Watching the Trains
I stand close to the tracks
to see if the beast will somehow
silently consume me in passing
but what really moves is my body
and the sound touches my skin
and we become a portal for
something new to happen.
The Doppler is only an effect.
In the real world the train
burns a time all its own, not only
the sound of something
shifting, wavering, growing
impossibly until it peaks
in the hollow of your naked ear,
but a movement of the earth
where you stand watching,
your self a sudden parallax.
I go up to Darlington to watch
the Stockton trains come by
along the short stretch of rails
mimicking in locomotion
the first train, the first sense
of sound and flesh converging,
and then, like death,
leaving us behind.
The Poet's Hand
is old now. And cramped.
He finds it easier to use his teeth
to hold the pen, his head moves
to make amends. It sways
with the breeze more easily today
than in the past. His strokes seem
to last a bit longer. Like Zen,
the brush or pen does not so much
matter as the mark left by the trail
of its own design, both ignited
and then extinguished by degrees.
He sees the poem better
this close to the page. If his teeth
will last, perhaps heíll be able to kiss,
or even eat, the things he sees.
Thatís always been the point,
the poem a sort of map, his moves
always a preparation for the feast.
was not so kind to you, left on the pier
at the edge of a more complex world
that no one knew the cityís name for. I swam
in from somewhere off shore, perhaps
an island, somewhere out of range of fears
like those youíd fought in Santa Cruz, curled
around the inner part of your mindís old
neighborhood, La Preciosa. You believed enough
to get you incarcerated, and I thought, at first,
the officer had said incinerated. That film
we loved, what was itís name, where
everyone was running out of time? At sea
there are no highways, no drifting streets,
no mothers living within shouting range.
Nothing but this other state, the in-between.
You, on the pier waiting for a wind, a sail, the sea
to calm you down, me at the other extreme,
swimming madly to reach were we begin.
©2009 by George Moore
poetry has recently appeared in journals in France, England, Ireland,
Canada, and in the U.S. in journals such as The Atlantic Monthy,
Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Chelsea, and Orion,
and he is a four-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize. In 2007 he was a finalist
for the Richard Snyder Memorial Prize from Ashland Poetry Press,
and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award,
and The Anhinga Poetry Prize. His most recent poetry collections
are Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), which explores ancient
rituals of love and possession, and All Night Card Game in the Back
Room of Time (poetschapbooks.com, 2008). He teaches at the
University of Colorado, Boulder.