ditch,

the poetry that matters

Drew McDowell

Drew McDowell is a Ph.D. student studying poetry at the University of Calgary. His work has appeared in The Green Muse, The Grist Mill, the anthologies The Open Window, No Love Lost, and Generations (at the University of Windsor). In 2001, he was a finalist for the Ray Burrell Poetry Award. 

 

white

 

slight frost scathes light scintillates crystalline colour scenes sharpening tooths tip of glare veins hardening leaves etched spines serrated print teethes crust weaving the sill icing spread palmed spiced gusted dreams drift sifting still flakes lace cut lattice trims eaves winds blow snuffed seethes whirl and tow unfurls huff and throw and heaves rough and twirls and breathes and swirls slopes scales glistening shards 

 

iris sights lines hair crossed clouded eyes skies hazing horizon dissolves skin pale  milk maid tresses trailing dresses jail pickets thickets of razor erasure  sheets wound round stutters wind sails flap clap palms caresses breeze low flips pages hoary ages crumpling pacts of snow crosses rowed bones stowed gleaming erodes heavens dreaming above loves conditional phases seeming robes awash in glow 

 

heat melts crowns beats down blacks attacks smack labs pounds flat feet round town cracked sneers jeered at dreary queers armour donned in opaque mirrors cruises bruises steering near packs fear with riot gear  blackjacks and mule sacks flak jackets and tennis rackets         

 

lies ghost ahead fly unseen pared truth preened clean glossed tear veneer of fear dead mantles redeemed schemes seams unravelling skeins of dread invisible thread    


 

red

 

hurt thorns rose splitting lips slickened dew drips layers drips layers drips mercurial gasps cinched through steeped in rush and gush crests dips rips the seam fluid streams aimless rails whorling flail leafing sails swelled droplet welled down wending trails drill deep stems spiral prick and blush palm and touch earth gathered folds into the flow slow tongue trowel sweat arches back sluices spine stiffened straight into the narrow crawl slips dreams etches crags cracks seems tautened crux of want and heat and lips drawl dips sprawl over over over mouths and mouths pushed tongue tight trips sodden grooves silver light scintilla taste salt and sweet and skin rinsed thin fuses smooth mouth into mouth sings

 

hurt scored backs bled with light lashes furrow skin fissures scraped veins zag throbs wet wells pulse lacks push pulsing gush floods gash slackened blows box cold cocked blunted nose blood debt blooming cigarette ash ember snubbed sun sets glooming growls drunk flush prowls snuck cheap fucks struck teeth ass slapped cunt lapped dick sucked tip licked nipple flicked ear pinched punched eye slapped blush rose wrist twists back throes poured stilled whore lips mouth more more more reams screams fisted dreams split stitch scratched itch

 

hurt blind rages taunt wage raises hell fires lick razes sky bombs burst blazes burn want brilliant dazes blink crazed so many cages     


 

blue

 

sea churns turns up wrecks and dredges foam flecks and edges bobbing drift washes chuffing breath against shore wind flays chops caps winks roll waves crash silt blows salt spray sole sinks flounders tail wriggles wish shooting glints tiny fish skipped chipped stones tripped dips stutters zips sky smooths horizon wide weeps down frowns gush and lift rifted pocks raises docks slick rocks bluff waters push tides huff relentless flush

 

deep seated mistreated neat rows of seeded field wheat sown love mown down hands toughened rented land washes song long into the night trains creep without a sound seeps beneath the ground stained rains secret love bound above oh careless as fairless as wind whips bare backs in the sun bear strange fruit and zoot suits bloody muddy water darkened sight dark was the flight blind found bone slide cold as the ground where did you sleep last night lonesome as a stone

 

notes stinging bee brass brazen shrill trills see lynched strings pulled sings strummed bass walks piano talks guitar screams deferred dreams tears at seams glass sliding fingers tortured singers gruff growls howls moan groans cowls cinched snares bodies swoon false crooning set oh sway smooth moves crowding grind bunches heat slick brews soothes mind in the pines where the sun don’t ever shine shivering whole nights through


 

green

 

grass running blades sway sprouts skittering jittering palms jade births from earth thin veins curling newt sunning selves delves moist roots worms squirm bloating bites lush wet brush sighs rushes wind dries dew drenched petals staunches loping haunches nuzzles muzzles sniffing puzzles trees breathe and knolls sprawl soaked seeds hills warbling rills drawl song settles pricking nettles spokes poke and choking weed breeds heed ddt pruned stems prim grafted plucked looms poison crafted trim groomed growth fists cysts grim clubs rumours rub bulging tubs tumours gorged blood grub wiggles wriggling luscious mud

 

go lights race waning space pedal thrust to metal chases cars peeling veer lanes oversteer sailing corners skidded arcs flailing wheels spin ink lashes barrels bowl grinds rake brakes belts skating round and round and round sparks flesh rubber smelts welts raised emblazed chrome seethes sheen and want smile and taunt flaunts excess ecstatic churns asthmatic exhaust tossed sputtering guttering vicious need conquers land commands space plots graves gravels streets winding sheets of torque and ice burn and vice slices borders quarters forks greasy pieces gnaws flanks and shanks hocks and lox dons fox and talks bonds stocks two carat rocks

 


 

black

 

night falls stalls shadows leaning cave creeping darkness heaping sallow weeping trees stabbing saw teeth stretches crooked slash dashes wet charred ashes scorning mourning swarms forming blots thought sober  robes folded tucked tight thorned stems rose them them them churns deeper steeps sinking creeps sinking   

eyes steeped in easy sleep

 

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