Poetry Suite by Sam Preminger
Editor Carrie Seitzinger, Poetry, February 1st, 2017
"We umber in the half-dream gloom until morning emerges..."
Autopsy for Everyone, Romantic
Whistling down the road while our neighborhood burns, you look beautiful
tonight. And how could we be any happier? With our freckles and thermos of tea,
discussing tragedies of the week, as if we’d studied evil, as a genome,
a phage on the glass in the lab, as if evil could ever sit still.
The holiday blockbuster had been charming. Dinner lost none of its taste.
We admired the sunset, though we couldn’t see the sun set
for the city and trees stabbing into the sky. We told each other
it must have been brilliant, like a sacred book
we were too young to interpret, or the impact of an atomic blast
seen from Safety, that place far away.
+ + +
Loving the Other
Yes, sometimes I imagine awful things
and feel no womanhood at all. I cannot pretend
these dark stars of fantasy don’t constellate.
I remember the black oaken foot of my childhood
bed where dad taught me men are
from Mars. He floats up,
straightening my tie, tightening, mint
in the vacancy of aftershave
reaching from under the folds
of my mind. There are more heavenly bodies
and moons, more objects in space than syllables
spoken aloud – son – there are lightyears
from Venus to the war god’s
mad world. It was simpler then
before I understood our universe
expands, before my mental affairs
explored the apogee, umbra, dark energy:
the identity I would not speak.
In theory, there is prayer. In the theory’s Big Crunch
everything we ever were comes together
again the way it used to be.
And yes, black holes consume us, but then
consume each other, our entropy all necessary
in this primordial cosmic plot: a re-unity
of everything which can’t yet be disproven.
+ + +
Bury your jar full of fireflies. It is time to sleep,
my Wild Radish. Wasps crick back into their holes.
A drunk moon fumbles through a yew,
catching like cotton on branches. What is it
to be soft enough to eat? To be tender? To stop
and light tinder as if you could fight
against the sodden night which drapes
on the forests, which quicksilvers
closer to Earth. We have come here
to cook, to camp atop the braille of roots and rocks
and recall how many centuries our ancestors survived
under these leaves, the rare, bare summer boughs,
our ancestors who were not so unlike ourselves,
no matter what incivility we imagine in the unrefined
old times. They danced, passed family recipes down,
gathering on the clearest nights to praise and feast. We umber
in the half-dream gloom until morning emerges
with its sober sun whose eye none among us will meet.
+ + +
One morning the spare key’s gone missing
off of your nightstand. This is how it begins:
your sister’s voice grown hysterically
shrill on the answering machine,
a black-box narrowing into a sliver,
an absence. Whole city blocks
disappeared that summer. The skyline
depopulated piece by piece. Our infant
– stolen in an eagle’s clutch. Everything
leaving. It seemed the earth was still terribly full. You start
the car. A blueprint of a car. There is no car.
Good god! You had better start searching
+ + +
…….The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute.
…….The good news is, there’s no ground. – Chögyam Trungpa
having set under ocean
like red wine we lie
on our sides
pretending to still
as if no tides
tear at our stomachs
no shifting no matter
the mass of the moon.
No, sleep is not silence
……….in the mind, visions
erratic reel on:
spoonfuls of sun sink
into an unframed abyss,
our blue bodies
wheeze under autumn’s
weighty air. Life
stumbles forward, its atoms
pleating redundant forms:
a tooth, a red drop
of wine in the galaxy.
It’s impossible how tired
+ + +
Header image courtesy of Enrico Nagel. To view his Artist Feature, go here.
Sam Preminger holds an MFA from Pacific University and lives in Portland, OR with his best friend, his dog, and a cat that he’s learning to like. His poems have previously appeared in Split Lip, Event Horizon, and Yes, Poetry, among other publications. For more information, visit his website, here.