Sunday, August 8, 2010

Below the Skin by Alan Britt


Humans struggle
with stars,
always have.

Crickets
are stars.

But the wiry smoke
of intellect,
devastating
ritual,
scars
the brain.

Stars don’t
pay much
attention
to all this;
they
revolve
like deadly
symphonies,
or lovers
with amnesia.

Meanwhile, humans
struggle
with hair products,
pesticides,
tolerance.

Sure, crickets
are self-absorbed;
that’s why
they burn
magnesium
between their black hips
all night.

Keats
says love
drives
us below
the skin.

Rumi
says we’re
already
below
the skin.

I savor
the nutrients
of their words
with a lusty
red wine.


Author bio:

Alan Britt’s recent books are Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). The Poetry Library (www.poetrymagazines.org.uk) providing a free access digital library of 20th & 21st century English poetry magazines with the aim of preserving them for the future has included Britt’s work published in Fire (UK) in their project. Britt’s work also appears in the new anthologies, American Poets Against the War, Metropolitan Arts Press, 2009 and Vapor transatl├íntico (Transatlantic Steamer), a bi-lingual anthology of Latin American and North American poets, Hofstra University Press/Fondo de Cultura Econ├│mica de Mexico/Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos de Peru, 2008. Britt recently served as Panel Chair for Poetry Studies & Creative Poetry for the PCA/ACA Conference 2007 in Boston and read poetry at Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ (2009) and the WPA Gallery/Ward-Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY (2008). Alan currently teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University and lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Frise and two formerly feral cats.

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