Arrival at the Complex
Over the rutted high road of this
preserve, wide white
contrails converge, dimensioning
a cloudless vast wash
above snow-battened grass: crisscross stalks,
some pressed, some melt-released, conduct acute
sun-slant down tangent
conduits ¬– pattern
Ojibwe basketwork in a museum by
four roads’ roar,
appearing in satellite photographs, proving here
is a gray rectangle of hectares containing
two kidney-shaped lakes
adjacent the new
tech park, commissioned to manufacture hope
in this corner of the one
state so beleaguered it lost citizens
in the last census. Gone
from the oaks that line the road across the upper prairie
are the thick leaves that hid the monolithic
from sight all fall: here it is, one unbroken shape, ugly as any
surface without complexity
at every level of scale must be to us
whose deepest pathways are in-nested whorls, in-
tessellations of intervolving spirals, branches, nebulae, yet
this complex, I
intricacies obscure to me, that underwrite
the flour of the very
bread in me, the synthetic fiber
of the fleece that holds my heat from
the corrective, shatterproof, and double-
paned glass that moves me through and keeps me
from the world.
Tracing the Grooves
Housebound two days
in storm, going round and round
the cheap used
vinyl of a Bach fugue,
until it turns merely
ecclesiastical, and I no longer feel it
as a lament
for the transitory nature of the worldly.
is flying parallel
the flattened grass
so fast it seems not to fall, seems
a great ragged flag of surrender flying.
Into drifts, under branches piled white,
I walk into a clearing where
and in sunbreak sifts
like that “snow”
onto the slopes of sunken mountains
taller than earth-mountains, which, so long
as sea surrounds them,
will never erode. The worldly is more
multiple than Bach’s unshattered
A ghost-branch of heavy snow
falls from an oak branch.
Years ago a storm-snapped branch fell
and shattered my dear friend’s skull.
These oaks creak
with white weight,
that could blow open any moment
on an otherworld
without because, without
conjunction at all.
My friend is in me
on this mountain too deep
to see again. We had crept to the edge
of a four-thousand foot plummet
in the Cascades.
He is stuck
on that ridge,
a blank lit by abyss.
A branch like a stylus fell
onto that silence whose
now everywhere turn
under no sun, no moon.
Brandon Krieg is the author of Invasives (New Rivers Press) and a chapbook, Source to Mouth (New Michigan Press). He is an associate editor of Poetry Northwest and a founding editor of The Winter Anthology (www.winteranthology.com). A native of Tualatin, OR, he lives in Kalamazoo, MI. His website is here: www.brandonkrieg.com.