Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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The Argument

like an animal in its habitat an idea needs room to move
within its preferred range like the rufous-sided towhee

in its spangled black cape rattling chaparral along the trail
only sometimes on a branch letting itself be seen singing

buzzy tea buzzy tea to think I have to walk around looking


a young copse slanting up to the ridge

sends up a spiral of insects as if around
a centripetal axis the flycatchers swing

out from and return to a kind of beauty
saucer off-kilter wobbling toward stasis

for an hour I watch how it doesn’t stop


all the plump pearly everlasting means wildflower season

isn’t over though it’s late summer already grasses reseeding
fit occasion to say the litany of their names dogtail foxtail

beard barley rye a list of ships on which the season sails home


a tourist pissing off the cliff kind of a relief

to be in a landscape where purity isn’t
possible sacred profane a pain in the ass

mostly the mind wants to be red-tailed
way up there hanging out in the wind

not worrying about the fate of nature
the coyote shits on the road to mark it  

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