Rhonda C. Poynter


      for River

              "What I love is near at hand,
             Always, in earth and air."
             —Theodore Roethke, The Far Fields

You're a foreign star, or a
Small round stone;
A letter that never made it home:

You're half-hitched bones, pale as
A fragile birch, a soundless bell.

You're a haunted house in a
Summer storm;
Another bankrupt Indiana farm,

And a handful of words,
A secret rhyme.
You're a clock that had no use for time:

Love, you're more than blondness and
Still blue eyes.
Immaculate, you're forever


song for kerouac

      for Jack, 1922-1969

i get it babe
the city lights and the
jazz clubs and the sinful nights
the sex and danger and
put down in words
hot words that ride like
tramps out east and
back again
the blondes the junk
the blonde junked friends
ink stretched like lies
in mexico

i get it babe

i know

what to do with lousy wine and
how it makes for
lovely rhymes and ghosts who
ramble the south side
of any town there is to
those ghosts can hold me
like no man
can do
and tonight in drunken memory

cross a prayer
you cross a mind
Christ!, it's been that long?, the time!
and then you'll be
blessed and some will say

       At last he's resting out his days

but i know you jack
you'd back your words up


don't rest easy babe

just go man


dreaming of roethke

he shows up every night
with his own words and whiskey

i'm certain where i'm going

the rest of it is easy

the sun has dropped down
into nothing when he comes

to stay here with me

some night we'll go
off to the far fields

where we'll dance until we're