After Reading James Wright by Leah Claire Kaminski


My body thrums, works itself slightly up
off this someone else’s bed, layered
up from the air it’s in is where my body
is as I’m thinking about being here—
I mean, looking out the window here,
with the strawberries and pomegranates, redwood and gingko
variously wilting and plumping and thrusting
outside and it’s very hot, and it’s someone else’s
home and very particular in that but sentences are
everywhere or they are inside me [Over my head, I see object
object modifier
object modifier.
Prepositional phrase
The cowbells follow one another
indirect object.
Prepositional phrase
prepositional phrase
The droppings of last year’s horses
verb phrase.
SVO, subject modifier.
SVO, looking for home.
and so sentences don’t help and my body is very tired, thrumming tired
from nothing much but being in my head so what is it to be here, or is it nothing
when the crack in the root of my front tooth
is my place, my tongue loves to probe it for pain and it is my deepest home
nor can I peel off the palimpsest
of elsewheres when everywhere
looks somewhat like everywhere else / has a point
of comparison / pinpoint pivot to turn this place
into that, North Star in a hydrangea panicle
North Wind in what the air picks up from an otter’s sleek head

and how to be in
a place & its own muscles moving mine
or is it I should try to feel the same everywhere, I don’t
really understand the goal of mindfulness
but they say it reduces pain, and yes if it could slow time down too
so my dad isn’t 4 inches shorter than he was 5 years
ago, and my womb more juicy, or if it could have taken
longer, placing feet over time stretched not pinched
then sign me up; there’s a Buddha in the backyard; he is backlit to effect and I have
tired myself out, many times over, staring at the ceiling of another childhood’s bedroom:
when there are the dead and the killed and my blood is vesseled here, and here and here


LEAH CLAIRE KAMINSKI teaches writing at UC Irvine and is assistant editor at new journal, The Rise Up Review; you can find her work in Tupelo Quarterly, The Bellingham Review, and Catch Up, and upcoming in Witness Magazine and Vinyl. Follow her sporadic missives on twitter @leahkaminski.