Mark Haunschild

Poem About Finding Tanzaku

In the park at Central Station, poems hang from branches of drought
       tolerant trees.
They are blooming this time of the year.

To reduce this scene to a few words seems absurd.
Somewhere in the world, a child is tasting her earwax for the first time.

Two pigeons look as if they might fuck or pull apart a worm.
The trees do not notice the people on their ways to wherever, either.

Leaves turn to song before me, well tuned to the wind.
I simply hum along. I am still learning the language.


Poem That Contains an Emotional Truth

The saguaro takes fifty years to understand its pain, and only then begins
       to hold it out as if to say, “take this, it hurts.”

For a moment you are not dead. The trees grasp the same hard earth.

All forty-five drops of rain fall on me.


At the Touch of a Button

Behind wavering desert heat, dust and alien aeroplanes rise.
They fall out along the Rio Salado like measures of minimalist noise on
       sedatives.

Take away the tin and there they all are, bodies flying through the air in
       an array of flourishes.
I am driving approximately eighty-one miles an hour at rush hour eye-to-
       eye with a hundred goats.

I am happy in a pastoral sense.
All that meat and milk passing me now. They heave.

A sign says, Eric Clapton every day, which, on this particular morning,
       feels like a big-ass mistake.
One woman has just reached the climax of a story in midair. In first
       class, they know the taste
of a midair truffle soufflé. A lawyer plays
       Solitaire in midair.

Some kid points a finger all like, look! as if I could hear the songs of
       angels passing overhead—a traveler’s glossolalia—a tin can phrase
       waiting for me to pick up a stick and tap it out.
I am not the first to have faced the blank page under an international
       flight path.

Every day, light touches the small pools of sand beneath heaven, where
       men have hanged their insecurities.
I imagine the planes crashing. I weep.

I see flowers dancing across the major cities of the globe. I follow a path
       back to Earth.
I sing something, something Sally.

Author Portrait

Mark Haunschild is a poet, artist, and educator. He teaches contemporary literature, creative writing, and composition at Arizona State University. His recent work appears in Superstition Review, The Drunken Boat, and Merge. In 2009, Mark won the Katherine C. Turner Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He holds graduate degrees from California State University, Chico and Arizona State University.