Monday Jul 22

LucasTerry Terry Lucas is the author of two poetry chapbooks, If They Have Ears to Hear, winner of the 2012 Copperdome Chapbook Award and Altar Call, published in the 2013 San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival Anthology, Diesel. His full-length collection of poems, In This Room, is forthcoming from CW Books in early 2016. He is the 2014 Crab Orchard Review Special Issue Featured Poet, and his work has appeared in Best New Poets 2012, Great River Review, Green Mountains Review, as well as many other literary journals. Terry grew up in New Mexico and currently lives in Mill Valley, California, where he is a free-lance poet, editor, and consultant. Links to Terry Lucas’s website and blog can be found here.


Many times after sex with some stranger
I’ll soon introduce as my girlfriend,
then weeks later as a friend—
after the shallow impression has been made
of a bowl in the sheets from throwing clay
against clay all night, roughly
the same shape as the crater left
by the meteor that erased millions of species
with its burning caress—
I go to sleep alone. Alone
whether she has caught a cab
that combs through damp hairs of fog
falling over the Marin Headlands
on the other side of the Golden Gate,
or whether the barely audible breath
rising like incense to the spackled ceiling
comes from her body still twitching
beneath blankets, or from the sound
of paint evaporating off walls,
hugging the space where electrons follow
thin tributaries of copper wire
to the white noise cycling on and off,
protecting the last piece of pie
slowly turning in the refrigerated darkness
of some closed restaurant you and I
stumbled out of in 1974 and could never
find again—even though we tried
three days that one summer, driving
all through the Santa Cruz Mountains
looking for our corner booth covered in red
vinyl that smelled like the future. It was
cracked, but we didn’t notice
the splay of plastic or the stain
of light from the forty-watt bulb,
the white-shoed waitress worrying
her nails to the quick, waiting
outside in the mist for her ride,
the manager closing up,
his voice lost in the music
of dishes and kitchen utensils.
All that mattered was the bite
we were chewing. And later
that night on the beach, waves
swelling from the darkness, lifting
our bodies out of the sand,
nudging one another, unconscious
how the rip tide would take us
out beyond the breakers, how
the only way to survive was to swim away.

Dream Ending With A Line By Charles Wright

Three a.m. again. Sitting at my desk
writing down a dream. From the far ridge
a coyote empties itself into the ravine—
vowels more ancient than the distance
between us. I return to bed and search for more
memories beneath my pillow, while the sun,
crouched somewhere behind The Rockies,
stalks redwoods standing watch over the end
of the continent.
             Six a.m. Another dream
insists I rise, get dressed, drive to my appointment
with the trail I walk each day. On my right,
the million-dollar homes that overlook the bay,
my left, the billions-year-old ocean rising,
reclaiming more ground with each king tide, lapping
against cherry doors, beveled glass.
                         I walk as fast
and as far as I can in the time I have, keeping watch
behind me, checking for speeding cyclists before I hear
pavement’s sibilant resistance, sometimes swearing
I can catch a glimpse of dust rising through the eucalyptus,
the knobby tread and familiar gait of my own approaching
    Soon it will all reverse—what was right will be left,
the light so gauzy now in morning fog will sharpen
against Mount Tamalpais’ edge on my evening commute
home, where I will drift back to the black beginning.