Brian Swann


hermit thrush turns dusk to
++++a quetzal’s tail and dawn to scarlet skeins,

lilac, curlicues of chrome, his song
++++flexible as air, bending notes like little

bars of steel beyond notation, making riffs
++++of cloud-scurry that tie Plato’s string in knots,

bell-notes burgeoning, sounds coming rich
++++and thick in which nothing’s lost, so fast

they seem simultaneous. But this “shy and
++++hidden bird” is not above a yodel or high-who,

wanting me to hear, wanting me to listen as he leans
++++over from the pine to my open window, before

vanishing into the woods he makes, into
++++the music he is.

Brian Swann

is the author of the poetry collections Sunday Out of Nowhere: New and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press), In Late Light (Johns Hopkins University Press), Sky Loom: Native American Myth, Story, Song (University of Nebraska Press), St. Francis and the Flies (winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize), and Companion, Analogies (Sheep Meadow Press), as well as the story collections Dogs on the Roof (MadHat Press), Not the Real Marilyn Monroe (MadHat Press), and Another Log on the Fire: New and Selected Fiction (forthcoming from MadHat Press).