Glaciated Straits, Underway
—a Sonnet Series—

                "That's not a solar symbol; it is a potato."
                            —Joan Miro

At Alert    temperature increase one-tenth
northern lights hemisphere    demand behind it

in depth and ploy atop 90 meters
denser rupture        in place for 3,000 years

percents remainder    area caution
calcium deposit paramecium

producing less key shift operation
slides most laterally, largely uniform

from the present back to '67
decreased rainfall during the period

an average July    well above zero
mark a decade-long decline, helicopter

took rotor, measures        freshwater layer

Atlantis, that is        gloss ancient legend
the liquid-gas texture maps potential

hydrogen bonds direct a partial collapse
phase pentane 0.22 oil spill

letters number in the dozens    …26
and then some negative pressure region

honors pledge full sail Valparaiso    spondee
gorge outrigger fissure    moraine moss flossy

details a victory field-wide SUV
sparks discussion    radio breaker breaker

refractive index a maximum value

observatory in strict gladiator
island, atoll at all the long toll sounds

A. M. rejoinder ready, aim    hemi-
sphere junket hammerhead the tectonic

penultimate millennium decision
station mutations a mighty nation halved

town out having calved test pilot gold Ford
more than not special lease    uncle, rapid-fire

800 dial a figment     pond per se
optical souvenir until slow-motion

seasonal Oslo below magnet logic

synthetic perspective on a volcano
Venus looking upon the large rift flank

aerosols from a dust storm and wildlife
predicted flurries on channel 22

Atlas, etc.    lateral offsets
gadget rigid    shell track ridge heirloom ribbon

Hudson apparatus puncture continent
in thicket cold zone split up the middle

equivalent to the water that flows
over Niagara satellite plankton

ice inland and above 69 square

Potomac pot of pudding    …    Quebec, Quebec
sea-floor spreading nth percent off the banks

permits brittle failure        evidence rivers
a prince in fingerlings, girly underthings

rose isolation systems trending down
birth of an ocean    lake effect lift-off

    —for Noa and Carlos

ATM in the morning        sun dahlia
to 700 km. consensus bay

mechanisms indicate strike-slip motion
convergent, divergent and transmit fact

concentrations, rotation collides helm        berth

spawn survive        heated and recycled back
to the speaking ranks        stone drilling platforms

to start at $1,000,000.00 and double
each day missed    building empires of state province

hostile specimens to a side agreement
detach hut brackish pools four times that rate

microscopic patches harbor extreme life
between the boundaries plains grind against

Apartment mall animals    a hard latch
flood stability bayonet so dire

Galapagos from space hatchet air stream

a factor of two over the past 20
million eons        apt contact rip apart

fuel intruder sergeant shuts chemical
depot a rainbow in petroleum

align strictly along the axis beyond
85 yards in some spots    test should be tool

base-five metal heavy with litter margins
the seashore unto a blue riverbed

underground extension or compression
huge deluge institute a natural ebb


Arctic shelf  spells the end of caviar

Himalayas event hazard alkali
decimal rise 200 ft. across

vantage flunk a tangled mat of algae
0.4 degrees    C crack fixture

indigenous digress    convection freeze
rapid polar one mantle                            baggage claim

travel the sonnets    opening lines, fleet
linkage stricken amplified    term syllabics

ten stern warden hunts to permeate climate
threshold tabloid unique    cormorant floe

long strands of fallout hector the acreage
anchor to windward no small consequence

Alaska was purdy    bridge shrunk, buckling
the bride to no avail in shallows yield shields

container and tanker ships cannot ever

though calamity make deliverance
navigate the 88-year-old canal

streaked by hotspot        topography below stows
the Indian plate, traces and healed transforms

subducting coast range at the Javan Trench
a maritime horizon    right, starboard

differential equations a body trapped
I could have gone the distance by walking

16 hours every day    in other worlds
global positioning device network

April warning        a diamond castle rook
sidewinders spinnaker major remnant

added core breach in gravitational mass
convergence at center, a triggering

since the signing of the Constitution

pressure gradient a century ago
rimmed the western landmass

11% of a short distance
(most upgrades do not exceed 6%)

hexameter, cubic and amorphous
viscosity data has been reconciled

80-fold reduced pass rush slams QB
barrier reef along miles    the rest is lost

Alarm swarm        patterns molten material
sled and rescue, destroy    signals distress

espionage a saline latrine link
upset a lumber cart    punk dynamics

help keep the 68,000-acre blaze
at a safe distance    the lodge avalanche

releasing low-density pine clusters

acidity levels a coral spray
rusty shed heritage antiques    blind thrust faults

Trouton's constant to 86 tense surface
solutes have a lower than expected

effect on the cryoscopic    oarlocks
frigate territory spirals poison

Apache        fort, chief resident intern
in terms tern the swan valley dawn vanished

