From hidden things sometimes, like an archaeologist, you can put the world together. Or there's a revelation, or a slow unfolding. You can rush out to experience, or vision can draw you inward to imagine hidden worlds. You can, as William Blake said, see the world in a grain of sand, or in a garfish, or in a frog's eye, or in a sweep of imagined Asian steppe. However it happens, the Hua Yen Buddhists have such discovery pegged: "When contracted, all things are manifested in one particle of dust. When expanded, one particle of dust will universally permeate everything." (from Fa-tsang, Hundred Gates to the Sea of Ideas of the Flowery Splendor Scripture)
From the book:
The Bone Picker
the air is patriarchal and smells of sadness . . .
Wind barrels across this plain,
knocks me full force. I stagger.
By the end of a day of this, I've aged
a century to sleep off again.
Every week I make a fortune.
Cart fills with bones,
some weathered smooth, a few roughed up
by sand blown July to June.
Once a month I go to town, pitching
ribs, legs, and jaws on heaps
twelve miles along railroad tracks.
Hoofs and horns sell by the pound.
When my share is tallied, money lines
my pockets. I head to the bar,
grab a steak and some beer. Piano music
through smoky dusk drifts off-key.
Like a judge, a buffalo skull watches
the cash register, but herds
still move, though it's piece by piece as I pick
their bones till my cart is full.
in the slowest current,
how the moon is cured
after a fish hawk
has broken it
with spread talons.
Cara Chamberlain is a graduate of the Purdue University Creative Writing Program. Her short story "White Deer" won the Whetstone Prize, and she has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in CutBank, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Southern Review, The MacGuffin, and other magazines. Her The Devil's Party was a finalist in the 2004 Low Fidelity Press Novella Contest. She is working on a novel trilogy. A member of what her son calls a "traveling band of English teachers," she has lived in Billings, Montana; Lakeland, Florida; Fort Kent, Maine; and Powell, Wyoming. She has taught courses at Rocky Mountain College in Montana, Montana State University-Billings, Florida Southern College, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Moncton-Edmundston in Canada, and Northwest College in Wyoming.
is an 84 page hand-stitched paper book w/spine.
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