Kelp chorus

       They are all throat in the night—they say the word spirit with ease
       They are the drifting, violet gowns of the throat
       They are all night in the throat—they are all ease in the all
       They say the words blue and baleen and sailing and seas
       Perhaps they have the relationship of the throat determined and so are all it
       Or, they have the slick violet gown of the throat and they are the luster of the gown
       slipping over the fragile, wet word of the spirit
       Or, perhaps the word spirit with ease is the same as the throat
       Or, the naked "they" is the same as "they say"

       Then we want it divulged, what they have, or had, or seem to have in ease,
       a sea of violet gowns washed up in small pathetic heaps,
       they are all heaped in the white, coughed up on salt-encrusted sand,
       iridescent froth sticking or popping against them
       At the touch of the bubble, an acid hurt
       Then we are all them, and not without ease


Experiment with seven hearts

       Try your heaven in the attic
       your taxidermic static
       Let in starlings, let in publics,
       see what they do

       The presences impart
       heavens anew

       Try your heaven automatic
       Try your condemned lace work
       heaps of heaven
       your emphatic
       presence in my seven hearts

       Try now seven seasons static
       in the streets
       Let eleven teenage, walking, wearing headphones
       Let in deafen,
       amp and prison, see what they do

       Take your heaven from the attic
       Let in missile and fanatics
       Let in starlings pecking sunflower hearts
       Let in failure, pushing
       The presences impart
       presences anew

       Try seven routes up and up past ancient attic
       heavens, past removal and transaction,
       past the papers
       with fold, protecting
       news: beheadings, keeping it news

       Try your starlings flying, erratic
       Let infusing voices climb the
       to a barely-light
       quiet, see what they do


Empty Lot

to be read by 2 alternating voices with some pause between

                           a.                                              b.

                 We had a field
                 full of weeds
                 teaching presence.
                 The presence
                 of the weeds
                 signaled absence
                 of our hands.
                                                                  Oblivious seeds,
                                                                  strategic thorn.
                 We had a field
                 full of accidental lace
                 demanding presence;
                 The presence
                 of the war put
                 more prices on
                 our hands.
                                                                   Oblivious seeds,
                                                                    strategic thorn.
                 Look at our hands,
                 cracked with clearing!
                 A bouquet
                 of leaves
                 and stems, already limp.
                                                                   It's from the field
                                                                   full of weeds
                                                                   teaching presence.
                 The hands are tired 
                 from pulling
                 octopi roots,
                 larger than flowers,
                 already spent.
                                                                   Oblivious seeds,
                                                                   strategic thorn.
                 Torn thistle,
                 news, glove,
                 You are too absent
                 then too present.
                                                                   Oblivious seeds,
                                                                   strategic thorn.


They are all throat in the night—they say the word spirit with ease.

       they say the words deploy
       and coding and spirit and cease
       they say the words forests
       and porous and humvee and cede

       as if all the same
       all the same light
       as if all the same
       fighting through leaf

       morse code and night
       light at the center
       missions and moats
       courses of battles courses of choruses

       notorious light 
       tight in the throat
       as if all the same as if all the same
       [might be the throat

       coding the night
       might be the forest
       porous the voice
       coursing the quiet

       light pulping through]
       they say the words mulching
       and marching and missile and through
       [who were you then?

       coughing off light
       might be the forest
       might be the chorus]
       you were of course I am

       stemming from this
       might be the missile
       missing the night
       you were of course I'm not

       stemming from this
       [forcing light quiet
       might be the forest
       rescuing leaf]


Dreamed Thoreau

       I dreamed Thoreau drew frogs all night
       on pale paper,
       some numbered thousands
       of frogs    Think it was a good dream
       Say I had bad or good dreams

       Getting at something
       what I wanted to say and what it seemed
       seeming good.
       I dreamed Henry David Thoreau drew
       some number
       down to the ones
       I can't remember    Not the frogs themselves
       but the fact of his    attention to them
       however        blotched or poison blue
       I had no faith

       In our yard, an old sink with wet envelopes in it
       The sky is a boy in
       purplish rags singing
       Thoreau is tied to the frogs, Thoreau is tied to the frogs,
       and the frogs 
       are singing from the sink:
       make it good, try hard



       The city is a child's top
       the spinning saves it from collapse.
       It's spinning now, it's spinning—look!
       —but each restart a lapse.



       [Caught, centuries,

       pine needles]

       [rinds dropped
       among pine needles]

       [blood drying
       in pine needles]

       [buck, bird, or man]

       [branches misaligned
       in their curvatures
       cupping and
       cracking, amongst or

       between needles]

       [among or between us,
       needles rusting]

       [Whitebark, Winter,
       Western White]

       [point upon point upon
       [line up, line up!]


Endi Bogue Hartigan's first book, One Sun Storm, was selected for the 2008 Colorado Prize for Poetry (Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University). Her work has appeared in Chicago Review, Pleiades, VOLT, Free Verse, Quarterly West, Gulf Coast, Tinfish, New Orleans Review, and other magazines. Endi lives in Portland, Oregon.

The poems appearing here are from a recent book manuscript, "Chorus Interstice," written during a time of intense public noise and considering that. The manuscript begins with the following epigraph quoted from the World Health Organization: "Physically, there is no difference between sound and noise. Sound is a sensory perception and the complex pattern of sound waves is labeled noise, music, speech, etc. Noise is thus defined as unwanted sound."