BY CARL WATTS
I Without a salaam or ceremony, hole of the rock, other following him; brightness washed from a winter swimmer as peoples made small, finely chipped arrowheads. Skiffs scuffed to look sufficiently skiff, mottled globe to a continent of glaring peaks nearer and nearer the beholder, translated from one world to another. Utterly tossed, lightly illumined, crunching down to cleaner reservoirs, questions that would ordinarily be avoided rather than one of your soles or flounders. II Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette were posts not quite upright; atmosphere far from what one would expect, if geological and on some opposite side, implied. Wonderful people on chairs in their homes; later stone age peoples by 900 A.D. made large tanneries out west when the French came to this region. The Illinois board blared cattle stomach, tightened intestine; Indians invaded the Illinois valley that spring and by an unaccountable process, he was being willingly helpless: allowed himself to be alighting on massive ground, brilliantly. III Even the grains are ground, smashed: cultivated corn, squash and beans tied tightly to posts’ “browned presence,” said my Wife; “there is no draught; what are you looking for?” He built Fort Creve Coeur near Peoria and realized a sense of bodily expansion, mutation from the solid dimensions swelling, spreading, and changing wonderful ethnic costumes as La Salle hiked to Montreal: tanned, hued, cured with parts of the mountain brought down from the mountain. Even the pestles are made of stone.
More of Carl’s work is available for download in our Full of Holes poetry anthology.