Spilling Upstream

By H.L. Hix

Certain spills — of oil, of blood — release disaster.
Will it. Yet: water spilling over a falls,
spruce sap spilling amber past ecstatic ants,
snow wind-spilled over fences, salmon spilling upstream.
The spill: cause of saturation, or caused by it?
How better illuminate some other element?
Accept this open letter, accept its sisters, as
my proposal that we might, and my insistence that
we do, spill, fulfill as alternative this arrangement:
balance chance occurrences with intent.

Intent détente, well-meant. Spilled sounds, spilled spellings:
scarred, say, spilled past scared to sacred, secret, secreted.
That’s it. I’m ambitious to prepare for accident,
to court what cannot be courted, color it
coldhot acrylic in what crazy combinations
I can concoct. Primaries, my ass. That nothing will
does not excuse, I know, my persistence in
this practice of peculiar surrender
that I know, and anyone can see, will not fulfill
my quixotic search for the beautiful spill,

but search I do, for spill I must, as must we all,
not least we who kneel to this gnarled rising, host
its met match as witness attesting to the Attested To.
Think how brightly colored water would be, spilling clear
across this black stone, how right its apology
for abandon. Any innocence I pled
would only prove, and exacerbate, my guilt.
Any logic I followed would deceive me, so,
as if against my illness I begged to be bled,
I do not consider sense. Instead,

my left hand contrives trick questions for my right.
Can a shadow be a crease, or only mark one?
If a crooked man walks a crooked mile in half an hour,
how long till he reaches the wrinkled colorado sea?
Which, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks, makes
the more impressive spill? Plenty of nonsense to mull.
Many scents to chase past reason into Into, under
smoke-caked chalk figures crossing patience: beasts,
weaponed humans, the Hunt. Scene enough from which to cull
a novel species, a scaffold. The beautiful.

Categories: Issue 4, Poetry | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Spilling Upstream

  1. Cork

    So much has been spilled and in that spilling is born creativity.

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