Thursday, January 2, 2020

Holding Pattern in MacQueen's Quinterly

A very Happy New Year to All!

Thanks to MacQueen's Quinterly for publishing my prose poem Holding Pattern. It's an Ekphrastic poem based on a lovely and mysterious photo of a cow, a sheep and an airplane, called U.S. Air Force / Restricted by B.A. Van Sise. The photo can be seen here:

Here is the poem (a little de-prosified):

Holding Pattern

In the field are the cows, standing as they do, waiting to be milked,
to be taken in for the evening, for grain to be thrown to them,
to be cleaved and eaten.

We don’t see any of this from our airplane.

We fly oblivious, buy things online. If we are coming from abroad,
we can pick our purchases right up in the duty-free shop in the back of the airplane.
What do we know of Guernsey cows, or Jersey cows, or fat Delft cows?
For dinner we have burger; we worry it might be Chinese
like the clothes we are wearing, the new blue jeans and the softer
than any cotton, any cashmere, sweater. An Impossible sweater,
but the burger was brought to us by the cows. And then t
here are sheep, chickens, and, we think, people, there must be people.

We squirm in our too-tight seats in the plane crossing miles
of ocean of prairie of mighty cities that glitter like stardust below.

Beyond our vision now, cows are transformed; become gods,
not to be eaten, milked, or bothered on their ambling way.
If we could see them, we would be blessed.

Meanwhile, we are stuck in the Samsara plane of never getting it right,
caught in an artificial environment, held together by steel
and fat molecules of Fate.

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