Levi Bentley: Bucolic Ecologues - 3 Poems

curdled milk enow

there’s one more early memory here of sewing the red     X

in cloth diapers at                        the mission                  hospital to give new

mothers marking as property our cover while                     starting

a church converts there risk arrest                            i am

five when we return     to the states now my mother is sewing

alterations

into      hand-me-downs reading settler-fiction at bedtime the

button tin and the Singer, our sewing machine comprise

a non-game winding     the bobbins threading all the eyes

setting a tension that hums                           breaks jams and                  snaps

like the room when my fxxxxx enters slack then snapping

i enter the picture        coiled unspooling leaving

snarled

a          rat’s nest of knots         taut beneath the

gears  of this

bid the woods

vasostructure  /           a stretch webbing         /           pinnately

/

compound palm          /           oak falls                       /

damp  /      handed pile

/           raked               /            rip       /           along vein

/

wax taught reed

mounds of wet oak leaves cold reddened raked

and bordered by thick waxy salal hedges with

black berries beside childhood home old

white siding yellow trim in washington

state i learn aloneness with sticks moss

slugs chickens meat rabbits mulched

leaves big wet hands raised against

grey sky green fields steel grey sea

climb a sticky ponderosa pine to be

above roof ridge for hours being

forgotten a home garden a deer

fence in the town name truncated

klallam for “quiet water” sounds

like “skwim” like something you

don’t want to happen temperate

desert surrounded by rainforest

settler history begins there 1850

incorporating into township in

shadow of logging and railroad

boom and bust a log camp then

farmland until the 1950 green

revolution makes small farming

obsolete and california begins

retiring there my grandparents

and others bring chain stores the

year i leave a walmart a median

age of 62

makah whaling rights won in 1999 are exercised

and then voluntarily suspended but in high school

for several years someone brings in ziploc bags

of blubber for show and


Levi Bentley organizes the reading series Housework, edits the journal Boneless Skinless, writes for Artblog, and is a member of the artist collective Vox Populi. "Bucolic Eclogue" was released from Lamehouse Press in July 2016. Chapbooks "Obstacle, Particle, Spectacle", "&parts", and "Stub Wilderness" were released from 89plus/LUMA Foundation, Damask Press, and Well Greased Press, respectively. Vitrine released their tape "Red Green Blue". Poems have appeared through 491, Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Boog City, Elective Affinities, Fact-Simile, Gigantic Sequins, No Infinite, Madhouse, Maestra Vida, Magic Pictures, Painted Bride Quarterly, Small Po[r]tions, Stillwater Review, The Wanderer, Tinge and Truck

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