Academic journal article Chicago Review


Academic journal article Chicago Review


Article excerpt

I ask no flower / I ask no star...

-Wilhelm Müller

77 Poems from the Posthumous Papers of a Traveling Hornplayer

Nibelunglings. Linzertorte.

The Prater. Wien. Matrei.

I, however, am in Nevada City

or rather above it

at thirty-five hundred feet.

Three weeks is long alone on a mountain

with no tv, internet, no human or town

and no way to get down, one's body having declined.

The sun gone down behind the ridge and dust

with pink and blue ribs incandesced

above the pointy firs and pines is what.

Country of the Pointed Firs and all:

Maine was nice and so was Vermont.

I miss California when I am not in it

and when I am in it I think of houses

I could maybe afford to buy, elsewhere

where are the trees of my youth.

At James Whitcomb Riley Elementary

no one ever read to us his poems or any poems

but language came to me anyway

in the form of-my third grade teacher

said it so-ellum trees. Kind Mrs._

whose fat hid me from shame (I furthered

my practiced erasure between blackboard and her

hips) when I'd missed rehearsal

and didn't know not to sing the second verse

of "O Come All Ye Faithful."

Iron (my mother), said I-urn. …

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