John Levy

Postcard to Ken Bolton

Dear Ken,

This is written in minuscule wobbling cursive blue
ballpoint pen on a postcard of John Coltrane on the
cover of Giant Steps. Inside his blue suit coat's
satin inner pocket a postcard of a blue train at dawn
awaits the words he'll print, starting many words
in upper case. His handwriting isn't like
his playing. He bought the card to send his daughter
Michelle, after he and Alice attend her school
performance in "The King and I," her first singing
role. He knows he'll fill the space with praise.
As you see he chose a photo with the word
Locomotive on it, from a Railway Museum, a card
he happened upon while spinning a rack and
thinking of Michelle at home. I've
run out of space while it seems Coltrane never will.


Large Postcard to Alan and Kazuko

Dear Kazuko and Alan,

Over in Kyoto it's 3:45 a.m.
while in Tucson I'm in 11:45 a.m.
and on the front of this big card please
imagine a pencil sketch of
time. I don't know how you'd imagine
that. I imagine the two of you would
imagine different images.
Would either of you include
any erasure? As for me, I imagine
the blank waiting as I sit here, blankly,
thinking What DOESN'T
look like time? A word all
in upper case?
Of course you're
dreaming and it's 3:48 a.m. there now
while I'm writing away
my time here. I miss you both.


(for Carole Kim)

the trees aren't trying
to do something else

they don't overthink
line breaks

any tree is sum
and sumptuous

every tree is part geologist

the trees are a standing ovation

they are and are

humans bring words

the trees never say

the tree can't translate the word alone

John Levy lives in Tucson, Arizona. His books include Oblivion, Tyrants, Crumbs (First Intensity, 2008), A Mind's Cargo Shifting: fictions (First Intensity, 2011), and the ebook In the Pit of the Empty(otata's bookshelf, 2017). He collaborated with the painter Donald Cole to produce float among what sails & spirals (Dovadola Press and ArtXchange Gallery, 2016), a reading of which is online on vimeo.
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