Alumna Rebecca Foust’s (poetry, ’10) poems, “Click,” “Dark Ecology,” “spec house foundation cut into hillside,” “Rebuke,” and “To N., Serving Curried Rice for Food-Not-Bombs,” appear online in Mudlark Flash:
Your cat curled at the door, tongue like a dark liver thrust through her teeth, poisoned by eating a mouse that had eaten d-CON, click—your son’s testicular lump overnight has tripled-in-size—whirr-click. The kid who tossed your morning paper? Blown up, his third tour in Iraq, and what is that click- whirr-click, like-a-dry-insect sound? Where the world was intact now grins a wound, there’s a hole in the hull and you list. Click-whir-click—below your feet, fracked bedrock shifts. Click—the pixels pull in—whirr-click. Now you can see them resolve, the pixeled years, inside the framed sum of your fears. He’s come. There’s a boy in the hall with a Glock and crossed bandoliers.
On Paul Kingsnorth’ s article in Orion, Jan/Feb 201 I’ve been with you on “Progress Trap,” ever since I understood washing machines meant we could change sheets every week instead of month. And that Hoovers allow no more excuses for dirt anywhere. I give you TV is evil, and Facebook a leech gorged on the silver ichor of time. And I guess one can read Kaczynski for his ideas on progress, leaving out the bits where he blew to bits the fingers of postal workers and teachers. But I won’t give you that that green line glowing the edge of the bare hedgerow, or the bloom, sudden, single, and lush on the magnolia. Nor the twenty-three bones in each human hand, its own wondrous machine. Nor your weird, inward-turned schadenfreude so close to gloating, going on and on about The Harvest. Coming. And your singing scythe.
often in the dawn or dusk and one night by moonlight I saw them picking a delicate way down a bending path no one else could see ripple of silver leaves and out stepped a fawn shy as my fey boy all long limbs dark eyes and twitch of one ear in the still canyon air they lived there once a family of mule deer they lived there
What does the loon cry out to the lake and the lake repeat to the rain? The birds sing high in the old pine, but this cabin’s wide floorboards are like a betrayal: raw, white as bone, still sticky with sap. We compost, we sort trash disappeared by SUV transport to a plant where nothing alive is sown or grows. Except for the black dotted line of crows, pecking at human alluvium, paper and plastic massing a mountain we finally cannot not see. What does the loon cry out to the lake, the lake repeat to the rain? What is the meaning of any refrain?
Child, your taper is so slender and burns so hot in this wind like a wall of asphalt. Your hands cup the paper plate into a skiff to float you away from the continent of one man’s hunger. Your eyes are flame, so full of his pain, I cannot bear to look in. Because of you I must look in. His eyes are blue, too. He tells his name—Tampa—and each call he heard at dawn in the brush: Mockingbird. Robin. Chickadee. Thrush.