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Curtis Emery and Laura Wetherington

Curtis Emery and Laura Wetherington are poets from the United States. They met at Sierra Nevada College and set out to collaboratively & creatively engage with reading practices. Call these experimental book reviews; call them intertextual collaborations; call them investigative imitations; call them poems-in-homage. These poems are the result of reading-through Jared Stanley's EARS. You can find more of their work in Conjunctions, Elderly, and Past Simple.


Imagination is a Spiritual Thumb


The absoluteness of granite range

is a religious experience and I am sick with it.

The sun’s tender trails highlight maple and fir

and on coming season. Yes, what I want to consider

is how the first time I heard Capn’ Jazz my head

was ringing with Tim Kinsella and oh how I love you

was also a religious experience. I am sitting appreciating

the family of skunks in my back yard. They are keeping

my grass real trim and babies and mother and

their blanket of white illuminate the far corner by the fence.


Wriggle, wriggle terrestrial dissonance. I have carved out a new place

next to this wilting crab apple. It is so full of thought this crab apple,

imagination spilling out from the indents in its flesh. Illuminating ants.

The cat walks forwards backwards up the driveway

and it too looks into the crab apple’s light and

is overcome by the possibility of thought.

Imagination is a spiritual thumb carefully tracing

the corners of my front stoop and that stoop is crumbling

and I am crumbling and the whole damn block is crumbling

under all of this possibility, but I am too tired and the sun is just

right and the crab apple sits glowing in its own self, untouched.

Decaying under its glowing self.


A January Birding

There is a tree full of birds

somewhere behind my automatic

noise machine—

just behind the edge of it.

I bring them forth and

they are thankful.

They bring me quiet and

I am thankful.

An empty plot in January

is a thankful script.

I noticed the way the birds

avoid my backyard.

There is a new logic

to this selective birding—

there is more to will than

already is—

such unimaginative


Things move—

this is a timely transformation.

When in London

Robert Grenier claims he

just finished putting

the garden to bed in northern Vermont

Where the winters are winter

but not so much outside the window.

What time, what time

what can be done in

January’s shade.

Missing light.

Missing silence.

Missing birdful tree.

On the other hand, there is nothing

That can be done about it.


Emotion is a silver birch


It’s definitely not spring, but today is the

first day I can hear the birds. They

know what’s coming—a super moon.

And spring. The wind last week dislodged a

decades-old satellite from our

chimney. Fragments of brick

still dot the back patio. The

crows were quiet then, but now they’re

unashamed. I want to be with them. I’ve

been listening to “Triumph of a Heart”

on repeat, although I don’t

consider myself much of a

cat person.


The kid next door often is crying

but last night it was the neighborhood cat

that woke me up—one of several

who frequents the fences, the network of alleys, the

flat-roofed bike sheds behind the row houses.

Even midnight knows that change is coming. The cats

sounded mourning though sometimes the sound

is not right for the mood.

Now the silver birch at the curb is glowing pink—

a solar emotion reflected by the birds’ throats

while Björk sings to the inner bark and

the birch boughs sway in rhythm with their feline moves.

By afternoon the sky will gray and birds will temper.

It won’t be long before the song starts over.



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