THERMOS 5: David Bartone

David Bartone’s first book of poems, Practice on the Mountains, will be published next year by Ahsahta Press, as the winner of their Sawtooth Poetry Prize. I’m pretty sure these poems, originally printed in our fifth issue, aren’t in that book. But please enjoy them anyway! — AS



I know we are loving the love that is the childhood
Of the love we ought to

I know we resist the body like I know I need
To tell you about Lavallette, New Jersey:

When the bay is separated from the sea by
An isthmus as in my birthplace
The only way to know it as a link between the two
Impressive bodies is to climb out of the water
Walk the noticeable strip
And rinse off in the teeming of the ocean

And feeling pride only if concussed

Or else we are the lonely Beirut doing some other separating

Go ahead       be cavalier with my belief of you, L

There’s the need for alchemy to have existed
Or else how were we supposed to have taken our
Positions on it

There’s the want for sport and dressing
Right in front of the one small evening

What’s to make
Of all this trying to get to you
The question having only sat there
With angelic patience
The searcher having no memory of behavior

I am drinking from your coffee again today

I know it’s rude to keep craving poems for you, L
On and on I’m so sorry for bringing you
Up to pace

About singing in the kitchen is the safest I get

Of all the reasons I carry my beard as so
The double-take factor I beg for
Is most becoming of mind

Dropping my sigh with a shove
I hold your whole finger with my whole hand
For you to lead me into the forest

After the one flower without a Latin name
And we’ll have all the tools to safely poach it
Back to civilization       without even asking

We will know to move on in the direction of the seasons
How to prepare the ruin       to dismount one measly scree
How to dismantle each of our cairns along the way


Crush Upended Like Crash

I have been so afraid I don’t even know your smell

Beg you notch me on your loss-board

Make the siding brick red across the farmhouses
here in the Pennsylvanian absences
(there are many) of the heart

I am talking about one intersection with you
missed slightly, abruptly

How it seems we crashed into our own trees thinking
of each other’s body

How the thigh burns when we’re catching each other
let it next time
it’s the way we land


Song: Pink Fray of the Spray Mum

Across western horizon to be here.
You, Nebraska coated and up rooted to be east
with me.

Long natured satin scripture.

How you love bring me flowers
at our pennilessness.
Eileen, thank you.

Talking the spray mum, talking ripening
beyond to its end. Last night the thought:

first farmers experimenting, dropping
pink droplets on the petals, hands
coated in boron lush soil, men

with strong hats/straw hands/
strong hats. Aches and aches
of acres.

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