October 17, 2018

Memory Stick by David Chorlton

Surprises fall from the sky. Today it’s rain,
another time
a sequined purse came down
and sparkled with cheap gold on the sidewalk.
Right now a dark hawk
passes smoothly overhead, an invisible hand
makes ripples in standing water
and a moth that darkness left behind
is clinging to the window screen.
A book describing
seven Chakras fluttered down
beside the road and lay there for weeks,
a piece of corrugated cardboard inked
to plead for help
rests on the ground close to
a freeway ramp, and Heaven help us
someone lost their
toothpaste and a bracelet
on a quiet suburban street. The wind
can’t tell a summons from
a shopping list when
it blows them across an intersection
already littered with the glass
from a headlight and a buckled length of chrome
from when two cars collided on their way
between the stars. And almost imperceptible
is the tiny flash drive
that landed in a parking lot, which,
when plugged into a personal computer,
reveals the history it has carried
through the universe
of how everything began, but refuses
to disclose from which
of many gods it came.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. A recent collection of poems is Bird on a Wire from Presa Press, and The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. A new book, Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is out from Hoot ‘n Waddle, based in Phoenix.

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