Poems and Texts

From Be With by Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander & Rosamond S. King
Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 8:00 pm

Carbonized Forest

The eye that was open on Friday.

The portent and the portent’s flensed hide. Ribbons of flesh

swarming downward. Like a school of leeches

deserting some unlit cataclysm.

And a briary phantom there, Stygian, erect.

Saying, here is the untranslation of the world.

Mounted on a spire of form.

The disembarkation of abyss. Fragmentary sputtering.

And what you thought were dark whiptails of illumination

were bristles from a shaved bear

being milked for bile in a rusting cage. Nested

among the mesh of soft translucent sounds

fallen from your lips, the

vestiges of someone’s breathing.

Photo: Ashwini Bhat

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander, a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up in Virginia. Among his most recent books are the novel The Trace, the poems Eiko & Koma, and Alice Iris Red Horse: Selected Poems of Yoshimasu Gozo. Be With, Gander’s first full book of poems since Core Samples from the World, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, is just out from New Directions. Gander lives in Petaluma, California.

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