No. 2

Writer’s Workshop: Randy Higgins


Selections from Randy Higgins at the writer's retreat at Lee Kelly's studio

Iron Words

These trees
Once small
Now grown tall, dense, too close for their own good.
Their trunks once full now filled with
Limbs, leafless for lack of light.
There are things I know too much about.
Thoughts always there – waiting –
For any invite to call again.
I wish I never read Dante
Never know his woeful forest
The damned home of souls who in life
Abandon their body
And enter eternity given another.
Like limbs limited to choose their
Place on the stalk – we too must
Accept our place.
Whether sun or shade, in time we
Receive only what we need.

I’ve never liked the sun
And prefer to be where it is not.
In shade one can see what light conceals.
The squinted flatness of flooded
Illumination is a bitter pill.
It was Everson who unintentionally taught
Me to see light through shade.
To see layers of green through leaves
Of how shade sometimes grasp what only light
Can grope.

I’m one of those with too many beginnings
Of days grouped, chunked, boxed
In discretely bound chapters
Stories always ending making way
For another’s beginning.
I know well the cycle.
Accept it
Anticipate it
At times even coax it into being.
When asked to tell my story
I always go back to the beginning
To pass through subsequent
Chapters and return to the earliest
Place to stand and deliver
But even that place, like etymologies
Is a false beginning
A fallacy of convenience
A necessary place required to stop
The return in order to get back to
The telling forward the story.

I drink deep from the well of others.
Unresponsive of boundaries I might otherwise respect.
I take only what I need.
It is our lot to provide
To give freely all that we take.
Reciprocity is our nature but there
Are those that forget ‘friends share all things in common’
By taking what is shared I give in return
Reminders that nothing, not even water
Is ever truly owned.

Out of gas, I’m lost, afraid of what I’ve become.
What promise was left unmade when
Two became one and brought forth another.
Was the hope in my mother’s heart
Ever founded by the acts of my
Black Irish father?
Their orbit short lived
Their lives slightly longer
Cast out, out of gas, I lumber on

This isn’t Oklahoma

Sharp cuts of light, bite
Through steel
Battered into something other than
What it once was.
Should we thank the birds for shitting on it?

Last night I dreamt of the future.
I lived in a city not yet built
And fell in love with a women not yet born.
It ended badly.
And awoke burdened by loss,
Of ending a love that never was.
Of leaving a city that will never be.
What goes comes from dreams?

Creak from a chair
Yet to be settled in
I start the day sitting
In a different but still unknown direction.
There’ve been thoughts since
Yesterday – strays that come
Wanting attention
I’ve only heard them
Acknowledged their request
But nothing else.

I am old like the wind
Ever moving, offering only the illusion of ever being still
At place
At peace.
There are those younger than me
Who believe I’m free
Give praise for being
Never bound or bought
But this is not the case.
I am gravely bound to this rock
Fated to be its meager veil
Between something and not
I am cast like Sisyphus
To always go and always return
Never stray from what the young
Believe is large but what the
Old know is small.

I love the tangle
Of webs woven tight
Threads lead from where I began to
Where it leads again.
Like swimming in the
Warm, ink black waters
Of that Texas lake beneath
A blood red moon.
Stream of consciousness
Oceanic feeling
I could kiss William James
(Bill, to his friends)
For giving names to what I love

by Randy Higgins

— Posted on 06/25 at 11:48 AM

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