Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday poem #168 : Michael Lithgow : Torrance thunderstorm

The storm moves overhead, a crack of lightning
cooks the night like a black piece of meat.

A humbling darkness and rain slaps at the peak
of a small plywood boathouse at midnight,

the weight of clouds banging in lowered excitement
shaking plywood walls, a wild reveal

clattering the panes in a dizzying nocturnal breach
of sound that rattles me in the dark. A flash

ignites the porcelain pieces in my spine, and I am
whorled like a silver spark in the darkened air

ungodly before my own eyes. My vision is brief
like a shriek; an unexpected sight that fills me with awe.

A cold sip of coffee and cigarette are what I need
to ground this incantation into a poem

brief and certain as a char.

Michael Lithgow's essays and poetry have appeared in academic and literary publications including the American Communication Journal, ARC, Contemporary Verse 2, The New Quarterly and The Fiddlehead. His first collection of poetry, Waking in the Tree House, was published by Cormorant Books in 2012, and shortlisted for the Quebec Writers Federation First Book Award. Work from this collection was included in the 2012 Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books). He recently relocated from Gatineau, QC to Edmonton AB where he is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Athabasca University.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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