discoveries about Ishi, as well as Thomas Merton’s 1968 essay, “Ishi: A Meditation.”

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