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Poetry by Kathryn Rantala
  Music by Brian Hutzell
  Art by Tim Ljunggren
'Going Postal'  2005-2006 Tim Ljunggren
The Mailman

The grass flattened,
melancholy as a waterglass,
reflecting down deep
his waffling shoe prints.

He rang;
his crevassed hands,
his arms too long for him—
poor door monkey.

I swung in giant loops,
evolving gingerbread owner
of a tall house.
I knew

he wouldn’t in any circumstance
come in.
Goodbye, I said,
forgetting the mail.

He’d forgotten it already
in the truck
when sun delivered a surprise
kiss on his bald spot.

In mailseat now,
mail all over,
he flattens deep down,
melancholy as a waterglass.

Laying On Of Hands
'Free Path' (detail)  2005-2006 Tim Ljunggren

The doctor on the sled that brought him then,
practicing on the reins
and horse’s rump
when they used to do this,
did this: elevatored flat palms downward
to sticky skin
in the bottom floor flat.
They called it the laying on of hands.
Bloodletting, too, the cure and cause of pale
and wan,
a word so faint it faded.

In the frostbit ambidextrian digital world
it would be the clinging collection of fingers
applied in an older fashion,
one or many,
not really a connection
and uncertain about how it feels.

They presumed it could be touched,
that some thing under mantle, at the core,
unwinding;
the black, squishy, white, round, hard, red, blue
perception,
bug, lump or vapor
working to the surface,
needing hands—
quick ones,
sometimes in a peak.

Fleet, too, is a word no longer of use.
There is no escape in it
though the horses be strong
and prayers like tendrils
weave up the poles.
Always there is something that grabs,
with carousel reach,
at the rider
not the ring.

This morning when I fell sweating in a tangle of
sheets
wound round and around my feet;
when sleep that had served me well
turned on me,
to keep breathing I reached down to the floor
and pushed,
ratcheted me up with my own two arms.
Anything like a wafer,
net,
a comforting cloth or pat
stayed down.

'Free Path'  2005-2006 Tim Ljunggren
Freepath

The way the ground rolled out
was like a meadow.
There was black on it
but it waved and slid along
just like a meadow:
turning for a stand of trees
a crouch of color
a kneel of house.
It was free from sided to side,
and, in a meadow way, a path.
There was a freepath through Ohio
that waved and slid along
and I took it all the way to Virginia.

In Virginia there is a west
though not-so-west—
that is, no sunsets originate there:
a visiting sunset spot.
You get there from Ohio on the freepath.

Some of the times Ohio is so lonely
it could all just go to Virginia.
Or west of it.
There they have hills like meadows
but higher in some places.

Sometimes the lonely is higher there.
If it is high enough,
someone hears it
and responds
and then you say thank you.

My List of Complaints
'Going Postal' (detail)  2005-2006 Tim Ljunggren

Tied up in traffic
you missed your arrival
a scant ten minutes.
Nevertheless.

In a mood you served us your
coats and mittens
your cats and kittens
glace

Surprised by a moon
you doubled.
I endured reassembly.

My list of complaints leans forward
and forward
fanning a layer of expression
a layer of folded paper.

I wait.
I turn in,
turn out.
Nothing ever turns out.

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