May 16, 2011

Nina Corwin

UP SHIT’S CREEK WITH NO SENSE OF SMELL

Continue to contaminate your bed, and you
will one day suffocate in your own waste
—Chief Seattle to President Franklin Pierce, 1854

There’s another Ozone Alert in this kiln
of a city. Empty pockets roast
in tenement ovens while ties and twin sets
shiver in unceasing steams of central air.
Forests are dying of thirst. Kindling
for the next six alarm fire. We’re out on a limb,
as always, thinking we’ve got the answer—
cut down the tree by sawing off the branch

we’ve settled on. Wile E. Coyote’s burning
fuel like tomorrow is wearing
a parachute. Chases Roadrunner right
off a cliff. Doesn’t plummet till he looks
down to see the wide nothing below.

We’ll be OK. We won’t look.

from Rattle #26, Winter 2006

__________

Nina Corwin: “Having played jazz guitar for many years, I found my way back to poetry by way of the music and dynamism of the performance poetry scene. A few years later, I moved across the street from the main branch of the Chicago library. Racks and racks of poetry waiting for my eyes and tongue to discover and devour them, a veritable feast! And so I proceed: to eat and to cook, to cook and to eat.”