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
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
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
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
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.