(x: the unknown factor; the multiplication
factor; a kiss at the end of a letter.
x-files: multiplication of the unknown; a
TV program in which investigators
examine ultra-terrestrial incidents and
manifestations) none of these found in
my dictionaries except the kiss.
Unstitching couch grass from the white pebbles
it clings to, I wonder how far it will go to survive
and why it doesn't climb to a vantage point.
I also query the pebbles' motivations: is it safer
to be the medium for a runner which strangles
than to keep yourself open to sun and rain?
I hear the sharp stones crack in reply. I wind
grass and discuss weaving mats with it. My friend,
unfettered by questions, clears more weeds than I.
Leigh is half as tall as this spiked bunch of roots
long stripped of root-duty. In fact, when he was
a boy, he fished here with his dad and the water -
the floods - would have covered his head.
'We useta hang our tucker box here, 'n' the fish.
We'd go lookin' for more. Yer never needed
much money in those days. The floods - they
were deep.' I review the low dark marks
of recent flood on the endless sea of trunks.
Mary and I stand on a fallen log; see, we are
as tall as it is thick. Leigh shows us canoe trees
(he shouldn't). Where we are walking, the ghosts
paddle where there's no upstream or downstream
just a brown lake of trunk-blackening, root-softening
snake-patterned water. As we walk, we crackle
and crunch and laugh too much. A spirit stalks us.
But where do the ideas come from?
Let me never have to sit on a panel
attempting to address this question.