Sean Patrick Hill


From where I stand, I could kill the wolves with sleep.

Could pull highway roses to dust and hope that hope abides.

But what.

But water stale as cake in boxes often feeds rootless weeds and I am rootless, too.

But nothing, ghost, nothing.

The bear came, snorted, scared the piss out of me at night while I almost slept.

I drove two days to find her.

I gathered sunflowers from the median and kept them in water.

I'm halfway to Denver by morning.

There's enough of me to light a few twigs, sometime, if necessary.

It's not like the nights are colder than the worst of winter.

But this late in the game your game face is not all that's found wanting.

It's anything you make, anything you say, anything you trouble under the sky.



Three geese cross the tenantless sky.
Their shadow falls across the trash compactor
spilling out its plastic guts.

I watch the chimes waver, peeling a thin streak of paint.

Autumn is a closing of tenets.
We admire a certain fire we wish to encompass.
To contain.

What I contain beyond mere multitudes and eidolons
is a name for waking up, simply.
Is a name for the way I gather trash and whispering.

The long drive home without money so middling.

At first I thought there were no ravens,
but they find everything out.

We soon notice that everything has lived in us all along.
The sky,
which we want to say.

The sky we want to say is a great interior
as of a skull,
the walls of a projection booth, the trafficking thoughts
tied up on the interstate
where an animal is spun out of existence
at the touch of a wheel,
the vague resemblances of shredded rubber tread on the shoulder.

Think of how we might actually call something
into question, as to a red door in evening.

Three geese are crossing from one corner to the other,
The sky will open for anything, without prejudice.

You could almost respect it for that, if it weren't so
foolish in its defenselessness.

And the raven is largest of the songbirds.

In our ignorance we built the raven up toward failure.
We poisoned.

What I mean is, we fashioned a world within a world.

I am terribly interested in the things that hunt between the buildings.
In the things that eat through the night,
as through a discarded body.

The wild that persists between the slabs of coal ash.
The wheeling and the wheeling.

Do you understand?
I mean to suggest we are the homeless of two countries at once.
The map, unclear in its relief.

Let's talk around the conception of borders and the wheeling.
The wheeling warm blooded spun
breathless to the shoulder of the interstate, the stupidity
of unfair advantage.
The sky opens for everything without question.

What is out of the question, exactly?

The morning is on to us.
The morning falls on us and brushes the great interior.
Clouds like a stroke.

I often wondered when I was young
if I was not straddling some border or other or if anything,

The sky will outmode us anytime.
In its acceptance of defeat it is undefeatable.
We couldn't possibly open that wide: we'd turn inside out to accommodate.                            

We'd be the inverse of ourselves,
the empty refrigerator,
the overflowing disposal flattering the trash.

We need imagination
to understand why the champagne flutes in a far corner
of the cupboard are lost,
just as
it takes great effort to see
the raven as a songbird.

The raven as king of the ghosts.

The raven asking—

So that between the window and the casing
where the cloudy webs shrug and the occasional call of passing
geese willow through,
the cold air of autumn might be tasted and understood
as one understands
the puckered glare of the year-old merlot:

a hierarchy of taste,
the tannins of the air that evoke through words some archaic
clothing of the oak

over which the geese pass, dragging their shadows
through the creases of the morning.





Both poems were written simply by getting up early, when I am just coming out of dreams, to try to trigger the kind of freedom of writing akin to Jack Spicer's "dictation." Of the two poems, "Utah" is simply a channeling of experience, a relating of a drive from Oregon to Colorado in which some strangely supernatural things occurred, largely imagistic, at least to me, trying to contain the mood of that summer. "Tannin" is an immediate meditation, what I would consider an almost traditional "poem," at once lyrical and philosophical, just trying to come to grips with aging and what the world means in the loss of imagination—therefore, terribly Romantic, but necessary; I suppose it is a kind of overcoming of bitterness with the imposition of a "necessary fiction."