from Pilgrimage Suites



                                                                                                            In  kind  not  kindness  we  truckle
                                                              barely as far as faded  up from sleepless nods  fortnights of present
                                                   pass  and we  under wych elms at the rim of limits  recall
                                                                                                an  incoherence  not  before  or  since
                                                  seen  came  sat  with  longing   went
                                           for  wilds  of  jackdaw  feathers
                                                                             hoar  harrow  lines  and trees  that  command  their  costs
                                                                                                       from  beggared  minds
                                                                                                                       grudged to flight the first  to  stutter
                                                                                                                unlettered  and  speak  among  mutes

 

 

 

 

                                                                                         eldritch a word curls into a word   curls
                                                                                                       and  clinks  dying  the  angelus   choirs
                                                defer  a  milder  levin  to  meridians
                                          propped  on    mattocks   and   picks
                                                                        we   change   our   throats  from  supplication
                                                                                                                                  lay  our  pleas  astray
                                                                                                 and  fasten  our  legs
                                                                                                     with leather and refugee blessings

 

 

 

 

                                                                        wound   from   tartary  lisle
                                                  unwinding  by  short suddens
                                               between   itinerant    limps    and    convictions
                                                                                                                        quit   outstretched  in  the   mud
                                                                                                 and   in  our  mudded   paces   where  we  huddle
                                                               arrears  in  residence  where  we   reside
                                                   dialed   on  desolate    silhouettes
                                                                   toward  all  our  going  and  some  feelings  felt  like vertigo
    

 

 

 

 

                                                                   plotted  on  strokes   of  drystone  fences   low   wicket
                                                                                             gates   around  our  knees   where  skirlings  lour
                                             and  wait  for  hours  to   seize
                                    the yawns of unfilled  cisterns  and  unsettle the settled lichen
                                                                                                   on  the  wet  latches  that  we  tremble to  catch
                                                                                 to  finish  so   little   in   leaving   and   having   left
                                                 stayed  ordinary  after  weathered  descents
                                                                    ascend  our  faces
                                                                                                 and  a  languor  arrests
                                                                                                              our  furtherance  for

 


Derek Gromadzki is the author of Pilgrimage Suites, forthcoming this fall from Free Verse Editions, and, with Forrest Gander, he is co-editor of Alice, Iris, Red Horse: Selected Poems of Gozo Yoshimasu, also forthcoming this fall from New Directions. His work has appeared in publications such as Black Warrior Review, BOAAT, Boston Review, Conjunctions, and Witness. He is currently a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the University of Iowa.