In a wasteland south of the Great Salt Lake, the man on the cliff edge calls,
his voice lost among the echoes. Each echo stranger than the last, more
removed from the throne and throat of human error. So vast the emptiness
I cannot tell you what is echo, what a voice. One bird becomes two,
two—in silence—one, and still, to me, the many. Where there is design,
there is a story. Where there is beauty, the ache of light that is everywhere
broken. Two birds become one, one the many, a flock against the sheer
indifferent glory of the palisades. Where there is beauty, there is chaos
in the beauty-shattered eye. If you are coming, bring water, figs, strong shoes.
Bring a friend. I will bring the silence of one friend who came and fell
(or was it jumped) and just kept falling, one day beneath the cliffs of Utah.
Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-five books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), and Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse).Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas. His most recent books are Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), and Scar (Etruscan, 2020).
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