lonna whiting


despite the black doves’ coos.

they were going toward something/competing for dirt along the underpass
gutter?/well-fed talismen took flight/white feathers flourished/receded
beyond trenches/dispatched a soft message/of what?
to and fro in dead feather snow/new stuffing for nests they made/such
practical pragmatic recycling/bits and bites from their own fair weather
fowl/clinched tightly between beaks/down for the season below.
a gray bird/winged resident of the hollow and eave/reduced herself to
guttermeat/ wisped to the edge/chromed to death/rubber-smeared/its poor self
drained/broken bottleneck/ neck doomed limp/eyes bamboozled by death/and

silence and exclusion

after bell.
I’ve done nothing but I am both naughty and preferred
for the way I hopscotched between beginner xylophones
on the music room floor, playing skip-the-stone with friends
who followed my musical bandleading.

The boy behind me cleans erasers,
cymbals he claps in front of teacher,
a round hands and time out. Her cacuminal speech prods the back of my neck,
my face turned to a corner, wedged, stiff, stuck fast,
lodged within the confines of her retroflexed monologue – this verse is
addressed to both myself and the boy (who keeps slapping blackboard grime
like muddy shoes). We
are told not to say anything and why does she keep asking me if I did it?

before dark.
Chalkdust settles over me like a fallout
or as if I were traveling somewhere in t.v. time, floating
in gray matter, a nebulous snowy dissonance where the far reaches of the
universe go
when it seeks the seen and unseen elements
of voyeur and retreat.

«±  ±»

lonna whiting is a graduate student and English instructor at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Recently, she co-edited the poetry section for Red Weather literary magazine's 2006 issue. She also participated in the selection of the New Rivers Press MVP Award for Best Poetry manuscript. She is currently working on a chapbook, "Gifts from the Ebb Tide," while she finishes her poetry thesis, Trashcan




2  1