a literary review
It Empowers Us to Contribute to the Sonic Environment, and to Act Towards Sweetening It
The cows trudge,
eating up the silver grass,
and a calf angles its tail to piss
in the manner of a happy drunk.
of the scissor-tail as it cuts
back and forth on currents,
fulfills its name, nearly soundless,
but not, it being a citizen of the empire
of the air, a quiet kingdom that rejects
much of the American idea, only asks
of its people that they listen
with an ear bent toward the noises
from the slate-grey shadows of the
We will be here for some time, feeling separate
as thirty thousand feet is, connected as the many
stomachs of these sows are to their tongues
when they touch them to the ground or let
them waggle in the breeze.
The Well-Nigh Illimitable Nature of the Theme
A mare lived alone in a one-acre corral across the highway from an open sweet-grass pasture, with a flatland creek through the northwest corner. We stood on our side of the fence, noted
her swollen neck and easy-swishing tail — in her body, grace composed its home. This was in April, the sky heavy with the load of hail and rain. She galloped to us, pushed her head into our hands, chestnut body quaking, her breath chaotic with the bare branches of grief. It’s okay, we told her, We do it too, terrified of different outpourings, ones we seemed capable of bringing on, though ours came in a similar grey, inescapable as glory and immediate light.
Acknowledgements: The title for “It Empowers Us to Contribute to the Sonic Environment, and to Act Towards Sweetening It” comes in part from “Listening to the City: Community Research and Action through Sound and Story.” The title for “The Well-Nigh Illimitable Nature of the Theme” comes from writing by A.S. Forrest.