SPIDERS ON THE WIND
Each morning we wake up to spiders,
just a few blooming on the walls.
We start to worry when we don’t see any
which sounds like the beginning
of an aphorism or else the last act
in every horror movie. The wind
never relents. It’s responsible
for the garbage in the front yard,
for the knocked down snow shovel but
additionally for the wind chimes
& all of it is music, which I’m surprised
doesn’t get tangled up & lost.
I could sit on my front porch
for one hundred years training myself
to hear the clank of the delicate metal
in exactly the right way if only my inbox
didn’t keep getting fuller. I will never
be the person who woke up next to you
after sleeping in a tent under the stars.
At least not tonight, but the future is
uncertain. So many variables, so much
noise in the chambers of our hearts.
The slim fronds of cilantro get battered.
The church full of people sits stoic
& white like an egg on the horizon
just waiting to crack. When a person
gets separated from their body
we call them a ghost & when a spider
stops visiting we don’t know what to say.
The horror of plants on the front porch
in the morning. The way the tiny pieces
bang together & clatter. Even twisted
& snarled, the racket is beautiful.
I’m becoming more interested in fire
than almost anything else.
Every cloud is a song that doesn’t begin
or end but floats there so real.
I’m more interested in how a poem says what it says
& whether it matters if I even believe it
while all this heavy light just saturates the sky.
My body alternates between aching
& then feeling so bright & unsettled
so full of something besides itself.
This is something real to my feeling about this life
this continuing narrative that is punctuated
by so many disruptions I don’t even remember
the story sometimes. I’m writing this poem
in my kitchen. It’s a real kitchen the place
where I keep my wine my spices
all this heat. It’s so nice
to see the splatter outside the frame.
This is my real life three cups of coffee
before 11:00 am the windows open
to harness the cross breeze. Sometimes
a car crash is the most quiet thing that can happen.
It makes you alive in your life
while it also denies you so much of everything.
The locations the passengers
a whole summer of music all the metal
& everything broken.
ANOTHER NEW WORLD
Some hearts are smarter than others.
I keep mine dumb
maybe a little too open to being awful
maybe too close to the darkness
because I worry that a predictable compass
makes the journey a bore
or else I’m deficient in some other way,
not able to depend on the pleasures
already around me.
I’ve always been convinced
I could touch an angel if I just reached.
I’m exhausted at the prospect of dealing with
my contradictions or apologizing for the difference
between how I act & what I feel when I sit
like a galaxy in frantic balance with itself.
I reject any desire to understand
the bulky machine of responsibility
& consequence lodged in my chest. I reckon
the weight of my soul using flawed methods.
Sometimes I have visions
but if I described them, you’d laugh. No epiphany,
nothing biblical. They’re more opulent, like a hotel
with large bathrooms, mirrors everywhere,
& my own face looking back expectant
like a sweet lost dope. The apparatus inside
is just something I learned from television,
from a few old records,
& is not real spirit, not actual fire, not your breath
in my ear which I can’t stop feeling
even here where everything is still, & so solid.
I don’t often dream but when I do
it’s of a unified scene all the people together.
I can think of three good reasons to proceed
with caution but, the way my mind works,
I can forget those three reasons so easily.
It just takes a little coaxing, a little friction,
my fingers on your spine, a purr against my neck.
What you need most can’t be found
in this regular world. It’s not on your phone
no matter how often you check.
Nate Pritts is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Right Now More Than Ever. He founded H_NGM_N, an online journal & small press, in 2001 & continues as Director & Prime Architect for its various endeavors.