REVIEW AMERICANA

 

Spring 2006

Volume 1, Issue 1

http://www.americanpopularculture.com/review_americana/spring_2006/kelen.htm




CHRISTOPHER KELEN

 

Lake Marie, Medicine Bow National Park


I saw a bear belonging to the distance,
my breathing short at such a height.

(dogs take to the snow that their masters may watch)

assailed by insects I was
with dusk still plentiful,
night unbegun

I don’t think there’s a map of what I’m in
at least I wouldn’t accept it

this mountain I would say has fallen many times
and many times scrambled up again

they go with the daylight
then you can hear yourself
and fidgeting nature

is there even a moment which tells you when you’re alone?
says then the stillness is yours?

 


at Inspiration Point,


over Jenny Lake,
Grand Tetons National Park

I have seen the chipmunks
greedy for personification
and climbing me to make a molehill

furtive and nose and twitch as I would
in characteristic pitch apace

under their tiny patch of fur
these engines
jealous of what’s theirs,
what’s not

 


guitar in the Bighorn mountains


after my music the sky starts up
no one knows what kind of distance it keeps

there is a slow gnawing above me
like a possum getting bigger with the night
but there are no possums here
stars are strange

when the Crow came
the wheel was already there
nothing is known of its origins

the devil’s tower is approached from above

or by an inverted view

 


midsummer in Laramie, George Washington Park


people do throw
horseshoes in the park
they grill
and the seagulls are here
to remind us that
faith is otherworldly,
invested in great distances

neither is dusk to be resisted

in the dogwalking town
precious as summer grass
I choose the paint peeling bench
for the season of last light
it goes on till everything is cooked
and down

the park is all shouts
green though
white in the branches
which hold up the night

squirrels climb darkening into the limbs
and the squirrels’ tale is priceless here
– a dance itself

a girl bounces her own ball all the way home

summer means for these here ice dwellers
as it can never mean for me

 

 


 

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