Lawrence Bridges is best known for work in the film and literary world. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick.
CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE THINKING
A fear so great the rabbits move
to Lancaster to thrive with snakes
more poisonous than all others that rattle -
A meal so sweet the nests explode
with beaks that fill the air with arrows
boinging from the rotation of bows to airfoils -
A lover so soft men drop their eyes
and use their cheeks and arms to search
for legs, hands, ears, tongue, vagina -
A head so strong it sacrifices nothing but time
far off in a distant future when parents
can't tell their children from their grandchildren -
A book so short and large it serves
as the ultimate risk for free ascent and is nothing
to the moon which bathes its crags with soft light -
Nothing makes sleep unlike death
to those who watch for us to rise while alive
to watch them, curious about what they are thinking.
THE FINAL PUSH WEST
The slow choice of pathways cross grain
and make me nod like the fiery heads of protein
feathered for war and sufficiency,
arrows of Aztec warriors pointed toward the earth.
In the distance: house, bar, store and shed,
granary empty and all roads grown over
with abundance, grain by now choosing plows.
I'm far away from water except the muddy
furrow my hand could trowel as I squeeze
mud into my mouth cocked to make the fields a wall,
clouds the outskirts of the future’s missing suburbs.
I've come here to glide and not repent,
the burden of my effort buried
in the underground of junk, my treasures.
Here I enter time again and pass through
Santa Fe to Pasadena where I'll work on engines
moving through prairied fields, mole-nose
sniffing, pushing and billowing air junk
until my grandchildren notice and rebel
when I’ll settle and become a night watchman
and care for my youngest daughter, a surprise,
who will mature and marry well. I’ll harbor anger that
my grown sons were called up by FDR.
There was no fascism in young grain
no tanks to plow them uncut, only
nesting places for birds flying north and mice
receiving feet and teeth from moist earth.