Jason Harris | Poetry

anechoic in gravity’s silk: a cento

& god i, with no premeditation, lit on fire my shirt & shot myself.
was not afraid. hated no one. was most myself that obscure hour.
heard neither the howling of my mother nor her footsteps coming.

three years ago nine black disciples were slain in bible song &
since, no signs of goodness have breached the headlines &
beggars still beg from cafe to courthouse & god please stop

the man behind rusted bars from yelling leave room, sir! leave
room! & god i — not yet in love nor belonging to anyone, free
— without premeditation lit on fire my shirt & shot myself.

made room where no room existed. behind the stained glass door
of my death in a teal kaftan, a girl with a large afro prayed in the quiet
of gravity’s silk as my body went thud, went as low as it could go.

she hovered above me. took everything she thought should be taken
from my lifeless body as if trying to save my life. she cried not once.
…….& god, said nothing.

.

.

field son survives the wilderness in eight parts: an ekphrasis

after Frida Kahlo’s painting: “What the Water Gave Me”

1.

submerged in a rusted clawfoot tub
filled with groundwater field son lays
his head on the missing breast
of a naked man.

the naked man
is bleeding
…………..but alive / reminds field son
…….…….…….…….…….…….of his mother.

where the scar meets the tissue
field son exists.

he undoes……. / on the sofa
…….…….…….…….…….next to the bleeding man  /
himself.

cushion by cushion /
…….…….…….…….…….skin by skin.

this naked man is named brenda
& is the last man alive
& is loved.

2.

a sailboat carrying an anchor, a raft, &
the american flag sails toward
…………..freedom’s dark drain.

they
brenda points / gurgling
threw me over.  

3.

into the mast
red faced & yellow beaked……. a noisy bird
…….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….…….crashes.

4.

only metal through the heart brings change.

5.

a volcano spews ash &
smoke onto a colony
of errant mice /……. scrambling
through groundwater
toward life’s metallic scent.

6.

brenda asks / gasping: what is
…….…….…….…….…….…….…….god
…….…….…….…….…….…….…….skin ripped open?

7.

blood in the water is renewal &
survival for some.

8.

a yellow dress
by field son’s feet / floats
lifeless next to a lavender
…….…….…….…….…….bouquet.

it brushes his ankle &
brenda gasps / dies &
field son screams
to the surface / toward light:
what good, god, are flowers wet?

9.

in groundwater
midges chase a small school
of fish across brenda’s
casket.

8.

on his way up
for air / field son passes
a child with its thin tongue out
chasing a woman as the woman
chases god & field son asks himself:
…….…….god, which party is the hunted?
…….…….which party the hunter? & who /
…….…….god / who, alone, survives
…….………………………………………………..wilderness?

Jason Harris is an educator, poet, and a NEOMFA candidate. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, TRACK//FOUR, OCCULUM, Longleaf Review, Wildness Journal, and others. He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of BARNHOUSE Journal and lives in Cleveland, OH.

2018-12-30T11:57:20-04:00