Sunday, February 28, 2016

Instructions for Finding Frosted Glass at the Beach

Instructions for Finding Frosted Glass at the Beach

The glass is commonly found in the middle rocks
at the edge of the high-tide wash
an hour before sunset in fall
when the waves are beginning to churn

Walk easy, look hard, but
not so hard that you can’t hear the ocean

The best are found alone
on plains of wet sand teased by the breakers
Keep your gaze to the sun and
watch for them flashing:
guitar-pick chinks of white, green, brown
the rare and lovely blue
stitching your pockets, scraping as you walk

Take five minutes to watch the sun fall away
this will cost you the green and the brown
which turn in the gloaming to coal-dark lumps
but the clear is still a possibility
even, occasionally, in moonlight
so long as you ignore the
triangular fragments of mussel-shell

Remember that your quarry lies in a middle ground
that these fallen stars come not from
beauty but from someone throwing
litter on a beach

Do not feel the need to restock
this will be done for you

Notes: In writing my novel Frosted Glass, I studied the character's obsession by making regular glass-harvesting trips. This is a distillation of my thesis on seaglass behavior.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Henry Miller's Marshmallow Stick

Henry Miller’s Marshmallow Stick

In the full-moon stir of Big South
bright enough for front-porch kisses
we dip our bread in primordial soup and
chew off the crust, spitting out mountains

The old man’s up there somewhere
screaming out the Ventanas
as Michelangelo beats at his bald-pated hills

The white marble comes back as sea foam
or marshmallows

The guy with the flashlight forehead says
come down, old man
grab a stick, join the spree
burn them a bubbling black if you like

In the morning the old man is back to his mountains
while sun and moon play tennis on the grass-line spread
God love us if we don’t take it home and
play it on our tee-vees
when the pace gets too pacey

Notes: A long-ago camping trip with Larry Coulter, who was rather fond of his new forehead-strap light. First published in the great Eclectic Literary Forum of Tonawanda, New York.

The Popcorn Girl, Podcast 22: Are You In?

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