On a Deserted Road
Blue clouds gesture to an absence in the wind.
Slate blue and bruised, they beckon, and magnetic,
draw the hushed expectancy of all things in.
Black trees, barren, pasture in a row of five.
They're forgetting, stiff now, how they curved into
the wind once—each branch bent like a lyre.
A ruined fence still stakes its claim, condenses
to one piece of paper infinite what lies
in its domain: one page of vast expanses.
All colors thin to the smoke of their spent fire.
A wash of violet upon the hillside
strips the spectrum bare, dissolves its bright disguise,
shrinks its wheel of rainbow to a single line,
then thrusts it, up, one pale ribbon of a road
stretched beneath the hill's bent back just like its spine.
One deserted road with its recurring load
of weightlessness, its odor of crushed seashells
with their spiraled ears' smooth inner slopes unslowed,
with their vanished hollows falling, yet still folding
round the echoes of blown branch, rain, lime, bone—
oceans still calling, breakers still unrolling.
I walk. Beyond each windblown, beaten stone.
With each step dropping further down, descending
through form's brief consolations, never ending
(Point Baptiste, Dominica—1985)
In the early eighties, R. Nemo Hill was convicted of locking himself overnight in the basement of the local post office, and licking all the stamps. As punishment for this reckless criminal act he was forced to publish, in collaboration with painter Jeanne Hedstrom, an illustrated novel based upon the processes of medieval alchemy (Pilgrim's Feather, Quantuck Lane)--as well as a book-length poem in heroic couplets, based upon a short story by H. P. Lovecraft (The Strange Music of Erich Zann, Hippocampus), and a chapbook (Prolegomena To An Essay On Satire, Modern Metrics). His most recent book is a collection of poems (When Men Bow Down, Dos Madres). He is also the editor/publisher of EXOT BOOKS and blogs at ELSEWHERE.