Mark Kerstetter

All Points Rush Furiously Outward

I know a way to engage
slight as sand
in grain or dune
even in shifting.
In the time it takes a finger to lift
so much has ended already.
And yet with every birth
a world begins.

You know me better
than I know myself
but not from where I stand.
Connections must be built
that don’t depend on family or tribe.
You’ll know this better
when I ask you to speak the words yourself.
Do it, but not for me.

We all know what happens at night
and whether the red wheelbarrow
has gone from the yard
or gone to rust
it’s a morning of rain
for just us chickens.
Whether sun or hunger ahead,
it all depends.

Every street in this city is known.
Everyone is someone on the grid
begging to be drained of Socratic irony
and filled with heaven.
Can we know we’ve awakened
if we don’t know who controls the dream?
As one earthling suffers his last
all points rush furiously outward.


Two Moons

My moon and your moon can become a single moon. But just as one word predicates all others, my “yes” may just as well say “no,” orbiting my head until you eat it and roll its opposite off your tongue. Therefore let each letter be a stone embedded in our bone globes. May they spin, clockwise or counter, or according to the dictates of the stars and tides, and may we walk backwards away from each other (if rushing headlong with open arms is out of the question), focusing intently on each others’ silence. May we forget all of this. Then, on a night hours after quitting time, may we gaze out a single window, deep into a single music. Who can say, then, which world is real, and which imaginary?

Author Portrait

Mark Kerstetter steals time away from restoring an old house in Florida to write poems and make art out of wood salvaged from demolition sites. His poems have appeared in Evergreen Review, Jerry Jazz Musician, Connotation Press, and other journals.

View the website of Mark Kerstetter