Robin Morrison is an undergraduate currently living in Iowa City with his wife and two kids. He has had poems published (as Ray Succre) in Aesthetica, Poets and Artists, and Pank, as well as in numerous others across as many countries. His novels are widely available in print and (free of charge) online, as is Other Cruel Things, a collection of poems first published by Differentia Press (2009).
Always These Bellbirds that Seem Stars
Stalling road for salt-stalling reads,
pour it long before feet here;
painted storks, howlers, leaf-nosed bats,
I dislike yet have to know you, clover
ungrown and a little glassy.
The brine is speak, its shrimpish phonics
sewn to a midway page by quake-control,
but from this filter, boiling point,
tapping the fluid from the salt,
pour your invisibilities here,
let me solemnize in the fumes,
and give this medium okra teeth
to speak us our seeds into dust.
Laid flat but not straightly,
my adage of early morning
is no line of refreshment,
for I do not sleep.
Some inquiry in thought
is a blighty wound
to return me my ugly home,
awake from near-dreams
and always befuddled.
I do not sleep.
“Do we go elsewhere?” asks a window.
“No, I simply cannot pass down.”
“Are we wired?” ask the screens.
“No, I lie exhausted.”
The hairs of carpet beneath my ear,
afraid to enter the peninsula,
stay low and hold me still,
speaking from afar some language
Tamed, I drift but do not sleep.
Wildflowering, foam avenues of supple
cops, the loyalty of neighborhoods
exceeding the dubious shocks of the
small group, warmer than a man,
not so rubbery a mob, those who want
exits yet kept certain to remain.
If you nose and snuff through curbside
pick-up, fishing in a can, you bust them
from compartments like wheels
from bubbling mud,
long enough to wildflower, carving
through the foam, clotted down but
Doubt sniffs through their slight remains,
and eliminates the major cities.
Panic roots in their steady mailboxes,
and exterminates the monster.
They have to stay a neighborhood,
balling in the brush, for limping
where any false creature has walked:
To the ends, plus a step.
The summers and winters Ferris wheel still,
and must increase where I progress.
What of my mind has any tall man
the grasp of enough
to know it strong or feeble?
Are there any petals so certain they are there?
The skull-case, opened in yawn or hinge-groan,
limits the leachy bather within it,
but there is humor, this white proscenium,
My attentions potent or rickety
written on rectos—
why should anyone discern it clearly?
The mind is apart.
Its slats are filled with ciphers and gems.
The mode is a dip of the albatross.
What of it?