You must descend the sugary depths of a ripe pear to find your full measure of the very pith that makes the galaxy speak simply of what lasts, what leaves behind small trails on a string of sound that fills the ear with nothing, then everything.
Your canoe cleaves the morning. This is good. There is a sound you can taste, and better than spring water, colder than knowing a heart clarified by snow. Also good is the warmth of a Summer river, flowing like silk over boulders into a swirling that sings: follow me, go your own way, be the leaf that floats the current, eddies round a map and into the blue.
Spearpoint through rock: just another way of reaching, of saying hello to myth. Dazzle breath. Flexing of the longest muscles, nostrils, and blinking of the eyes, twitch of brow: reflex action rising now like a disturbed hermit deep in the throat.
James Bertolino’s poetry has been published internationally, and collected in ten volumes from such publishers as Copper Canyon Press, New Rivers Press, Carnegie Mellon University Press and the Quarterly Review of Literature Award Series. His most recent volume, Finding Water, Holding Stone, was published in 2009 by Cherry Grove Collections. His fellowship awards and residencies have come from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Djerassi Foundation and the Espy Foundation. He received his MFA at Cornell University, and has taught creative writing at Cornell, University of Cincinnati, Western Washington University and, for 2005-06, was Writer-in-Residence and Hallie Ford Chair of Creative Writing at Willamette University in Oregon. In 2007 he received the Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Prize for Washington State poets. He lives outside Bellingham, Washington in the shadow of Mt. Baker, where he has retired to full-time writing.
Anita K. Boyle’s poems have appeared in Indiana Review, StringTown, The Raven Chronicles, Spoon River Poetry Review, Crab Creek Review, Stories With Grace, Margin, and in the anthologies Red Sky Morning and Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Poetry Collaboration in America. She was a winner of Seattle’s 2004 Red Sky Poetry Theatre competition and, for the month of October, 2003, had an Espy Foundation writer’s residency near the Pacific Ocean in Oysterville, Washington. Her books include Bamboo Equals Loon and, in collaboration with James Bertolino, Bar Exams and Pub Proceedings from Egress Studio Press.