The Present

By Jim Harrison b. 1937 Jim Harrison
The cost of flight is landing.
On this warm winter day in the southwest,
down here on the edge of the border I want
to go to France where we all came from
where the Occident was born near the ancient
caves near Lascaux. At home I’m only
sitting on the lip of this black hole, a well
that descends to the center of the earth.
With a big telescope aimed straight down
I see a red dot of fire and hear the beast howling.
My back is suppurating with disease,
the heart lurches left and right,
the brain sings its ditties.
Everywhere blank white movies wait to be seen.
The skylark dove within inches of the rocks
before it stopped and rose again.
God’s toes are buried deep in the earth.
He’s ready to run. But where?

Source: Poetry (November 2012).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2012
 Jim  Harrison

Biography

Jim Harrison has spent much of his life in Michigan on a farm near where he was born. His connection to rural landscapes is evident in his free-verse, imagistic poetry, which often explores human and animal drives set against an unforgiving natural world. Noting the poetry’s relation to Hemingway’s prose style in a review of Harrison’s Selected & New Poems 1961–1981, poet and critic Richard Tillinghast declared in the New York . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, The Body, The Mind, Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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