The Boiler

Andrew Dally

ERROR: ‘HERON’ BEING HERONS

If a gray heron unzips her gray sky.

                        & &

A gaunt heron undresses time.

                        & &

A bare heron bisects the windshield
that flattens our round lives.

                        & &

Like a biplane banking
along American beaches, a heron
drags her emaciated legs across August
bannering
       two-for-ones,    
           ladies’ nights,
         nickel shots,
           the happiest wind-wrecked hours.

                         & &

Then it’s true: there is only one heron and she starves
herself in storm pipes along turnpikes.

It is true: there is only one heron and she withers
in the water feature between holes eleven and fifteen.

It is true: there is only one heron and she stalks
the frames of online videos, bobbing for prey.

                         & &

It is true: there is only one heron and I counted

each smallmouth that writhed in her taut jaws,
was a bulge descending the long letter
of her neck and absent as the only heron
arranged her body for disappearing and


NOT THE HERO WE NEED, BUT ETC. 

Patina of useless metadata hugging
the surface of the actual or else

the image resolving itself atop the river
of binaries on which it drifts.

Or a leafy beetle
ups and dies upon an open page

of a magazine forgotten in the grass.
He will be carried off-screen by the ants,

who in their swarming, rearrange and rewrite
a poem by Alice Notley. In some versions

they get it all wrong. In some versions
perfection is pheromonal and fleeting.

The ants are always set in Garamond.
They say an uncertain percentage of insects

will die of old age. We are over halfway through
the top ten reasons people are still writing

in couplets.

How can trends be emergent in a medium mostly dead?
Do we blame green-screened blockbusters

about speedy green algorithms or Roman fingers
combing the gold from their wavy wheat?

We might blame Baudrillard,
but then we might have to read Baudrillard.

We had too much time on our hands
and not enough time to do anything with it.

_________________________

Andrew Dally lives in Oxford, MS, where he writes software and poems. He recently had two poems in Blunderbuss Magazine.