dawn pendergast

To Be Ascetic

Up we
up orange & yellow groves,
repeating canopy of orange
& blue; going night in a fold of wires.

Our One shadow is a net, this light
and lace grey hat         in lists
of grasses going on.

Who are these people
anointing each other w/ plums
and halved grapes, with white
fig and unripe persimmons?

The beetles eat the sun.

Ants wield their white eggs
to and fore. Their white mouths moon.

The moon is a knuckle.
The moon moves this daffodil into our mouths.

the pigeon (2)

Go on out and eat
something in the night.

Black garage of night, go on

Your shadow of remainders,
sour blossoms, the flesh shaken
out of an orange / some beetles
in the hairs of a little
nest that falls


The way something shaved feels
like a dog or the back
of a boy’s head / a piece of light
slides down the fence / a trap door

a person is
a persimmon

before it goes white & flinty
letters the daffodils
and is / drawn on

the Bur-chervil & Dogbane thin
and fall to dusk so light is the dusk
they fall in


Go on with the shadows that run
it through the trees and up
the trees by way of some system,
and (out of) asking, look

a hand of leaves /
a hand of soft white bells

their names plumbed from form
o hours & footpaths o / o on with

shadows that skim shifts
of grass, the grass in heaps, and mists’ rising
crown clearing at newly dark

your hand (3)

on the back of a spider bolting,
on cicadas or locusts or the backs
of moths glimmering, a scoop of gnats
in the shower at dusk , a separation,
a sound they make:

May beetle, June beetle

The hand the foliage had
in my sneakings out.

Which ever way we met
on the soft of our backs itching
awn and spikelets, making
out of the grass
some stars

a mountain(4)

With this face to us, hairless face,
like a blunt cusp in the yellow grass.
It is pale and hard at night.
In the angled grass, the night,
spitting in our hair.

This is this. Our yellow field,
the wolves, the moths
are this / a field of the face
in each darkness

the cracked wheat, and jutting-up
roots, a backwards arching over / a signature
/ sent


dawn pendergast lives in Tucson AZ where she curates Cushing Street Reading Series. You can find more work at MiPoesias, Intercappilary Space and her website.




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