Seth Howard


Beginnings. It was true, something was different. The white sun of the New Year smiled upon your city. She was a person of many questions. In the night she sat in stillness. The blue mists of the future, a dream of silk poured from your head. Dry days, & still these quiet longings. I wanted only a warm well-lit room to ponder. Plum blossoms. Your hand inside the mirror, the mirror inside your hand. It was a reflection in the mountains. Yet she sat by you, inquisitive. A sober minded friend in the hours of loneliness. You listened to Jazz in the evening. By the waters of Nazareth, the sun’s eye gazed upon the people. But tell me, did they wish you a happy New Year?


Bell of silent mornings, bird of the fires that is born each moment. The world swirls under you. You of the neglected & cast aside. We talk quietly in the evening, & the bird of a flame shell sings its lament. This celebration of ecstasies, this bell of distances & the warmth of holding her in my arms. We live for this awakening, a night fire in the hall. Call of the bird that dreams in a shell, broken yet whole. From which it escapes each moment the world song swims, distance wrapped in a blanket of silk. You see her in a vision of dry chambers. The candle burns in a cloud of ghosts that cry in atmospheres of silt. Patient for their golden hour of ancient grapes & love.


Silent space of desolation. Rain in the morning window jettisons through the sky. Organic coffee that tastes of dried figs & bananas. I swim in the night, a fish in lucid waters. But I must come down from these lofty expectations. Proust is with me, & V shines a flashlight into the darkness of my soul. Dreams unending, to wake in quiet despair. The night a fraction of the earthlight that sings desolation. Lost lucence that skims the fringe of the waves. Rains continue & I must change. I feel a faint suction in night despondency, a whim that leads me to some revelation. I wanted to live, to feel cool currents coursing through my soul. When all was said & done, I was there.


In silent mornings, what does it take to be free? Etched in the sky, the name of the lovers, & these slow births in dry hours. Music. Evening sprawls out into horizons of silt, & she is beside you, your familiar. The coffee is fresh & thick. Those questions that come to you in half dream. Some quiet surrender of the day sinks down, & you wait amongst the saints. Your time has not yet come. Savior of the dog day years. The sun swollen rolls through the gates of dream logic, swims in the coffee cup of your futures. “One day I will stay by silent sunshine,” she said after she had read your poem. Initiations in the dark, a green light drifts somewhere familiar, beyond the red rivers.


Life enters & is drawn along by a spool. The skies overcast, the coffee fresh. In this moment of repose we sit patient. It was a time of many holidays. This present moment in which we learn the Kanji for “partner.” I feel the earth turning under me. Past & future is encompassed in the now. & here you question, the mornings grey O still this silence. You would like to know the name of the flowers that scatter about your feet. Rose petals, & snow falls outside. The night is a coin floating through thick clouds. In silent vespers you came, our dream a sequence of birds. Life a tiny globe, journeys in the mist. I feel the seasons pull, a force in the earth that calls.


Morning of silence. Group of elms that swirl in the distance. I feel the fatigue of dry days & celebrate this existence. Watch roses blow across the sidewalk. Autumn with its slow entropies, cycles of mist, ministry. I remain patient as the sun emerges, an enormous hand. This stillness, this in between we come to possess. Dreams, slightly faded the way a Proustian text is, words radiant yet illusive. I wait & stones siphon in white awakenings. I see a deer standing in the park. My life a gridwork of stars, deep night. Listless & warm. I watch a sentry in the clouds.

Seth Howard the author of two chapbooks: Out of the East, & Waters from a Well. His work has appeared in Otoliths, BlazeVOX [books], unarmed journal, Big Hammer, Oddball Magazine, Chronogram, Saudade, & Elephant. He graduated from the University of Connecticut, & studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for three years. In his spare time, he enjoys the practice of Zazen, watches J-drama, & co-edits CAPSULE Magazine in New London where he lives.
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