Cool Dust

By Aaron Shurin b. 1947 Aaron Shurin
A heave of afternoon light pulls a tulip from the turf, a bower for locusts, a cup of shells. The farmhouse tilts, a bent shadow on wheels. In cedar rooms a family is molded, silent, wrapped in the wire of steel eyes and stopped voice, romantic ash. This is not my house, my ghost, my uninvited guest, my lost labor of love, my thicket or grease, my JPEG gessoed or rawhide suit. The yellow light throbs like an internal organ — soft body of an overture to insect sounds — sapling of a new world — whose future awaits me at the tilting window of my own domestic hut. Perhaps this is my mesh of hours, my muscular ache, my guardian sash, twist of rope carved around an old maple trunk, my rod of power red with anticipatory friction at the edge of an emerging set of planetary rings. Stained ochre by the air I pitch forward, a vanilla-scented pear that floats or falls. In the rattan chair on the front porch by the blistered boards of the front door a figure of tar watches. Cool dust sparkles and settles. Shadows have made me visible. An empty wagon flares on the hillside.

Aaron Shurin, “Cool Dust” from Citizen. Copyright © 2012 by Aaron Shurin. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Citizen (City Lights Books, 2012)

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Poet Aaron Shurin b. 1947

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

Biography

Poet and essayist Aaron Shurin was born in Manhattan and grew up there, in eastern Texas, and in Los Angeles. He earned a BA at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied with poet Denise Levertov, and an MA in poetics at the New College of California. Influenced by Robert Duncan and Frank O’Hara, Shurin composes lyric poems that explore themes of sexuality and loss. 

Shurin is the author of more than a dozen . . .

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Poems by Aaron Shurin

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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