Nate Pritts

No Dissonant Sound

The shining spirit is alive on the screen
          a layering           of line on line
of intersecting fields.
                                             This is poetry that itemizes

a language that names the conditions of the day
          the urgency of my desire unchecked.

The thickness of one something correlates to some other thing
          and thus a temporary biography is provided
                    conditional words gathered in the face
                    of this transitioning world.

The procedure and the authority
          the person and the process.

Saffo texts to say that auras of plentitude burn hard
          in the darkness           and also happy           happy

which interrupts the poetry of the moment
for some different poetry of the moment.

This on the day that I told Jenny about the dream Marisa told me
          after carrying it inside for almost a week
                              the dark freight of it.

          There are always too many things to share with others
                    the congress of lovers
          we surround ourselves with.

This on the day when I looked at the clouds
          frantic and alight
                              in the high morning sun.

Took several moments to compose my constituents
          to compose them against and within a field I know as my self.

Richlier burn, ye clouds! I said because it was the right thing to say
          authentic and true in that particular moment.

Aware also of quoting Matt quoting Coleridge
          a chain reaction of experience
of associated feelings.
                              The plastic reality of this moment
or of the world itself           the whole of creation.

                    I’m not willing to give up on things
not nature           not my interior sentiments.

The frame within the framework.

The spider that resides in the dream of another
          an image in my life           a shimmering line
that I share.


O Awful Loveliness, The Awful Shadow

A record of my life as it stands
          this human universe in perpetual motion

          interconnected sentiments
          at the core of my being
                    the currents that charge me
                              rise and plummet.

A life so much like and yet unlike
          every other I have lived.

We rode hard the horses
                                       over aggressive terrain
stopped only when wonder
                    or fatigue overwhelmed us:

          thin slivered moon defiant in the dawn
          mountains walking the horizon.

I watched two birds flit
          hopping throughout the spiny architecture of the trees.

I watched           and remembered           and now I tell you all about it.

There is something to be said
          for the vicarious thrill
                              someone else’s arguments

that constant war of inconstant light      one shade or vibrancy
          pitted against some other type.

So commence the distribution of my heart
          the various systems and locations
all my loving           by which I mean any feeling at all

send it out to those instances and those people who deserve it
          or have incurred it.

The space that’s left           like a shadow.


Cloud Study

Be careful what world you wish for
          the parameters you lay down
                                                            the wonders of it
                    pleasure and pain
because you just might end up having to live in it.

The stuff of my brain           emanations of mind
          hurriedly writ in the margins of my weekly punch list

shelters for the spirit in a dark time.

It’s a trouble map                rife with electric locations
          with disasters sighted on the brim of the horizon.

I tell myself                that to reach perfection is to disappear.
          That it is a fool’s dream
                                             a motto I wouldn’t die for
is like so much else these days
is a stay against some more troubling fate
is just something to say.

I spend the rest of the morning catching at language
          any occurrence of it in the mutable air.
The dawn
a presence around me a deep persistence
I will miss when it goes
remaining only as words on paper
          marks           pixels in the ether

and remember myself in earlier guises
          lost to me now
          lost to the world

like knights of old                questing.
When they found what they sought
                    they vanished.

Author Portrait

Nate Pritts is the author of Decoherence, winner of the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award. He has written seven previous books of poetry, including Post Human (A-Minor Books, 2016) and The Wonderfull Yeare (Cooper Dillon, 2010). He is also the Director and Founding Editor of H_NGM_N Books (b. 2001), an independent publishing house that started as a mimeograph zine. Pritts is Associate Professor at Ashford University. He lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.

View the website of Nate Pritts