Places I searched for you: Ragged Ass Joy Excerpt #2

by Ben Weaver


Ivy falls, catwalk under 35E bridge, abandoned power plant, window sills, smokestack lightening, cottonwood root balls, river bot­toms, working river, cracks in remaining lock wall at Meeker dam site.

Clear Lake radio, wood grain, peeling birch, bird eaten berry patch, Wisconsin bar antlers, dog's breath, winter summer starlight, wheel wells of cars left in open fields, mis-delivered mail, cloth stuck and blowing in barbed wire, checkout lines, baggage claim, a song playing in the other room.


Fife wheeze, deer bones, needle noise in gypsy recordings, prairie novels, roadside vegetable stands, sage smoke, wake of tug boats, every elevator, bench seats of other men's trucks, open suitcases, back stage graffiti, every bookstore, rip rap, library dumpsters.


Frayed ends of manila rope, the midway, empty nail polish bottles, places I found myself wishing I was someplace else, bike shops, fruit left on fruit pits, bottom of my sleeping bag, bubble in my compass, piles of onion skins, carrot peels, spore prints, that spot of air in the ball joint just before the H bone detaches from the femur.


The broad strokes, upstream, Dutch flea markets, folds in hotel sheets, rasthofs, riparians, spider webs across the path, kicking stones, skipping stones, striped stones, beneath buzzards, the blackened bottoms of my pots and pans.