It is impossible to get my eyes around early Autumn. Try as I may, I can’t sink the beauty of it in me. It remains buoyant and bobbing and gold. Blatant. But the trees are undressing. I am voyeur. October is busy at prayer and wants me to know it. I can’t afford its light. I stand at the window saying someday. I’m all for the black stick sky and the grey. Weeks of whirling clocks and filing papers and dust. Weeks of air. And now for the grave and awkward mask again, the absurd flippers. Our Sudden Museum is out at presses. I’m taking stock of Severance. And I’m only just down the road of Man Carrying a Corpse. Winter and Spring I’m into the currents and will forget if I’m lucky: how to breathe. I will bloom late spring with two new books-to-be. Twice this month I’ll step into poems before an audience. As into an old boat. Into current and throat. To wear the worn song. Day into day now to tighten eyes and tongue. To breathe. To pin myself spread winged to the hours. I’ve been too much in the world and the light and it hurts. Time to hang a sign in my eyes. No visitors. Now to take to the stairs with a lamp. To do what I am here for. As always good night.
Published by Robert Fanning, poet
River Fanning (aka Robert) is the author of six books of poetry, including four full-length collections: Severance (Salmon Press, 2019), Our Sudden Museum (Salmon Press, 2017), American Prophet (Marick Press, 2009), and The Seed Thieves (Marick Press, 2006) as well as two chapbooks: Sheet Music (Three Bee Press, 2015) and Old Bright Wheel (Ledge Press Poetry Award 2003). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Gulf Coast, Waxwing, Thrush, The Atlanta Review, and other journals. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, he is a Professor of Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. View all posts by Robert Fanning, poet