A poem for the solstice

greg bem reading at the solstice

Below is the poem I wrote for and read at the View.Point.2 solstice reading yesterday.

greg bem reading at the solstice

Breeze Series at the Bradner

“Though I went random and therefore. Could not ever hope to stop.” – Rosemarie Waldrop, “Possessive Case”


From up above the rusted roots of the plot,

scarred crows ring in the curses and the blessings.

They are brown as mulch and black as the creeping shadows.

We dig in, zoom and stretch, think of coming closer to the tides.

To the brine and the swill and the due and the dutiful,

our courses are imagined like chafing and grinding:

we and they slink alongside bay and breath, glint and clink,

where the docks hide golden teeth between glassy refraction,

and rotted hulls duck and dance with slow and steady tongues.


Illumination is a roll and a lull: the timing is everything.

I’m knee deep in time’s platted breath, and rabbits are hopping in season.

The alacrity of the chromatic soil is to come and go, a coming, and a going.

It has been an issuing, as well, a swell, a gumming, the forlorn of the season.

Rotted teeth made rotten from seething. A stipulated figuring out. Clouds.

A rabbit spotted is a baby rabbit and it is still and looking at us.

Capturing the swell and the sense of the swollen, the musty,

commitments are made in moonlight, pushing to hold and sit, right.

It is ongoing, in this garden, in this, the forever expansions.


Glaze of voices through wind and rustle. We live as quickly,

as an acceleration, knees crooked and bruised and old through trying.

A land of years, of donning, of attempts and a land of many outcomes.

An avenue ripped here and one planted over there, the potholes, yeah,

bursting like my eyes in the evening as I sit, sit, bridges blown open,

sit up with Venezuelan rum and a huge bowl of crispy, neutral things.

Glaze of voices, calling glaze, to be glazing the voices of the unglazed.

Call it a mesh, call it community, call it what you will, it’s woven,

inclusive-ish, kind of noisy and a tad forceful, and it’s here, alive, living.


Roses painted in a spectrum, hypnosis and inductions, and inhalation,

the attractiveness of the city as it opens its mouth and screams.

Busses, bicycles, scooters, and cars. The landscape reaching, reaching forward.

Upward outward inward it grabs, city stalks, it’s dicey,

the plot thickens, urban it’s always so urban,

and flash, the objects, cluster, something covers the sun, blocked,

intercepts, the shadows are showers, they blink faster than eyes,

little pinprick notes, and they beg, the urgency a long, deep, arc of motion.

Thorns. Take through the slip of blood and arch of pain the inhale.

Roses found in the vacuum, with some rage, centrifugal, unannounced.


On the longest day of the year, we scramble and plode.

We are as we were at birth: here, strange creatures of wakefulness.

Awake through the greatest pauses. Alive through the lineage of decay.

Churned and cropped. All ready to rile and roam. Loamy.

For me, I scramble and I explode as birth, breath, blood.

I implode as dance and waddle and thrown fist into horizon.

“Go on, commence, proceed with the breath and with the blood!”

A flood of breeze, so thin and gentle, is a choir of whispers.

There is the urging and then the doubling over, the lunge.

My wings are sharpened, with room for the sky on this green precipice.

My feet are thick with mountains and forests.

My eyes are returned, once stolen, now of alloys and grafts.

Emergence. The recollection. Fool’s space a crooked dance.