NOTES FROM THE LAKE #18

Sleep is the real magic,
releasing the wind into a day with no sun.

I look forward to seeing you there,
your body spelled out among the rocks
in the bay with the water green and
hopeful, green.

The real hope,
like a scape risen slender and sure
to promote its single flower to
unchallenged prominence, is to
capture all frames simultaneously
and then reel them out to you
as one glorious image.

And if, in our work, we achieve even a
portion of that hope, then I figure that
together we'll be compensated for our discoveries,

as I've already been,
in my own.


Brandon Shimoda



ALBUM I

The city is shit, shot through with
holes, so much so that the people have
all been strained out to the other side,
bled through the sedge and cement cloth,
into the fissures of the place ahead,
which glows gold like a meal into which
only minor things could still be added.

And yet, here we are, exhausted from the
long path which, or so we were told,
was supposed to have taken us to the place
that made the most sense in our lives. Even the
apple trees seem hopelessly bereft, as if they've
all been grafted away from their community
onto the blank wood of a cowardly and insufficient order.

Amid the trees, with those touches of youth
twisted into something old and unreal: we
wander the selvage with its functions punched out
and delivered to their uses, leaving only the edges
to grow with the colossal sweep of ironweed and
weeds, and the prop of our slender legs in the
grass, more sticks to be pressed and bundled.

Pick me off one of them. Take a bite; is it
good? Can you imagine the two of us passing
forth on this bridge forever? Only if we allowed
that all of this is decoration, and not just an
amateur draft on old stones, indicating where
the next and the next after that should be fit,
in the building, or rebuilding of this place. And

please, not for us  though nothing is  for we'll
soon be gone, no pioneer species we, as there is no
faith at all, and nothing even to attach it to, all of it
either hardened or history, rendering naught of
what was once, at least, more than a handle of
brush on a field gone to seed. Yet, is it good? As if
your answer could change a single thing.


Brandon Shimoda
The Adirondack Review
BRANDON SHIMODA's recent and/or forthcoming appearances can be found in New Orleans Review, Barrow Street, Hayden's Ferry Review, Spinning Jenny, DIAGRAM Anthology, Goodfoot Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. He's previously lived and worked in Oregon, California, Maine, Belgium, Brooklyn, Belize, and Mexico. He currently works for a sustainable farm organization in upstate New York, where he also writes, walks, and runs the arts organization, Works on Bacon.