Dodgeball

In my head I move faster than my body.

When they loose
their red rubber volley,
I transform:

I prance like stag,
I pirouette like prima donna,
I whirl like wind through wild air —
upon the court, I become
a gymnasium trickster god,
laughing and spritely,
more quick and fae
than this big bellied body
has ever known how to be,
I evade every red comet star,

until empty handed and flustered,
a dozen sweating boys
in white sneakers squeak
bewildered at untouchable me

but I was never untouchable,
never stag nor prima donna,
never wild like whirling air,
never tricksy and divine,

I have always been a barnside,
large and marked out bright,
slapped red on my belly
from every missile lobbed.

— Adam Kamerer


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-- Adam Kamerer

Feraling

I am calling you into my temple,
to the deep green forest,
where scattered light
gives way to shadow and moss.

Leave the asphalt and glass behind.
Leave the streetlights and sirens,
the busy bodies yelping
in the artificial light,
leave behind the hustling life,
the gristmill of the civilization grind.

Pad quiet between the trunks,
shrink beneath the ancient trees,
lope into the gloaming dark,
unhuman yourself with me,

let me teach you the religion
my body taught itself:

I am not a creature of reason.
I am not comfortable in my skin.

I am nature dreaming of itself,
an animal prayer, a hungry spirit:
I am a mouthful of howling,
I am teeth and I am blood,
I eat the earth until the earth eats me,

I know this is a ragged ritual,
this prayer to animaling,

this is not the first time
I have tried to explain
this shaggy holiness.

Go back if you want
but leave my wolf body
here on the dirt,

ring me with wildflowers
and river pebbles,
let the ants have me,

until my pelt is eaten up
and my bones bleach white in the air.

Enshrine me to my wild worship.

— Adam Kamerer


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-- Adam Kamerer

Galaxy

You order fancy sprinkles
off the Internet. Twenty bucks
for a small jar of bright glitter

and when they come in,
you sail away into the kitchen,
gathering cosmic dusts:

sifted flour, cocoa solids,
granulated sugar, a scatter of salt,
and other celestial bodies:

yellow yolks like suns,
a milky way of cream and vanilla,
soft butter, drops of color.

You poured this batter of starstuff
into a pan black as space
then the long heat, the longer cooling,

until you finished with
a glossy blue-black glaze
and your jar of sprinkles

and finally, you cut a wedge
to reveal brilliant colors:
the swirling nebula within,

handed me a fork
and asked me what I thought:
this cake is so much like you,

until the first sweet bite,
I never knew I could taste stars.

— Adam Kamerer


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-- Adam Kamerer

Downpour

You are downpour,
a shock cold to bone
and breathlessness,
a wet kind of lightning.

In you, I shiver off
the muck of years.
You wash me out
from soul to skin.

One request:
Crack the sky forever
and never stop
your pour down on me.

— Adam Kamerer


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Peaches and Blood

For breakfast, while you slept,
I ate peaches with my fingers,
perched in my underwear
in the rocking chair on the porch.

I fished the syrupy slippery wedges
one by one straight out
from the can with my fingers,

popped them into my mouth
to dribble wet down my face,
until the inevitable moment
I sliced myself on the edge,

wet fingerprint split open
welling bright and red.
What would you say

if you stirred and saw me like this:
sticky-chinned gargoyle,
stony in the sunlight,
dripping blood into the juice,

even wounded still reaching
for another sweet fruit.

— Adam Kamerer


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Creek

You wade barefoot into the creek,
your dress damp to your knees
and you turn back to see
if I would follow you.

How do I tell you
about the ghosts I see
nipping at your toes,
minnows in the water,

about the little mouths of shadows
that sail lazy among the leaves
on the surface of the stream?

The sunlight filters down
to glisten on the eddies and on you
and you splash laughter dancing,

but how do I tell you
as sweet as wading in the river
of your happiness sounds,

I can join you with my body
but not with my soul.

I am shorebound today,
unbaptised and heavied,
there are rocks in my pockets
that your laughter cannot lighten,
I cannot go into the water with you

but please keep laughing,
and splash your joy upon my face,
pour cupfuls of it over my head,
you chase the ghosts with brightness
back into their shallows,
you make the shadows shut their mouths.

— Adam Kamerer


Listen:


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-- Adam Kamerer

Prophet Moth

I flutter these days
against the light of you,
saucer-eyed prophet moth,
drunk on your heat,
delirious on your illumination,
I rattle and tink
against the bulb of you,
trying to drink fire
and eat divination
through glass.

— Adam Kamerer


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New Religion

Let this be my new religion:

this coming-up each morning of the light,

a green sprout straining for sky,

this quiet sigh of night
pulling on her cloak of jewels,

this coming-down of rain from clouds.

— Adam Kamerer


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Young Brothers, Young Sisters

Young brothers and sisters,
gather round, listen
to the sigh of the earth,
to the quiet breath
beneath her muddy breast,
the day is ending,
our tired mother settles down.

We clamber up into her lap,
colicky children fighting sleep,
hush young brothers
and hush young sisters,
loosen your small fingers
from the green tangles of her hair —

I know

all our bodies hurt
but suckle quiet beneath the stars,
let her lullaby lull us down,
let her blanket us with ivy and petals,
listen to the sigh of the night,
to the quiet high breath
of the wind in the night.

Even nestled in the cradle
of her gullies and greenwoods,
even nestled in her cool rivers
and her sun-warmed dunes,
you stir restless,
young brothers and sisters,
and I stir restless beside you
the night grows dark, mother is still,

we lie sleepless beneath the stars
with our thumbs in our mouths.

Yes, I know

tomorrow we will wake wounded still,
fevered on our worries in the light
but listen to the sigh of dawn,
young brothers and sisters,
to the quiet breath
of tomorrow’s crowning,
a timorous promise
in a small clear voice:

remember wild children,
even broken you are radiant.

— Adam Kamerer


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A Mile Scrap Mythic

In early summer last year,
we took a road trip
down some back Florida
county roads towards
a beach park where I’d drink
enough sunlight
to make my skin sick.

Somewhere in the miles
between home and the sea
we rolled past
the fenceline of a farm
littered with rust art:
tractors and tillers
transmuted into beasts

a rural fantasia
of aluminum dragons and dragonflies,
of sea serpents swimming loam,
wiregrass savanna where
a pride of John Deere lions
roar off flecks of old paint,

a black bull tackwelded together
from old cornbread skillets
scratches the ground and lowers
its horns at the road,

there a scrap tin rooster
hammered twelve feet high
struts gargantuan
held back only by barbed wire.

That evening, sunburned sick
and heat exhausted, I asked
you to drive us that way home
because I wanted to see
the junked menagerie again,

fuzzy-headed, dryparched, thirsting
I peered at the shadow and sundown
reflected in dark metal bodies,
I swear I saw them lope and slither
and flit away across the field
in wilted orange light

called maybe by their welder witch,
by whatever sower sorcerer
thought to conjure
alchemy and agriculture
together here
between home and the sea.

— Adam Kamerer


Behind The Scenes

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-- Adam Kamerer