Up North

Do not be fooled by the latitude–
the Gulf Stream protects us coastal folk
from the Artic gale.
Even when the light works a half-day
noise will never freeze.
It lifts it lasts long it lands.
Phrases boil down to sound.

Do not be fooled by the Gulf Stream.
The air itself is shivering
while the pine trees try to muffle
the high C’s of four-legged tenors.
All hail the succinct moon
that redeems the night!
It is light it is shape it is movement.
My old choirmaster warned me that
speech stains the sheet music.
And so I cue you to your solo.
Please free the composition from stasis:
Chanting will warm the room.
Whatever you do–
Just remember to shake off the cold wet words.


Cape Cod Bay Dislikes Narrative

Just because the bay shrugs indifference
doesn’t mean its torrent
will fail to engulf you.
If you ever thought time stands still:
Think again.
It moves incessantly,
in and out of every harbor and inlet.
For example:
The tide enlists the whitecap and the current
in its plot to stymie sequence.
Repetition prompts change
not the other way round.

Just because “the End” appears closer tomorrow
doesn’t mean I am unable to dive into the quotidian.
Once submerged I came to my senses:
Any eternal truth worth its salt censors itself.
Still some statements splatter against the seawall
while others eddy.
No not literally.
Any questions?
Consult the harbormaster.

Just because the bay neither hiccups nor burps
doesn’t mean it is muted.
Its endlessness veils a vulnerability
to the assertion of a “before and after.”
Let’s agree to disagree and
repress the urge
to the tell a tale
of a waterbody.


Edward Miller

Edward Miller

Edward D. Miller is Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island and on the faculty of the programs in Theatre and Film at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His creative works appear in Counterexample Poetics, Hinchas de Poesia, Wilderness House Literary Journal, The Boston Literary Magazine, Crack the Spine, Red Fez, Drunk Monkeys, Bloodstone Review, Handsy, and The Bangalore Review.