1. Clinch Mountain
He always wanted that long drive up Clinch Mountain
stone and time to the wind, with its slow,
of the Norfolk Southern and 58, smaller than dream,
2. Outer Banks
After a night of winter rain, when the morning’s
sky over stiff tangles of jagged shore with only
opened upstairs window, my cup steaming on the table –
3. Yamada Rōshi Says, “Even the sky must be beaten”
A blue without fracture, blue that is lost – like
darkness. Blue in this pen as I write, blue
I tongue them aloud in my truck, driving west –
Category Archives: Sam Rasnake
There are no tapestries here,
We are glass & tubes & gears
as if a single life – forgotten or
– New York, 1913
Ssshhh – Don’t tell anyone. I’m outside the hotel room
One crow walks the roof of a blue Mustang, speaks
– for Edmund Kohler
The dust is everything. All times between
You should see this place. Dark hallways
I’ve mowed the grass again,
making the cardinal’s life
an easier settlement.
Worms groove the ground
in soft silence,
oblivious to the inevitable.
The astilbe readies itself
for a wet night.
Overhead, motors grind
through orange clouds. A rabbit
practices her own
reads the fence line
as prologue to sky.
Crickets deep the bladed green
in a clot of honeysuckle air.
We’re all shadows here.
My love for you is dark.
Strange Fruit by Sam Rasnake
Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
— Billie Holiday
Her voice sounds like
the moon must look
through trees in winter,
and when she sings,
the wind blots over
the burned out nebulae
of her head so no one
can see her fall
until the song is through,
until the song does her in.
She sounds like scars
that bleed over the moon’s face,
leaving their cold reminders
for fanciful pairs of eyes
to pause from love
just long enough to take them in.
– first published in Pudding Magazine
The party was extended. How do you believe? I haven’t a clue. Why are all these voices in my head, and what do they want of me? If we knew that, the price would surely go up. Don’t you agree? And aren’t you clever for saying to yourself that you are stronger than Cheez-Its. How big of you. That, of course, was your first mistake. Not believing that you, the great hero of Scotland, with a weakness for the black arts, would, in fact, forgo sleep for just the thought of greatness – how it feels in your blood, how it gives you a rush, bringing all your fluids to boil. How’s that for theme? You’re confused? So be it. What you do is the future, and there’s no turning back now, regardless of who comes for you. Why – you wouldn’t even hurt a fly – now would you. No, of course not. And that’s their first mistake. You are the conqueror worm, and will outlast us all. You’re beautiful. Magnificent. Your eyes are gold. And did I say genius? Well let me say it then. Gold, yes. Now open your lips. How we move from here to there – in silence – until the moment shows itself, and the next thing you know, you say what we say, do what we do – one thought, one hand on the latch, then click, you’re inside. Or is it we? Who can say.