Emily Rosko

Tract Song

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.
-Francis Bacon

A bit for a horse, a shoe for a clod
that waits on the muddied road that takes
its time to wind to the town. Carries itself
full of itself. Alongside, the swamp,
murky secret pressed down: sedimental
remains. The stuff on the earth runs
in the brain. It's a feat
disguised as a wind-washed stone,
it's a form to overmaster. No error
in the cattail's fruit, the leaves
that make a seat to suit. A small
shred-no, a large fill beyond
comparison. In the center, in
the outside. I'm forgone. I'm for sale.

from Weather Inventions

Don't ask about questioning,
the before and/or the after.

Skies take to burning faint

at the furthest line on the over-
sighted field. These days

the morning is hardly new.
Don't make claims, any abouts

or fors. The mountains are
their own thing. Don't consider

worth, or the how to/what of.
Towns with storefronts, stalls,

carts. Exchanges and returns,
arm for leg. Don't hack

or haw, this might be all
that's given. The frost's

chisel-work: rooftops
gloss silver, the altogether

unclasped leaves. Your hand
slipping off. Night

on the world's other side.
Say what happened happened-

without fanfare, without fixture.
The streets littered with the usual.

from Weather Inventions

Condition Notes (4)

A weakness in the sky.

Nothing overstretched or bent,

but crumpled perhaps, as the brain.

No high calls from treetops this morning.

A darted body or two, an instrument of conditionals.

Look to survey, look to reduce.

Look to be something other.

Arctic weatherwall that approaches.

Cirrus handspun in the sky's top layer.

Calm decline, this wait.

Something everything else is good at.

The rose canes' purple flush.

The evergreens with their name.

Emily Rosko is the author of Raw Goods Inventory (U. Iowa Press, 2006). In all of the ten houses she's lived in, Emily has never had a proper front porch-in Missouri and Pennsylvania there were steps and in East Palo Alto, California, there was a back patio complete with a redwood and a lemon tree.


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