Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Andrew C. Gottlieb

Ritual Leavings

We went to your stone and waited.
      The snow showed our past,
             gave us away in our giving.

Block letters, bright sun, frozen grass.
     Winter was listening
           while we lined our things

along the short granite cliff.
     Three chocolates in lockstep,
          a latte, a small happy Buddha,

the three dollar kind in red plastic
     with his bag and his look.
          A small book of poems.

The only thing missing: the photos,
     your smiling. This losing
           dismantles our notions of wholeness:

cold fingers, a frivolous mingling,
     a single crow hunched in an oak.
        Who’s not lonely in the cold?

The trees have retreated excepting the firs
      with their green skirts and thin leaves.
           Needles, the decline, goodbyes, pine

scent. You’ve left us behind
     to a ritual leaving. A comb,
         a coin, an orchid, bone whistles.

A milling of beliefs at the coldest
      of stone, our clinging past
            like a piling, a raft, and a rope.

About the Poet:

Andrew C. Gottlieb works and writes in Irvine, California, and loves the southwest climate, though he spent 9 years in Seattle and misses the rain and ferries. His work is published in many
journals and in his chapbook, Halflives (New Michigan Press, 2005). These poems are from Ritual Leavings, a recent semi-finalist for the Philip Levine Award. Andrew does a pretty good job at his day gig, but avoids it as much as possible; instead spending time outdoors with his wife and two stepchildren, or with his books: reading and writing.   

About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

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