Saturday, July 27, 1985

Maureen Hurley & Jessamyn West, Napa Poetry Conference, 1985

             Maureen Hurley & Jessamyn West, Napa Poetry Conference, ©1985 Kathleen Lynch

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. —Jessamyn West

added 4/24/2016 

Wednesday, July 10, 1985

The red tide ate the sun (garbled text)

The red tide ate the sun Cessation, surcease
Civil war breaks out the dunes,
Opium poppies. 

And in the room.
This white splash against shadows
Afternoon solitude in the mall
Long shadows across our feet
The bottom of my shoes stick to the floor.
Rivers of heat rise from the black ribbon

Red hibiscus

 the size of your face and gladiolus
Funerary memories on the stock

and stained the water red
heavy breathing from within 
the shell of your ears 
I travel through meadows 
under a cloud of smoke. 
Isadora laughs as her car 
roared through the streets of Paris

This leavening inbred rises
like ghostly intuition 
loosened at night from the sea
Soft blues of flowered curtains.

 July 10, 1985

Monday, July 1, 1985


I could just see you
the day you decide what poetry is.
These things, these shapes, these flowers
a partial memory to orchestrate
an arbitrary collection,
a miracle at the end of purpose.
We are ready.

Hass says Milosz is listed in the phone book.
Look for a pattern of three instances of ambiguity.
While you were wandering
telephone poles carried countless messages
across the land.
Even the hills show marks of obscure water.
You stand lost in thought
your feet together
and the road is long.



1. I was conceived on Mt. Tamalpais,
so my mother says, but she says many things.
My aunt hints of some hidden love,
and my father briefly enters little into the picture.
This piece of Precambrian coral once buried
in alluvial mud of shallow eurekan seas
with its fossilized quartz heart
is more accessible than their stories.

2. When we made love
this free haploid DNA
climbed helical staircases
and the code of our lives unwound.
This is how the sea must have looked
to the sky when free-swimming coral
contracted its soft body & fought gravity;
now the corals are mysteriously dying
and no one knows why
the hole in the ozone layer is growing.