Rhymes with Adirondack

I teach morning until topic
student student student
my knees go arthroscopic


form follows function
    the body that sits in
        the chair is the form

form follows function
    functions for
        same as the floor


paper lantern wasps
    trigger gray
       backtrack bushwhack

mollify the family
       clanked plank of tamarack


Schroedinger           Heisenberg
co-singer                 cat's the word

Immanual                Kant
See manual              want

​Dedekind                Cut
ill-defined               rut

Theodore                Adorno
stevedore                porno


Suffering is the object of
   subjectivity—price of Christ—
that's why the Buddha sits so still
   why the mind is a knot pulled tight.

The coffer of commodity
   feeds funding and body counts.
We invest in burial—
   hedge in baptismal fonts.

Suffering comes like a concept
   joined to joists with the urge to live—
that's why gravity grows in age
   why dialectic is negative.


beaver pond climb glacial defined
Ike bites the back of a porcupine

my son leads on boyhood power
stops before the top of the fire tower

lineaged before that steep is spent
I shed years like steps on the descent


          Dark Matter

There is a place
opposite of Time

antigreets the past
virtually now

sum of all that
could but isn't.

Cone of sun
shine not the ear

we're in but the bell
we're on. Chime.


attention                    intention
revision                     incision


         Bear Mountain

fern spore                pine-needled nest
giardia                     sense of a dog

sumac                      maple ash leaf
gully                        a wooded bog

game trail                frame of the lake
granite                     here in the fog


autumn walk
chiromantic leaves
chiral asymmetry

quantum talk
ginseng tea
departure pageantry

the eternal return winds down
this internal bird has flown


On Upper and Lower Lakes trail,
Jay Worth sets his foot onto a
singularity, family origin of rays
extending downward through
the bonehouse, earthworm's home, theater
of past, his mother's hand in his
hand raising his son while he sinks.
Future rays uptwist waving
in the oxygen-rich autumnal
air—leaves red and yellow from
summer's green—his breath suspended
there like consequence. He is sheathed by
been and going, gone and knowing,
bent by the weighty sun that lights
his eyes from ground to sky. He is
local and atemporal, soulless
and moral as he lifts his foot to move
through the singular loop around
Upper and Lower Lakes.


I climb to gain what I lack—
   On Ampersand Mountain eating trees
        Adirondack Adirondack Adirondack​

MIKE BARRETT was born and raised in Chicago where he helped establish the poetry slam. He lives and teaches in Missouri and is creative director of Anvil/lyre Studio which produces homegrown avant-garde.
The Adirondack Review