Two Poems by Rick Hartwell
tall, broad, virile,
thirsty olive foliage.
aided by teenagers
exhausting their first,
rosé and milk leftovers;
the recently inexperienced.
Foil packages and
Night animals depart as
orange poppies unwrap and
wild mustard leans into the sun.
What do Hemingway’s cats
think of their shared heritage?
and Steinbeck’s dogs, as they
chased their tails as if to enter
the circle of life by the back door,
imitating the snake swallowing itself?
and I wish I could cop a feel of what
Raymond Carver thought of Jack Kerouac.
where are the writers describing the
disintegration and resurrection of urbs urbis?
when the soul of the rustic dries up,
a town takes its place;
when the soul of the town flees its bounds,
a city takes its place;
when the soul of a city molts its constraint,
a gomorrahian metropolis takes its place.
when the soul of such implodes, like Detroit,
the soul of a civitas may appear.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California. He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing, Rick would rather be still tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.