MYTH LEFT IN MEMORY
For Mathias Svalina Five thousand dreams of a city. An oar pointed parallel to the sky. An oar in a dream urges sleep forward. Always fleeing something, I am always a part of the night, a part of a conversation that gazes a bit to the left. What the stars say. Always fleeing something. The stars lift nothing nearer to them as if animation is a gift they can offer. As if a gift they can offer would even be a gift. A sight-less god suspended in a cage looks to water for his reflection. An oar disrupts the water, turns this creation myth on its head, pushes the blank-faced narrative towards the river, turns it over, sends it back out again. What is worthwhile? A narrative such as this tied into something greater? A narrative such as this tied into itself might bring the head of salvation on a silver platter. There is a briny taste in my mouth. There is ten-thousand years of salt in the air around me. Around me, there is enough light to see my hands at work and to see the tiny waves born from silence facing in the direction someone once dreamt up. What I once thought I knew has turned to noise and light.
MAYBE MOTION WILL SAVE US ALL
What matters is gravity. With a grain of salt the newspaper lands on the front step, the words rushing together and then apart again. Wishing for tomorrow’s news today, I check the pages to see what makes sense, to see how the symbols add up and where they lead. I find nothing. I wait for the mail and watch for an allegorical sky, the rain sweeping overhead, a lake blocking out the sun, and think of the ark crashing against the waves, the ark on dry land at last, and I think of Noah and how his face must have turned from clouds from that point on. I turn my head, close my eyes, and see years of smudged news in my mind the way an old film might turn and turn until all that’s left on the screen is a dull yellow light. The humming-bird projector. The children next door moving backwards, back inside to huddle around a TV that was broken, but now it is not. As they see it, the sun is a bruise upon the sky. A piece of rope around a tree seems like the only way out, but if they just keep going backwards, their hunger will fold in on itself and all they will see is that first moment of light and a brick tossed over a bridge, into a river, the splash unseen but echoing and heard.
Adam Clay is the author of The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006) and A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions, forthcoming). A new chapbook, In a World of Ideas, I Feel No Particular Loyalty, is now available from Cinematheque Press. He co-edits Typo Magazine and lives in Michigan. Recent poems appear in Ploughshares, The Laurel Review, The Tusculum Review, and elsewhere.