CARTOGRAPHIC FAILURES

by marjorie stein

 

 

 

storm-rinsed light holds slip of shore

curves where a map ends early                   [faking the map inside me]

                                                                           [the origin of “far”]

the angle of land is the problem

                                                                           [earth’s transient mantle]

grey-pleated sea chisels

self-inflicted margins

                                                                          [reckless digression from boundary]

                                                                          [in all its taking]

somewhere a problem of entropy

bearing a small boat

that cannot look back

                                                                         [arms not waving]

what molecule repeats as wave

what stays as anchor

 

sun decays in the west

caught on cloud-tossed sky

                                                                        [everything is held]

                                                                        [in a cracked bowl of sun]

                                                                        [fissured — you can almost]

 

hand upon the compass

triangulates star-scree

as perfect arcs

describing the wrong north

                                                                       [my darkly falling birds]    

Marjorie’s work has appeared in The Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, VOLT, zaum, Phoebe, Poetry Motel, Pavement Saw Press, and other publications. Her first book, “An Atlas of Lost Causes,” was published by Kelsey Street Press.

© 2004-2020 All Rights Reserved. American Poetry Journal