Wilson Taylor is a poet living in New York City. Most recently his work has appeared in The Ekphrastic Review and The Merrimack Review; all of his writing can be found online at wilsontaylorwrites.wordpress.com.
Life is a series of meditations
like a spoke in a child’s bicycle, spinning
while their parents follow
down an abstract road, an asphalt river
made of curlicues peeling off
like leaves in the fall, each thought
its own address.
With a diminishing clicking
the wheels of the discarded bike
halt unseen, inertia not enough
to carry where feet will serve us better, chasing
upright knowledge up a staircase
to a golden god of order
but for some hidden trick of nature
and first love, blue eyes
drawing us into the sky, wonderful chaos
and an enfolding embrace placing us
among the sun and waving fronds of grass, yellow
paintbrushes of light.
Down below on the road a feeling
wheels by like memory in the glom
of consciousness and time and in the recesses
of the present that old familiar ticking
takes pace again, deep breaths
spreading till each spoke becomes
a wheel within itself.
starlight junkyard elegy
I look out
on a graveyard of scrap metal and broken plywood, things
made and unmade. just things
gone to die if they were ever alive
in this overcast night, the darkness white
and clear. over it all
a tree stretches, naked branches cutting a lattice
tessellating through the in-between. does it see
what has passed since it was young?
I think I do;
my knees ache
with years of tendinitis, many paces
passing underneath, the globe spinning like a long road
while time stretches to places unknown. all along
I was trying to figure out this life
while this life was figure-eighting
me through infinity, a million mes
tired and alive, fresh as dew and old as dust,
a gleam of light in my eye. now I know
to focus on stars to see the nebula. now I know
I am forever and nothing at all,
decomposing at the roots of greatness.
Everything shadowy besides the sky
blue and white and wide, yellow streaking up
from a golden furnace thick with smog
and power lines. Someone planted
wheat here once, no-one planted nothing.
Now all these glass mirrors
glow in the last light as if it’s not
an accident, this sideways world of taillights
moving horizontally beneath metal boughs.
All this, out here, in-between and
beyond definition, imagination vanishing
and taking hold with the night moving down
This was our sacrifice
for the city, for the sparkling pedestal of angels
made of flesh and blood like me and you.
The moon sprays dreams through the scrapyard
as if it doesn’t matter, a smiling crescent
of independence, bringing gravity
to our hidden ways of joining as we
orbit continuously, fearlessly
like water going home to sea.
We are the gurgle
draining in a late spring afternoon
beneath the pavement, amidst
an eerie stillness broken only
by the industry of a squirrel.
In the trees and grass of campus
a precious final few
breathe the current of clean air.
They’ve put a muzzle on Frost
as if there is no poetry to be spoken here.
It is all out there, beyond the hill.
Athletic fields lie fallow in between, golden meadows--
I chase their depths
like a sparrow buzzing East towards airier climes,
towards rebirth, giving in simultaneously
to the call of the woods and our tendency to make piles of things.
But after seeing rabbits scurrying from my path
before pausing, poems in a mailbox in the woods,
farmers, lovers, and thieves:
I am become
a hawk upon the updraft,
floating above rippling fields that roll like storm clouds
beneath my wings, become these words
that join me and protect me and destroy me in creation.
In her dream the oak leaves rustled
in delicate swings. The breeze whispered warm nothings, scampering
through the fresh grass like a lime-green lizard
that twisted between blades and up the downspout.
There it leapt and stuck
in half-lidded suspension,
splashed across the warm brick.
Its pores ate the air, which was
soft like a stubborn cloud,
pushing her feet up as her toes padded down on
fresh dirt and warm sandstone.
The sun split through unfinished quilts of leaves.
Her hair was a spun mane in the light.
She sat in the cool shade and her dress splayed
flowers onto the grass. The house glowed warmly
in the heat, pulsing outwards like a straining heart.
The lizard’s green skeleton sluiced away, out of sight.
The paint on the window crosses
was white and washed, curled away in the sun.
She craned at the yellow bead
rippling in the highest corner, in the top white-walled box of blue.
Her eyes were curious. High in the sky
the sun burned away shadows.
She ate the lotus like a gift.
She ate the lotus like a peach, a piece of a tiny petal.
She ate the angry curled lotus—a drop of blood.
Red lips in red light,
falling like glass gold,
the branches spiderwebbing cracks.
She sees sparks in the lattice: neurons in the frame.
She can feel it now: desire.
Gleaming paint screams down the side of the parade.
The tiger paws its chain.
The fat man smiles and twinkles a monocle. The mighty cat
sits proud in the bed, and trainers cower in corners, controlling her.
The striped-suited ball of flesh
twiddles the wheel, and waves to the crowd.
Hams ride pink through the flag-waving air--
one mashes the wheel and toots a horn.
The crowd smiles, and she stands there among it.
Desire bares its teeth, but will not roar.