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This piece is about 3 printed pages long. It is copyright © William Stobb and Jacket magazine 2008.
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William Stobb

Four poems:

In a Mountain Pasture
Some Purple

In a Mountain Pasture

polluted by thinking like
the whole truth and nothing
I see slides under charged wire
one awkward calf along
river rush bound by
that fire line tied to her
mind one heifer watching anyway
standing could be thinking
like what white nothing
washes tumbledown bother a blue
ripple ridgeline off-run
calves a thousand shimmers a need
beyond knowing any  
living from this stream

Some Purple

don’t forget the friend off five
weeks in silent meditation
late flowers       your brother
had a birthday and you’re due       notice
flies mating in our bright kitchen
homeless veterans victims and criminals
perched on a power line
one squirrel sings a mournful upward fifth
birds eat what out of ash I dumped
yesterday        check the live traps–Kari  
saw a mottled rat waddle       teach
writers to feel see speak
muscular wing thrum a lilac
room conceals         shiver blown
ear to throat        emote
when relevant         attend to terror
in Wisconsin loud pops are often
fire crackers        evil responding
not to good        seven
overweight ministers rear
up in sexual glory        some purple
velvet goes celluloid in petal folds      
from the sun don’t forget the sun      


not a phase      January thinking
broke me      dog next door out for a pee
someone’s little laugh
after she’s shown living things     once thinking
worms in wood      old words splinter
winter into spring       popular piano music
and a warm front from Alberta   
under the brewery towers
the formerly broken
marquis sparkles       that open flame    
in the industrial park       so not eternal
has a name      release
weird sound of the day       ice dam
explodes the river into flow


The illusion of privacy in the actual text
nowhere but everywhere
in the mind a concept even
buying certain fruits as an effort to
suspend myself in/and the aqueous world.
You would think
that’s private but no
I buy the fruits in front of everyone
basket carry and card swipe
say hello yes thank you
in front of everyone
and long charts of consequence
kind of marine electronica font ripple
off my shoulder as I withdraw.

William Stobb

William Stobb

William Stobb’s Nervous Systems was selected by August Kleinzahler for the National Poetry Series (U.S.A.), and is published by Penguin Books. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, and many other journals and zines. He hosts a monthly podcast on poetry and poetics — miPOradio’s “Hard to Say.”

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