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.



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.


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