aperture pandemic ghost cloister a host
on the half-sheet synthetic history

abduction on the green match case    cancel braves
at least a yellow tractor edge 360

hoity-toity toilet a strap on buck
search party partly    egret dammit, regret

agate goldspar in vein        aghast, wangle

weather hobby, boot fanny    floatee between
flock-throated couplet double        f jord spree

still, to view 6:30    mansions, mansions
record cut radar stats on the reveal

At last structure relaxation depends
on degree and goodness of fit within

the clathrate pocket    …go with the "A" word
whilst not allowing crystallization

denying the Texas majority
to consider a redistricting plan

holsters a sidearm that shelter in place
we shoulder the weapon    maintain retreat

due to frost symmetry        carbon alloy
block granite counter a strong calculus

plus 70 billion years before Christ

high critical point helium balloons
aft frigid H20        I get misty

Athena reminds us    valence allegation
wise travesty devastate adventure tours

stray voltage    windows version to the quick
fix it work the graveyard, woo    moonlight streaming

or, Performa 632OCD
troops march the DMZ admit M-16

atomic mass fracture juncture sling awls
the amphitheater tables brook Paris

fist slippage got pistol switch        select file name
rich text format cleave the proximate epic

frame shoreline listings trust marine docket
tackle squads red eye jet—border, bonkers—
                                                            brokers boxer

repatriated remains disappeared briefs

        * * *


Afterword a schooner mast the manuscript

en masse rodeo parade delights crowd
topper, atop        water table set with poison

troopers stage a riot with clubs and shields
the meters who turned themselves into birds

with bodies of syllables imprisoned
by rainbows, shadows the daylight awake

pipeline crackdown for a chaos premium
jellyish tentacles a rapturous

swim above the midriff fish and game day

    play duck
        tape, bill

         Tupelo, Buffalo…

Allegiance to the crown    a rug worn, sworn

GOP congressional quorum treasure
imposing fines on traveling Demo-

hermit village a striated habitat
journey past your eyes        cumulative cycle

pasture, startle crat a start sparkle, inc.
fringe research a regal toss    opossum shrug

flung in glue lunge stands forelock corporal
liaison poison strawberries dress down

sumac salvo    which species of strawman
specific semen specimen (juice box, toolbar)

mandrake critters root up wattage    tusk, snout
framed by black light globules electric sting

Artifice phantom forms nothing else matters
bergs that thaw                               c.f. CH3CH3

totem to the tenth and final power
token throes soda powder chemical fumes

joint tender come about and walk it off
thank you for not smoking on the plaza

poplar tops the drop off    shut down yarrow plants
migratory tinder struck clod    nimbus

propaganda agendas paranoia
the pandas off the mainland    flight, hull, keel

farm out vehicle an outboard motor
daffodil dug a hollow to lay up

the dog in the acreage

Apocalypse in eucalyptus we see
through the apex now 25 inch low

incline crust a varmint grain    gone fishin'
lunar meltdown a silvery fiasco

compromise the integrity of the stud
to campaign the bloody endeavor strikes

Richter flare a tide clock tenacity
tsunami posse        a sequence frequency

NMR spin-lattice a dot dot dash
marlin sunk (=  partial pressure/fraction)

forge a mast forum on the blank brink of skunk
sinkhole outpost cram atmosphere chasm

trek scarce condo    reflect loss in the crevasse


    —for Bill Teplow, upon his return to Berkeley Marina
       after navigating the Inner-Passage in "Chubby," a 19' sloop.
       (28 October, 2003; 1:45 AM PST)

scott bentley was born in Burbank, California, in 1964.   He received a BA from UC Santa Cruz in 1986, an MA from UC San Diego in 1989, and an MFA from Mills College in 2004.   He lives with his family mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches writing at CSU East Bay, Mills College and elsewhere.   He is the author of two chapbooks: Edge (Birdcage Chapbooks, 1987) and Out of Hand (Parenthesis Writing Series, 1989), and two full-length books:   Ground Air (O Books, 1994) and The Occasional Tables (sub press, 2000); and he has co-translated the work of Brazilian writer, Regis Bonvicino and others.   Some of the latest translations appear in New American Writing and The Pip Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century (Vol. 3)-Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain: 20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets (Green Integer, 2003).   Other work has appeared in Syllogism, The Styles, Tinfish, The Raddle Moon, and elsewhere.