Published: June 21, 2010 [49 copies]
[ S O L D O U T ]
Jeff Oaks is the author of two previous chapbooks, The Unknown Country and The Moon of Books. He’s recently published poems in Ploughshares, 5 A.M., and Hanging Loose. A recipient of three fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, he is the managing director of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series at the University of Pittsburgh.
Zero is not dead and when it is blue
will not be what the ocean makes of things
despite you. Can’t put it in a jar assuming
the same light will follow. It might but
without quite those savage exhultations which
lead us to metaphor: your foot turned
kingfisher blue where the ocean surprised it
or the tick of my watch by that pond
like lapis lazuli dashing us both underwater.
The joke’s inexact quaver. A deep
fear of turtles. So deep an azure which
one of us will believe that old half-fallen
birch is the launching point of questions,
the exacting why me’s, those injuries that twitch
among the thistle creaks, the mushroom bulbs.
Another beginning comes. Down eventually floats,
gravity hardly involved, just kicked loose.
Many new opportunities promise quicksilver
results, surprises. The truth? Except you,
each song’s like something in a zoo.
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poems online by Jeff Oaks:
- “Little What” in Bloom
- “The Moon of Books”
- “Strawberries” in the Pittsburgh City Paper
- “The Swan Child” at Gist Street