Caleb Puckett is a writer and visual artist living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He is currently featured in Philament, Starfish and Shampoo, as well
as in other electronic and print journals.


The river makes no lasting repast of stones
cutting short its hunger by grey shores
that shallow out a dusk worn rag-ended by rote

Here near the old timber ends pent fast by rope,
the dusty tract of twisted grass
denies my knees and mind a profitable path

As the last of the stray fishermen leave in boats
cinched tight against conviction,
the stones below blacken with the tide's bidding

The overhang alone collects the tumid seasons
in scarred sensations pinched behind
the endless ribs of rock starched by ruin or reason

And there is no reservation real enough, no path
abstract enough, to justify leaving:
the river withers empty with the length of seeing.


Intermittent awe
indecent ebb of chance
we adjust the horizon
sweating out our wine
casting stones softly
at the swollen breeze

Dusk comes over
running upon clouds
a leaf curls under
where veins fork
falling ashes settle
smoke rolling west
from the east's mouth

All will sleep spent
hot breath overhead
those who must believe
meet in another town
there are questions held
and there is time itself
across those huddling hills
where wonder stands still


Elegies entangle the arc of a hard whistle
echoing along the dirty halls of this dimly lit terminal,
and our eyes are annihilated by blood,
teeth crushed by the vinyl lining the length of the hall,
as we waver in and out of chaotic queue,
filing past grubby double doors and smudged windows,
uncertain if this is our departure or arrival,
worried if this is the life we are finally due to revise,
unsure of personal silence within the group,
troubled by the sharp plastic lettering that lies and refuses.

So we congest the exits, crowd the benches, waiting for connections,
estranged within as night translates the scrape
of every splintered shoe and the exhaust fumes of every idling engine
into hands on a claustrophobic clock face
that gnaws apart each aching nerve during the long journey forward
into a pale helter-skelter horizon full of alleys
and avenues where dreams are brought to bare - how we huddle here
in the fugue of some broken city square
where salvation's vagabond army stammers between penury and prayer.

Day's Transformations

Dust turns into crystal
along the vacant mirror
as shade replaces shadow
around the curtained window

Where a bluing sky bottom contracts
around two rust red smokestacks
shaping their awkward plumes
into delicate wounds

The horizon holds symmetry
as ashen sparrows dissolve
in ashen clouds
discovering nothing exactly

While an iridescent trace of sweat
collects what darkness is left
turning panes of poison nettles
upon themselves with pirouettes

You tune the station to static: no transformations left

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