Blind Inclusions

The sequence of my attention, since I started writing poetry
on the computer, changed. I work with two screens,
one shows photos uploaded long ago, and one a Word
document where a poem spreads. Words face a photo, a photo,
words, each blind to meaning. A minute changes
the photo, the words. My gaze holds both,
gathers them, being marginally aware
of my spine. I drink green tea. At lunch,
as we people watch, I see how many
of us walk with strain in our step, held temporarily
by our spines. The strain is metaphorical, the spine
a dehydrated fluidity, a symptom of our evolving physicality
that surely soon will make us happier
being a brain in a vat, as the old philosophers proposed, or
a hodgepodged work of art self-consuming. I watch
photos from Northern CA where we often travel to
visit relatives. Wineries of Sonoma County before
fires, snatches of drought and a lighthouse
north of Santa Cruz, sideburned with poppies. These
were parts of our daily lives, a pacifying tentacle, but now
snow impregnates the streets of CO and the houses
across jump forward
in their place. From depthless sky, forward
snow clocks the street. Between brumal spaces,
uniform like an arrangement of an octopus. We live between
them. We lock doors. Those that drive drive
too fast and twisted
marks the snow. Hold on,
armed with stale Christmas lights, between driveways.
With her shovel, my neighbor shaves a flake. One
sound stabs into the photo space, like a guttural choke, the gutter pipe
crammed with it. The face of our consciousness, flakes. She bends
and throws. Between flakes,
crows. Here’s a photo from last summer: a river
swamps the widescreen screen. A body
like a street, discontinuous, made full and flow, like
our body of detritus, tidbits of a past, or our own
RNA, facing an appropriate protein, facing
but are blind to include it in
a needed sequence needed to create a whole.

About the Author

Ravitte Kentwortz is an immigrant to the US. She started writing poetry in English late in life. She represents those older women who have not yet learned to use their own voice. Her poems appeared in Bare Life, The Minnesota Review, The Portland Review, MARY, Posit, Caliban and others.