“The Poem” by Diane Furtney
“ . . . this loose, drifting material of life . . .
Some idea of a new form. Suppose one thing
should open out of another—as in an unwritten
novel”–Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
It’s instinctive, the lift at it,
the damp summer grassweed smell,
and you think small: gopher,
badger, fox; an over owl; between the weeds.
Then these shallow ditches, and the low
foliage recovering from shock,
scrambling off from our passing headlights.
And now crickets, deploying over a square
cornered exactly as a blanket,
chanting their formations uniformly
to the border. At just one spot,
on past the next field, it’s
unaccountable: warm cinnamon.
And good, dulcet Bradley,
so unnerved all spring, really,
seems calm at the wheel now
for the first time in weeks. Continuously,
my threshed hair, blown at the window,
bothers my raised bent knee
and thigh; when my right hand dangles
off the fast steel ledge,
its fingers unconsciously canter the wind.
And I would agree, dear
aggravating V., there may be in these
enough of moment to sustain the novel—
whatever happens in the warm, wide wind—
though just barely,
I daresay, the poem.
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Diane Furtney Artist Statement:
Diane Furtney lives near Phoenix, but Tulsa, Poughkeepsie, and many jobs across
the U.S. appear in the several decades of her resume. She is a translator (French,
Japanese), the author of two mystery novels, and a poet whose work has appeared
in two prize-winning chapbooks as well as in VQR, Poetry International, Able
Muse Review, Stand (England), Poetry Northwest, The Kenyon Review, Notre
Dame Review, and other noted journals. “Science And” (FutureCycle Press,
2014) is her collection of science-inspired poems. “The Blue Man: Poems of the
Ordinary” is in press with FutureCycle for 2017. Her “Sailing to Mytilene” was
nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize.