from A Season

Michael Joseph Walsh

For weeks the same mysterious sadness.      Not every day, but all around.Of being taken to the hospital alive.Of speaking so softly as to rarely be heard.

A leaking voice, an hourAs brutally compelling as                              A house fire or   A tsunami rolling slowly into shore.

That is how the day begins                With an impression as bad as the sea.           And the sounds the walls feel, soundsMore openly yourself than any        

Person scattered                    In sudden bloom.       But then very suddenly you sleep.     You are in a clearing, time    

Comes flush with the dimples you’ve carvedIn your composite path.        And in this richest of soils unwinding suddenly        Back into sleep you dream

A cognitive music      Flares up at intervals,      You dreamThe way teeth dream and stones      

Of the particular forces from which you are made.Then of the people you loveAnd have forgotten but will remember,And then of the floodgates opening

In your mind’s mouth:Of wires in bruised orbit,                   Of rosesAnd a room to receive them, the dream        

Bestowing its powers and shapingLike a snake the swallowed world.

                   *What word is there for that.              What wonder clear as this.To be woundable finally decayed      Into the literature of all soils.

To remember next the rain, the houses          The character of                                                         The morning seeming closerIn a language you don’t know

While the water runs              Red its slow passageIn the bowels of feeling with every burst                  Feeling more and more

Some shadow, semi-snow—And behind me                       What I meant to expressIn the arms of the promised rain,      

That things return, the same, that thatThat we have always remained                                  With eyes, and mouth and hands,Is the thought that thought would believe—

Mouthing no and frightened yet still                         Under shadow,Is the shock of a perfect heartbeat bearing down.

                   *But how did you do it                       At night tied down astonished       And let the surf exhale on your face.A mess of stars a breath of vast rushed love.    

And all your historySlumped weirdly between brain and heart.    February andCowardice the purple watched suspension

Of a sunset that lasts for hours.In mythic distance.    In a mouth of needles.The fruit glowing blue against what

Substance, the correlate of leaves.In the window the electric air     Extracting value from its first pressing.And then I said to myself, I thought

Having touched a great evilHaving passed over a tangle of sweetgrass, I wondered   And ran on having in turn been made happy

Above the action still floating       In cold weird beauty the blue autumn light—

And at what immaculate oddsHaving primed the mind for a world       In process incompletely alive

But also childlike, gentle, sweet         Through the first real stirrings of rain      In sprung life my absence roaring upInto a halo a throat of gauze.

And this to let the walls be walls, at the edges             Wounded slightly made productively sad.And the flowers too, screaming       Into steel-blue gradients

Is a job you have to do,      Its bad implied permissionAt the edge a still creature nesting in empty space—              Feeling wrong, enlivened,

Feeling itself the subject of a wire-    Like surface—A thinged prose,         Its mouth and eyes—And at what immaculate odds.

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Michael Joseph Walsh is a Korean-American poet. He is co-editor for APARTMENT Poetry, and his poems and reviews have appeared in DIAGRAM, Fence, Likestarlings, jubilat, The Volta, and elsewhere.


Issue 14

Editors: Lily Duffy, Rachel Levy

DREGINALD is an online literary magazine seeking to publish excellent writing. DREGINALD is not particular when it comes to form/genre because DREGINALD cares only about excellence. You send your most excellent work and DREGINALD says either “no thanks” or “give me that.” DREGINALD is not scared. Try us. We’re ready. DREGINALD yes! DREGINALD no! DREGINALD yes! yes!

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