Oyster Boy Review 08  
  January 1998
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» Levee 67


from Forestry: The Exhaustion of Possibility

Thomas Meyer

Acts of Compensation

Right outside my window. I look out. Moonlight. Last night. A figure moves. A man made of dry leaves.

Tonight. A young boy's face pressed to the glass. His eyes closed.

Ordinary Questions

Why does the moon delay? Does concupiscence keep her doing dirty things behind the hill?

So too, a haste in M's feet. Running from the empty house.


She held my hands and moved them. This way. And that.

To help me open the blossom.

I grabbed her wrists. Angry. Why do you assume the blossom hasn't opened in me yet?

The Heart's Seat

In the empty room all the lights are on.


The bag boy. This is his afterschool job. At the local supermarket stands so close when he asks, "Paper or plastic."

I can smell the cigarette on his breath.


After a little while the moon lifted itself above the horizon, above the eastern hills.


Annoyed, a young man swats a fly and kills it. His first encounter with death. Upset and worried, he goes to his parents' to seek help and comfort.

There he finds an empty house.

And no one home.


Go back to your heart and shut the door behind you.

What of that hawthorn is left to keep love alive in the face of loss?


Let me tell you what will happen. Then you can hear the music.

Here we enjoy the immediate. Everything speaks to us. Directly. Nothing is indifferent, or unnecessary.


The first of them. Constantly looking around for someone to help them. Yet frightened of all onlookers. Each good thing begins that way.


Is that a rat with fudge?

No, a baby crow.

Mother Hubbard's peacock chicks have wings like fans from Isfahan. They scream: We hate men! We hate men!


When they want to know something they want something strange reduced to something familiar.


Life's tempo slows down. Thick as honey.

The redness of the rose. Without that red, or the rose itself, we'd have no world, nor possible color.


What was mine was mine in the dark. Wind. Everywhere I stepped I owned till noon.

Long discussions in the cool of the evening. Or alone. Only then can you know what upholds you.


A small sore above J's left temple. The trees. Their leaves make the windowed room a raft in their branches.

On the lawn with D. Night sky. He identifies the stars, remembering all their names, even the farthest, those of the outer order. We find a new constellation. What does it look like? A cathedral. A city.

The higher up we climb, the closer we come to spectators, the more exposed we are. Snow and hail make the rungs slippery, icy.


What men have grown suspicious of and now distrust is not lost to us.