Anomie at the Sea
Ashley Moriarty

Against the processes,
the causes invisibly scattered into and out of history, whereby the beach sand you could see
beneath the rocks came to be weighted
—as if poignant with treasure
or quaintness— with rocks, so many
cracked hutting hulls, like roses
sunk in their own branching thorns,
the man himself stood and spanned a crevasse of crags
overlooking the minutely infiltrating sea,
throwing rocks back.

He rattled a stone in his hand, and,
preparing to test me with it, said
"In time, this too," indicating the sea,
or rocks, or sandy glue, or clinging sun
or bending blue of the losing sky,
or, it is true, whatever I cared him to indicate,
"shall pass, and you, skipping your vandal stones,
will stand where I do, slipping inexorably home,
what, drawn of Eros, you will come to call your home."

In the air his limbs and torso gather gravely
and arc eccentrically toward the sea,
and fulminant from his fingertip, lost,
a lozenged tile taken, I recognize,
from the roof of my house.

The arc is traced; the slate disc twists
from the tangent, from his finger shot with life,
and down the surface of the sea it jumps and jumps,
as rain,
as planets refusing.
I am sorry for him, the bold retrograde,
too beset to think well, convinced
of the wisdom of grinding flint on flint
to spark upon emptiness,
in blue expanse, and gray expense
of a momentous unsettling.

Sorry that he is here, at least,
where the musics are fretted
with the same note caught over,
and over my unfortunate house
the strained and keening rain is falling
and running to the eaves, unmusically running,
running but despairing to move from the edge.

Agrarian Utopia by Ehren Lohse
Anomie at the Sea by Ashley Moriarty
The Stone-Covered Sea by Stephanie Anderson

Questions? Please contact
Site designed in May 2004 by Michael Peart.