by Kevin Bertolero
Interiors Outdoors in Eastwood & there’s all this shady breeze on the lawn by Blessed Sacrament. Everything now feels like clarity to you / remember smoking a bit from the back porch watching Planet Earth then crying to several hundred walruses leaping from that cliff in the sub-Arctic all that land haulout & melted sea ice they had nowhere left to go. From the moment you arrived the air was changed / handsome organism who needs a bucket to scrub all the Massachusetts from himself, / that queer accent —how driving sometimes, you see the sun come up over tips of pines & it feels surreal, reminds you of that November you found yourself waking up in someone else’s bed, standing to look over the land / admiring that new foreign kind of snow. Ogunquit Painting Poem So many changes upon this fresh arrival —check out all those artists painting summer on the outcropping or that bluff which sees the offing—as if a new school had formed in some general fashion & what is this if not just another early-in-the-day poem which I’ll try not to treat like some autobiography / a document or some flecks of dry skin. On the gay beach there are men who look like they want to be called daddy & there are those who do the calling / now back to Dover in the evening where the sun sets kind of funny in a way that just tells you what it is not what it’s like. Riverside In West Forks Two feet in the Kennebec & slipping on little granite stones for hours [smooth geology] strawberry moon keeps running water light enough to see those skipped flatheads against some shadowed white mountain ridge & more friends stumble down the steep path to join us [now twelve feet in the water] & when the wind picks up we huddle closer modulated breathing. If someone were to find us now there’d be no sound.
Kevin Bertolero is the founding editor of Ghost City Press and is the associate director of the Kettle Pond Writers’ Conference. He holds degrees in literature from Potsdam College and the University of New Hampshire, as well as an MFA from New England College. Kevin is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Love Poems (Bottlecap Press, 2020), and a nonfiction book on gay cinema, Forever in Transition (Another New Calligraphy, 2021). Follow him on Twitter @KevinBertolero.