Winter 2007

Into the Sun

Author
John Kinsella
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John Kinsella is professor of English at Kenyon College and adjunct professor at Edith Cowan University, where he is a principal of the Landscape and Language Centre. He has published numerous volumes of poetry, including “The Silo” (1995), “The Hierarchy of Sheep” (2001), and “Peripheral Light” (2003). He has also written novels, short stories, and four verse plays (collected as “Divinations”). Kinsella is the editor of the literary journal “Salt” and serves as international editor of the “Kenyon Review.”

Into the Sun

The film of moisture on the eyeball sizzles
though it’s not really hot outside: sun the other
side of gold and occasional cloud umber to gravitational black;
all surfaces are reflective from early morning rain,
and into the sunlight is bitter-sweet
and difficulty lifts from the asphalt; a twisted strip
of salmon gum bark laminate and the waste
from Blake’s tree-angel–all angels excrete–has
you swerve away as if life depends upon curve
and intersecting line of shadow, long shade
permeating your semi-reflective exterior,
lull in crows’ late life, startling your blind spot
navigating broken white line then double solid
strips of nuclear activity, eternal chain reaction
running aground past wooded cemetery, creeks leached
from Lover’s Leap, a panorama of district occasionals,
keepsakes;
                  I dreamt as you dreamt of a screen full of triangles
gone suddenly blank–seemingly in an instant, imagining
a flash though its opposite is incandescence sucked dry,
as sun visor is angled and head lifted above the straight
and narrow, roll of the downward slide, pryamoid or prismatic
slip from apex to base, a scrunching effect: that’s what’s left,
and I’ve no proof beyond an evening dullness, a late dusk
comparative: it’s less harsh on the eyes but less
invigorating, less exposed to prayed for end result,
an aftermath left to keep the flocks
in order: so many cattle moving into sheep territory;
dressing they use their spray pods, liquid fertiliser
like a coagulated mirage in cooler weather, seed-drilling
a sun-rippled pasture, a bearing taken
from the eye’s corner, these indulgences
of a light so overloaded we’d never risk
staring it down if free choice
                    could change gravity
to a variety more sublime;
                    to the glint of immensity
in-foliate, like carbons in triplicate
when protogine, quick steps to levity.