March 4, 2014

Russell Bittner

UNBOUNDED

We’d had a yard full of yarrow,
          a house full of hyssop,
and then we had them no more.

We’d lined boxes with comfrey,
          dressed windows with woodruff;
and then we redressed them for war.

Jasmine, we ran to the rooftop,
          while roses restrained us in jail.
Your eyes—I covered with petals.

You’d been sage and bay and catnip, too.
          I, horehound, lovage, feverfew—
till autumn laid waste to our vows.

Then snow had to fall;
          and fall it did;
and break it did
          the spell.

from Rattle #41, Fall 2013
Tribute to Single Parent Poets

[download audio]

__________

Russell Bittner: “I am the non-custodial parent of two munchkins—once toddlers, now young adults. I live and write on a small island off the East Coast. The island is called ‘Long’ and my borough is called ‘Brooklyn.’ Like Hobbes, I believe that ‘life is short, brutish and nasty.’ I also believe, however, that—like this tiny clod of an island—art is long; and, with Donne, that no man is one, entire of itself—either an island or a work of art.”

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