Nate Pritts: In Singing Pieces

Nate Pritts is the founder and editor ofH_NGM_N literary journal and H_NGM_N BKS. His full-length collections of poetry include Sensational Spectacular (2007), Honorary Astronaut (2008), and The Wonderfull Yeare: a shepherd’s calendar (2010), Big Bright Sun (2010), and Sweet Nothing (2011).
Winter here is a season of silence
and safety,
wrote Shelley.
You read in the evening
because you need to stay calm
& only sentences soothe the broken pieces
of your intellect of your mind
that holds so clearly the different lives
you’ve led up to this point
that have no connection.
Somewhere in the house
you hear music       a piano playing
but this is not a real message.
This is compressed data.
The everlasting universe of things
Flows       through the mind,

wrote Shelley. Words suture the life
of this moment to the continuing one
in your head.       The one
that you left & carry within you.
It’s too late in the season for snow
but it happens anyway       wet flakes
ridiculous & clumsy on the new green.
No one can see this kind of sadness
the way you’ve changed yourself
that you can no longer connect.
But the flame it generates is immense
more terrible       than the whole empty sky.
In the evening            you read
something you don’t want to end.
The Difficult Fruit
I don’t want to spend fifteen minutes wondering
about what to make for dinner
or about time       when to start preparing
& how to balance all of the things I may try to do
which gets immediately limited by all the things
I am actually doing. I don’t want to worry about
what’s happening in this photo on the wall.
In fact, I want to remove this photo from the wall
so that it can stop being not a mirror       or I can turn
its dull face to the wall. I will slow down
& drink fresh coffee at any hour of the day & not worry
about how it will keep me up all night.
I will slow down & stop using ampersands
to extend my sentences in an artificial way
that any reader can see through. The substance
grows thin but the fingers keep talking
through huge drifts of snow
which border the driveway. I will spend all afternoon
acting like a lunatic on patrol       walking the neighborhood
so I can imagine what is happening       or else
what has happened but I will never worry
about what will never happen. At home
quiet on the kitchen table
is my new painting            The Difficult Fruit.
It contains a whole box of memories
it contains my voice singing
it contains             so many images that are dead
& are in no way the real thing
they hoped to be.             See them shimmering.
Cultural Weekly is proud to premiere these poems.

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