Holiday 2014 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems

   John Kryder

Trampoline Ice

"You can write a poem about it,"
my seven year old daughter said to me,

as if with clairvoyant sense
she knew what (in the icicled afternoon)
I could not know, that a poem

would come not as a drip from one of the heavy
stalactites in twenty degree January

but unexpectedly, as the sight
of the ice–tree growing from my garage roof
ten feet up to the gutter's closed end,

a stalagmite become column one round foot thick,
a frozen geyser of waterfall:

poems do
write themselves,
are given

in the upside
down of things

as much as (or more than) willed in craft,
like we will the heavy snow over the edge
of the trampoline's frame, its springs frozen

as though a bouncer in the depth
of his bounce were frozen too,

held by his anticipation in the greater delight
his catapulting return to only air
will bring, joyous as our joy

in seeing springs appear, connected to the black mat
my sledgehammer/axe must avoid

when I hit the tundra, cracking it
into large cakes with clear white oreo
cookie crusts, blocks she dances on

and falls off, sliding then on the mat
slick with crystalled cold ore

as if we're in a salt mine, ore she shovels
over the edges with her hands as she slips
again, wary of the comfortable danger

of the sledge wedging the next block
out, out, as I fancy myself in a quarry

busting granite slabs with Beowulf's
strength and hurling them through air
to land in piles that by and by reach

three feet high, little icebergs
on a sea of snow surrounding,

like this our inverted iceberg, the trampoline,
pressing towards a sky of dirt and grass
as we underneath in the sea of air

break the berg of ice from below,
divers in such liquid slower motion working hard

as we also prove a Sisyphusian truth
with a kind and radical twist:
although the blocks slide back upon us,

we push again with legs and arms and win,
heaving heavy fragments of ourselves

beyond the top of the hill,
ice like a stone that never will return and break us
as we have broken it from the weight of weight

like the burden in the heart forgiveness breaks
out of the weight of time; O how I wish these blocks of ice

could in their breaking be
shards of hearts hard with cynic cold, brok–
en from underneath the sea of icy hate within

to begin to melt,
to float so as Kyra floats

as she bounces
down and up, up
and down, and up

light as falling

snow on a mat
flat and full

like the skin of a drum
in this winter's
now wet and summer cold

free and light again


At Stella's

in Ithaca, N.Y.

I could hang here
as if the radio Stanley
threw out the window
stopped in mid air
and stopped played
what Stanley did not
feel, for all his
feeling strong and hard:

elixir of song
in the drift of a tune
poured as scotch
soft in its falling
like Taughannock upon
rocks made smooth
as espresso in its beany
smoothness pours itself
down the throat
thirsting for the trumpet's
ache, the martini's
saxophone urge in ice.

Stack five martini glasses
and let them sit and melt
and let their coldness
bring the heat in this room

down to where
I sip
a dream

of lemons on a white plate
one on top of three
next to the local reds
stacked under wild turkeys —

if you light a match
that burns for sight,
and kindles only air,
look at the lemons on a white plate

and see what only air
can feel, orange
fires of eyes and flaming
hearts of ice.

I stay with Tequila
at the bar aired
with bubbles of glass
in Mandy Wojick's
resined curving
space, palate–shaped
as galaxy–minds
and stolid like marble
solid feels and looks
whose orbit of sight
makes me wonder
if the blue light
above each martini
glass chilling
can free us
as fire Prometheus
before his binding
or Adam in his
sin singing
his freedom to come.

Top | Home / Mailing List / Contact
All materials, text, images 2006 - 2012 The Potomac. All rights reserved.