To write your way out of death, like finding a tiny path in the woods at night and staying on it without a torch. One yearns for the acute sight of youth, the pinpoint recognition of a newt in the dark, a small twist of trail that will take you home. Maybe it’s also a matter of scent, groping one’s way through musk and bark, grappling the faintest of lavenders in breeze, the sharp stink of rot, to find the perfect midnight glen. Almost the essence of touch, as well – here you are on an island you’ve long known, every twist of the path familiar, and you can feel each tree, each tumbled stone, each branch without moon and the distant shore as you would a companion sauntering astride. To write your way out of death, know the land like your lover, take to the hills for a good long breath, have a tall glass of water, and let death write its way out of you.
Richard Loranger is the author of Poems for Teeth (We Press, 2005) and The Orange Book (The International Review Press, 1990) as well as nine chapbooks. His book of flash prose, Sudden Windows, is forthcoming from Zeitgeist Press in 2016. Recent work can be found in Oakland Review and in the anthologies Overthrowing Capitalism Volume 2: Beyond Endless War, Racist Police, Sexist Elites (Kallatumba Press, 2015) edited by John Curl and Jack Hirschman on behalf of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, and I Let Go of the Stars in My Hand (great weather for MEDIA, 2014), edited by Jane Ormerod, Thomas Fucaloro, and George Wallace. Richard lives in Oakland, Calif. You can find more at richardloranger.com.
This poem is not previously published.