Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Claudia Carlson

Breakfast at Fiction Inn

The Innkeeper is shaking a white plate with a golden rim,
"This is real gold dammit, that's metal you dimwit,
never put metal in the microwave." The help is only a minor character,
I can't see his face, but his scuffing gait sorrows the floorboards
as I wait for eggs and bacon in the first chapter.

The window sets a general view of mountain, green and sky.
I've never been much for description which is why
I write more poetry than novels. I am surrounded by chapter two's chunky
knotted pine and crafted replications of the view. Even before I lift my fork,
it's clear the narrative is going to leave me hungry.

A small brown boy and brown dog barrel down the stairs and stop
to smell my feet…so…nature is embodied in this narrative. "What
is your name?" "My dog is chocolate and so am I," he grins and exits.
Humor? Hook? Why is the story line racing offstage at Fiction Inn?
The door jingles its leitmotif and a bearded man enters

after his Leica. The innkeeper asks, wiping his hands, if he can assist.
"I used to come here as a boy and I have surely missed
your grandmother's flapjacks." His lens sniffs the scene. Sorry—
don't shoot my way. Should I have ordered pancakes instead of scrambled?
If I'm the main character, why can't I get fed? Maybe the story

is off the leash and chasing a goose. Will I be captured
by the photographer as he snaps up time capsule
walls and sweating proprietor? Who cares? I'm the author. My coffee is weak
but the perfect eggs are anointed with paprika when they arrive, still hot.
My host tells me the mist is rising from valley to peak,

and the trails are open. He is clearly the main character, he pours
more coffee, "9-11 is killing my trade, Europeans don't come here anymore;
global warming is dulling the fall leaves with too much rain, I do what I can,
my mother wants me to sell out, sell out, but I'm a stubborn man."
I was wrong, this isn't a novel, it's a country western song.

Warm Blue, Steam Tent, a Thousand Moons


between chalk-dry air

and waterfall


fluted blue lung


from a silver wire,


I surrender—

pain falls

into a drain

the 4th wall

is roaring approval.

A light

rises in the window


through night-dyed plastic—


sequin skin


off bone

cling to tile.

In every drop, a moon,

rinse, breathe, dance—

moons that melt

into a cool black towel.

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